Tag Archive for Jose Andres

Pepe Food Truck

I have to hand it to José Andrés and his Pepe food truck for making one hell of a sandwich even though it felt wrong to pay $14 for a food truck sandwich.

I’m speaking of the Pepito de Ternera, made with seared beef tenderloin, sweet caramelized onions, piquillo pepper confit and blue cheese. All these simple but quality ingredients are piled into a ficelle, which is a long thin baguette provided by Panorama bakery in Alexandria.

The bread is just as important as the filling in terms of making the sandwich so delectable – it’s crusty on the outside, spongy on the inside, and almost the same width as the pieces of seared tenderloin within it.

All in all, the sandwich gets high marks for its bread-to-filling ratio and contrast of textures. It also hit the right salty-sweet balance – the blue cheese is very instrumental in this regard. I warn you that the sandwich is a bit greasy. In the 10 minutes it took me to walk back to my office and inhale my sandwich in privacy, I narrowly averted decorating my business suit in oil dripping through the wax paper. I will also suggest you eat the sandwich soon after purchasing as it tends to cool down rather quickly.

Next time, I might give in and order the Iberico, which seems to be the priciest, single item ($20) available from any DC food truck due to its main ingredient — Iberico ham, which commands a hefty price on its own.

Restaurant Review: America Eats Tavern – Best for a cocktail, some learning, and supporting the National Archives

americaeats-logo-small
I’m a fan of Jaleo and Zaytinya and of José Andrés generally.  So it hurts a little to say this, but I don’t know what to make of America Eats Tavern, the newest José Andrés restaurant to join Penn Andrés Quarter.  Wait, I take that back.  I think America Eats is a good way to support the National Archives and learn a little about our country’s culinary history while enjoying a cocktail.  I guess my dilemma is that America Eats seems to pale in comparison to Andrés’ other restaurants.  The food is just “okay,” relatively speaking.  One of Andrés’ many skills is his ability to create a menu with a variety of small plates that can be mixed and matched easily to form a complete meal.  You’ll understand, then, why I was surprised to find myself asking how am I supposed to make a meal out of these dishes?  Now, I know that America Eats is not a tapas-style restaurant.  Yet, it seems to be having some sort of identity crisis, hovering somewhere between a tapas-style restaurant and the rest, but missing key components of each.   I’ll explain more.  Keep reading!