Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kung Fu Hoagies

Tucked away on 38th street between Chestnut and Walnut along a strip of food trucks is a new face on the scene – Kung Fu Hoagies. Once you get far enough up the block you can’t miss the little food cart with bright red umbrella and brilliant green and blue dragon on the side (painted by the owners themselves!). Kung Fu Hoagie specializes in Vietnamese hoagies and noodles that are all vegetarian or vegan. I went for lunch with two friends – one an omnivore, the other a vegan but both huge fans of the truck. I’ll have to say that after my lunch I was converted, too.

The menu is quite limited offering only 4 options (not including specials) but they are all delicious so it doesn’t really matter. We got the Traditional Banh Mi as well as the Veggie Pho. The Banh Mi is basically a Vietnamese hoagie, it comes with lemongrass tofu, vegan chicken or beef (we got the tofu) and is topped with picked carrot and daikon, cucumbers, cilantro, vegan mayo and their special Sriracha sauce. They make the sandwich right in front of you on an impossibly small cart. We had fun chatting with the owners while they lightly grilled the fluffy rolls and filled them with deliciousness. I’m happy to say that the sandwich didn’t disappoint. The tofu was satisfying, even for people who aren’t regular tofu eaters. The acidity of the carrots and daikon went with the sandwich perfectly. At $4 a hoagie it’s a perfect lunch size and a great bargain. We also tried the Veggie Pho, which I think might have been the real star. The broth is vegetarian but tastes so much like traditional pho broth that I was startled. They also include several pieces of vegan beef and chicken “meatballs.” For someone who likes to eat meat I was happily satisfied with the vegan alternatives. Pho coming from a food cart was certainly a pleasant surprise and made for a lunch that I’d be happy to repeat anytime. The bottom line is that everyone – vegans, vegetarians and those of us who eat everything – can find something to like at this food cart (not to mention that it’s both really healthy and affordable). Check them out for Thursday lunch on 38th street and follow their twitter for more location updates!

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