The La Cense Beef Burger Truck started serving up their grass-fed beef burgers today in Midtown, so Robyn and I ventured into the land of business suits to grab a bite at the latest food truck to hit the streets. Getting there just a little before noon and the lunch rush hour, there were only five people on line. By the time we left, around 12:30 p.m., the line was about forty deep and growing longer by the second. As Robyn was taking photos of the truck, she was approached by a P.R. woman who jumped the line and ordered burgers for us. Unfortunately, the burgers still took about ten minutes to get so cutting the line didn't really save us much time.
Chalk it up to the inefficient system inside the truck. There are two guys inside—one cooking the burgers, one handling the money and putting together the orders. With frequent glove changes and rookie mistakes like not having the already prepared food items wrapped in foil beforehand, service was understandably slow. Food truck aficionado Zach Brooks of Midtown Lunch has some suggestions on how they could improve their service.
The six ounce burgers are served medium, but basically end up medium well. This would have been a tragedy if it hadn't been for the saving grace of the soft and sweet grilled onions (which come with every order) and the gooey cheese ($0.50). Sneaking a bite of the patty minus the cheese and onions, it was kind of dry. If the truck's purpose is to highlight the boutique La Cense beef brand, it fails with its overcooked patty. Even a blend designed by renown chef and pit master Adam Perry Lang consisting of trimmings from loin, sirloin, chuck, and round can't save a slightly dry burger. However, the nice soft bun was a veritable sesame seed explosion and perfectly encased the burger. Overall, this burger was just fine, but given the hype I expected more. Granted, it is only their first day, so it'll probably improve in the days to come.
The menu offers 100% Black Angus Steakburgers ($7), American cheese ($0.50), pickles ($0.50), Kettle brand chips ($1), and bottled water ($1). If you only order a cheeseburger, it'll run you $7.50, which seems kind of steep for a burger from a truck that doesn't include fries or chips. Although the truck was parked at 48th Street and Park Avenue, it will be roaming around Midtown, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to3 p.m. Of course, they'll be tweeting their locations. Plus, if it's raining, La Cense offers free "Rainy Day Delivery" with a minimum $10 order.
<!-- Sequel After our first burger, we spied the Steak Truck a mere block away on 47th Street and Park Avenue. Another burger? Why not? A cheeseburger is a mere $4 and they offer fries as well. After about three minutes, we had our lunch, part two. As sequels go, this one sucked. The patty had been pre-seared, leaving us with an even drier patty than La Cense's and parts of the bun were burned after toasting on the grill. Even for $4, I would never buy this again. With a carbon taste in our mouths, Robyn and I left Park Avenue heartbroken by two dry, overpriced burgers in a row.-->