Saturday, December 17, 2011

Truck Stop

As I have mentioned previously on CCB, eating lunch was quite the ritual at my former place of employment. Not only did my colleagues take great care in choosing what type of comida in which to indulge, we were also perpetually mobile so the world (the Bay Area anyway) was literally our oyster. I have many fond memories of those days and often rue the culinary confines of my current appointment. All is not totally lost however, for I still get the freedom from time to time to drive an oversized truck through the endless calles of even more oversized ciudad. I took the advice of a food-minded coworker and coasted over to Van Nuys to dine at his favorito truck stop, the legendary Don Adrian.
The name of the game here is cemitas poblanas; the illustrious Mexican sandwich that hails from the markets and comida stands of 19th century Puebla. When it comes to variety Don Adrian's got it covered: head cheese, millanesas (breaded puerco, beef, or chicken), fried perch fillets, cattle leg cured in vinegar, lamb, jamon, and salmon to name a few. I opened the stakes with a taco arabe (another Puebla creation influenced by Mid-East immigrants) which is a close cousin of the always scrumptious taco al pastor.
This shawarma style plug is filled with piping hot shaved pork and grilled onions wrapped in a flour tortilla served with a thick chipotle sauce. Although I was sad to see it go (could have happily downed two more), my cemita was patiently waiting in the wings.
I ultimately opted for the pollo adobado: marinated grilled chicken, aguacate, panela cheese, onion, jalapenos, cilantro, and quesillo (string cheese) captured in a warm sesame seed egg roll. Doused with a squeeze of lime, this monster is as good as it looks and just outright explodes with flavor. Even the bread was perfecto (not the dry and hard cemita roll at all), slightly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside yet durable enough to keep things standing tall. I actually look forward to future work expeditions to the Valley now that I know where Don Adrian lives. So keep on the lookout Don, we'll be comin' in hot!

For all the art truckers out there, remember: don't break the art, don't wreck the truck, and most of all enjoy your lunch.

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