Man Food: The Whimsical Creations at Mei Mei Street Food Kitchen
All photos by Katie Barszcz
While food trucks appear to be popping up more quickly than I initially anticipated, a lot of care and passion goes behind each and every one of them—and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more enthusiastic group than the sibling trio at the Mei Mei Street Kitchen truck. Started by older brother Andy, Mei Mei translates to “sister” in Chinese, named after his two younger sisters, Margaret and Irene. If that isn’t enough to win you over, I don’t know what is. Although you can’t necessarily equate passion with flavor, it’s hard not be charmed by the smiling trio well before you take your first bite of food. With a menu that frequently changes, you’re guaranteed to discover something new and enticing each and every time.
The aptly named Double Awesome ($7) is a loaded plate of all the good stuff; two poached-and-fried eggs, a summer greens pesto, and extra sharp cheddar cheese—all served inside a massive scallion pancake of course, just to gild the lily a bit more. It could have been neatly presented and a little more street-food friendly (i.e., compact enough to grab with one hand on the go) but this one requires extra care and attention in the way of a knife and fork. It’s a messy plate of food, but a tasty one. The proclaimed “perfectly poached eggs” are barely over-cooked, but enough to make me miss a runny yolk that could have been. The local greens that comprise the pesto are mustard greens from The Food Project on this day, and are the real star of the show. Mei Mei believes in the power of local produce, and with greens as tasty as these, it’s no wonder why.
Although it sounds intense, the bone marrow fried rice ($6.50) was a disappointment. Once again, the promise of perfectly-cooked eggs is left unfulfilled, and the meaty fragrance and punch of bone marrow is suspiciously absent all around. Although the rice and local carrots and peas all work together, the dish is largely overwhelmed by a heavy dose of grease. Where the Double Awesome benefited from it, too much fat makes this dish more appealing on paper than in actuality, at least on this particularly muggy afternoon.
I give Mei Mei an “A” for effort though—with a few small tweaks, it would have been a memorable meal from start to finish, especially thanks to the the pate cone ($2.50), a liver-y delight cleverly served in a mini ice cream cone.
The thought, personal connection and whimsy are all here, and sooner rather than later the Mei Mei food truck will be a major force to be reckoned with.
See Mei Mei’s website for locations.
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