“If you’ve had one Latino food truck you’ve had em all…” this unfortunately was the ignorant statement from one of my acquaintances when asked if he would like to try the new Puerto Rican food truck a few months back; he couldn’t have been more wrong and truly missed out on some great food. Elmer Passapera brought Buen Provecho to life last fall to spread his passion for Puerto Rican fare to the citizens of the metro. They focus on traditional dishes derived from combinations of Spain, Africa and their Native ‘Taino’ Indians. So you have Spanish, African & Caribbean influences that accentuate all the different herbs, spices, tropical fruits, and root vegetables that come together to form what is best known as “La Cocina Criolla”. In his own words, “it’s a perfect blend of savory cuisines that are not overpowered with ingredients that take away or camouflage the tastes of your plate.”
And savory they are, from mouthwatering empanadas stuffed with cheese and ground beef to meat gorged emparedados (sandwiches) overflowing with tasty treats, Buen Provecho definitely delivers. Elmer grew up in a family of cooks, and after realizing his passion was not as a software consultant, he went back to Puerto Rico to work with his family on a food truck. Today he cranks out what can best be described as food from his heart that he has grown up with his whole life; food like papas rellenas (fried potato balls stuffed with seasoned ground beef)!
I think we have tried almost everything on the menu, and of the fried options, the empanadas don’t get much better. They’re crispy fried and don’t have a heavy dough that most do; the meat and cheese in the middle form a perfect marriage and the amount of grease is just right!
The last fried item we tried was also the sweetest and most unusual. The corn fritters (sorullos) were really light and had an incredible sweetness that worked really well with the fried dough and cheese; a few of these would be great as a dessert!
Of course they also have non-fried items like the aforementioned emparedados and their weekly specials that have included beef shish kabob with mojito glaze and marinated chicken with red beans, rice, and tostones. If there is a special available, you need to try it, as they are very flavorful and very filling; if you’re eating for one do not get a large…
Finally, it was time for the emparedados…crispy, yet soft bread (Panini like) stuffed with roasted meats, veggies and cheese…it doesn’t get much better. We started with the Bistec encebollado (Caramelized Onion Steak) that was super juicy and full of deep flavors; it’s one of those sandwiches that make you close your eyes and shake your head slowly back and forth, paying homage to greatness after each bite.
Of all the sandwiches, two reign supreme among all others; the tripleta (triple threat) with ham, pork and steak, and the Tiralo al Medio “The Works” with ham, pork, steak and chicken…you must try at least one of these. Elmer prefers the Tiralo, and describes his choice like this, “while the “Tripleta” is a home run, the “Tiralo Al Medio” is a grand slam!
Buen Provecho also has a nice selection of tropical juices (including guava) and desserts, like flan, budin and tres leches. There are possible plans for a brick and mortar location in the future and even another truck, but until then you can find them on twitter @buenprovechotrk or on their website: http://www.buenprovechotruck.com/. Buen Provecho is definitely separating themselves from other trucks with high quality food, great service and unique offerings; I can’t wait to see what they do next!