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Let’s start you off with a little riddle: you are placed in the middle between two tables. On your left, a succulent chicken leg, perfectly fried crispy skin, juicy thigh and drum dark meat. On your right, a tender pork chop, thick, chewy, just the right amount of salt that gets your mouth gushing. The question .. which way do you go?
The correct answer: the NYC Craving’s truck is, which brings the chicken and pork as duo to street eaters in the glorious $7 steal: PORKEN!
Sure, I may be a mainlander-Chinese by ethnicity, but I have to give credit to those Taiwanese genius heathens at the Cravings truck: they can fry a damn good lunch platter. (said tongue in cheek, kthnx) In a street vendor scene dominated by mobile halal, hot dogs, and hamburgers, when I came across a truck that brought Asian cuisine into the mix, I had to keep it on a fairly routine rotation. It was a few months ago that NYC Cravings offered both chicken and pork together, previously only featuring the items solo. Since announcing the former secret off menu item via Twitter, it’s become a permanent fixture at the truck’s fryers for their customers in the know (or happens to overhear someone ordering it).
Dollar for dollar, this has to be the best bang for you buck meal on the street. For the quality of food you get, the portion size simply cannot be beat. Again, the truck serves up the two items as individual platters, which in of itself is a greatly satisfying meal. Together, the porken combo serves up two meaty proteins: a thick cut pork chop, alongside a huge chicken leg.
NYC Cravings demonstrates masterful skill of frying. I’ve bought lunch from them nearly everytime they happen to park near my office, and I have yet to cut into anything less than a juicy mouthful of chicken or pork. The chicken is perfectly seasoned, has a crunchy skin and chewy center. While it may seem simple for the chicken to come out this way, the proof is within the pork chop.
Initially, I was skeptical of their ability to thoroughly cook the pork without comprosing the inside. After the first bite, those worries went away. The chop had a slight toughness that’s come to be expected, but had an incredibly juicy finish to it.
And finally, what good Chinese boy would I be without paying tribute to the backbone of any great tasting dish: rice. Soft, fluffy, and super absorbant of the secret pork sauce poured liberally over, I would be able to eat the starch on its own. Pickled cabbage is mixed in together, and the three compliment each other really well. You get the bitterness of the greens, with the saltiness of the pork sauce. Tremendous!