The Bistro Truck
Location varies; check twitter.com/BistroTruck for latest updates; bistrotruck.com
Short Order: A solid lamb burger that could please a beef eater
Want Fries with That? Yes, these fresh cut spuds are great, especially from a truck
Price: Grass Fed Lamb Burger w/fries, $10
Last week, I tried what is perhaps the best lamb burger in the city: April Bloomfield's delicious rendition at The Breslin. So lamby it says "baaa," this burger is just about perfect. So, when I decided upon the Bistro Truck as my next destination, I knew I would have to reduce my lamb burger expectations back into the realm of mere mortals.
Lucky for me, the Bistro Truck's Lamb Burger ($10 w/ fries) wasn't half bad. The burger starts with a 1/3-pound patty of well-seasoned, 18 percent fat grass fed lamb from a local upstate farm, which is grilled to order. In terms of texture, the patty seemed somewhat finely ground and a bit more tightly packed than I would have liked. Moreover, though its crust isn't anywhere close to that of a ShackBurger, the charring is noticeable to both the eye and the taste buds. Apparently the Bistro Truck will cook your burger to order, but don't expect on-point doneness. Asking for medium rare, I received a dark medium. The patty, however, was still flavorful and pretty moist.
Most apparent about the burger, however, is its distinct lack of lambiness. Perhaps the meat wasn't rare enough, or maybe it was just the blend, but this burger tasted only faintly of lamb and after a bit of chewing or a bite of plain patty. This is good news for people who dislike lamb's funkiness, but bad news for those looking for Breslin-lite. For me, I was neither saddened nor relieved.
The burger's other elements are fine, if not outstanding. The bun, called a brioche but a little closer to a seeded challah, was a good choice, as it was neither too bready nor too weak. In terms of toppings, the Bistro grillmasters keep it simple. A bit of salad greens and pale tomato immediately get lost in a sea of spicy mayo (like Shack Sauce with more kick) and melted white cheddar. Ultimately, you end up tasting the mayo more than anything else, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The mayo also helps out the fresh cut Belgian-style fries ($3.50). Close to Five Guys spuds in texture, thickness and doneness, these guys are perfectly satisfying on their own—crispy, crunchy and heavily seasoned with salt. From a restaurant, these would be fine french fries. From a food truck, they're pretty remarkable.
Bistro Truck's lamb burger will definitely not blow your mind, either by excellence or failure. Rather, it's a solid burger that will likely please both lamb burger and hamburger fans alike. Furthermore, the burger and fries combo for $10 is a pretty nice deal, considering the portions and quality of the ingredients. Next week, we return to beef!