Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mama Kim's Korean Barbecue Food Truck

Kaia and I were up in Providence today around lunch time and we decided to swing by Mama Kim's Korean Barbecue Food Truck.  I had been wanting to try their offerings for a long while now but their schedule doesn't usually fit in with our schedule.  They serve lunch from 11-2, when I am still thinking about breakfast and dinner from 5-8 and 8o'clock is when I am beginning to just think about dinner.  But today was perfect.  It was 12:45, we were just getting out of an appointment and, according to GPS, we were 4 minutes away from their normal lunch location, Kennedy Plaza.
This place has a cult following in Providence so I was not surprised to see the line of 20 or so at the window.  The three other trucks, parked in a secession next to Mama Kim's, had no lines and no customers in the 15 minutes that I was there. The menu is not a large one, 5 sliders(that you could also order in wrap form), the same five sliders but served as a rice bowl instead of the bun and their daily special, which today was beef dumplings.
I am the adventurous type and always afraid of not ordering the best thing on the menu,so I ordered 1 of each slider, with the exception of the Vegan slider, as I am a HUGE meat loving carnivore, 1 bulgogi ricebowl and one order of dumplings.  There are 3 little tables set up outside of the truck but knowing that Matt would appreciate a yummy lunch, I took our order to go.
Sitting down to eat we took alternating bites between the sliders.  The Beef Bulgogi slider consists of shaved sirloin, sautéed onions, mushrooms in a "house marinade" with a wasabi-aioli sauce.  Yummy.  The wasabi aioli made this one, imo. We really didn't get a strong mushroom flavor from the sandwich but it was not missed.  They would not share all of the secrets of the house marinade but they did reveal that the star of it  is ground up Korean pear. The Beef Galbi is boneless short ribs in house marinade with ground Korean pear-sesame oil sauce.  The short ribs were sliced and tender.  Next up the Chicken Gochujang.  Chicken thigh in house marinade, grilled in gochujang which is a house Korean red pepper paste.  This was the only one that had a little heat to it.  I like heat which is why this was probably my second favorite slider.  The absolute best slider, which Matt and I agree wholeheartedly on was the Pork Kimchi. Pork belly and loin in the house marinade, grilled with fresh house kimchi.  This one took me straight to heaven. The kimchi on top of the flavorful, slightly spicy pork sandwiched between the Portuguese sweet bread, to die for. Yes, all of the sandwiches are served on soft Portuguese sweet bread slider rolls. Not traditional, but insanely delicious.

For a side we went with  the beef dumplings served with a soy sauce based condiment, Matt kept calling them gyoza, they were similar to other gyoza we've had, if that helps you envision the flavor and texture. We ate about half an hour after ordering so they weren't as crispy as they would've been otherwise, but a nice little side dish for 6 bucks.  Good size order too.

The Bulgogi rice bowl is being saved for lunch tomorrow so for $25 I got 3 lunches out of it. 

Overall a fantastic meal for a great price.  I'm already thinking of excuses to head up to Providence for round 2.

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