Man Food: The Lamb Meatball Sandwich at Tavern Road
This stuffed pita sandwich is a street food force to be reckoned with.
Welcome to Man Food, where burger pro Richard Chudy steps away from his usual burger beat to explore food challenges, street eats, and other gut-busting delights. Ladies are welcome, of course.
Street food is supposed to be just that— an item that has been purchased and enjoyed on the street or on the go. The popularity of this style of dining more than explains the onslaught of food trucks all over the city landscape nowadays. Enter chef Louie DiBiccari’s take on this style of cuisine, sans truck, at TR Street Food, his take-out offshoot of the newish Tavern Road restaurant in Fort Point. Here, the focus is on portable snacks, salads, and sandwiches suitable for consumption on the pavement. With a healthy mix of internationally influenced dishes from the streets of Mexico to Greece, the daily changing menu is approachable with a nod to the surprising .
The lamb meatballs in lamb meatball sandwich ($8.95) may be small in size, but be careful not to judge them by their stature. Bursting with a full-force of gamey lamb flavor that is downright sensational, they are wrapped up in a soft, warmed piece of pita. Paired with an ample amount of tangy yogurt, spicy harissa, and peppery arugula, this sandwich is about as good as it gets. The lamb is succulent and leaves you wanting more, while the garlicky and sharp harissa, which is quickly cooled by the thick yogurt, is at the forefront. The pita, though warm, isn’t crispy, which makes a messy sandwich even more difficult to handle. But it all comes together beautifully and is one of the better sandwiches I’ve had in recent memory.
Za’atar chicken wings are a letdown, however, as the advertised sesame and sumac flavor is nowhere to be found. Instead, rubbery and chewy chicken wings (7 for $7) taste more like a slightly spicy and sticky honey-glazed wing you’d find at any random bar. They are at least meaty and larger than your run-of-the-mill wing, but they sorely lack crunch, seasoning, and originality.
The graffiti-laced walls at TR Street Food are warm and welcoming, and with an array of changing internationally influenced items from tacos to porchetta, the eatery offers a clever riff on the standard fare. Although the food is a little slow to come out for a takeout spot and some of the dishes (like the wings) can be hit-or-miss, the lamb meatball sandwich is a new street food force to be reckoned with.
TR Street Food, 343 Congress St., Boston, 617-790-0808