Have you ever had one of those working lunches you get sad during because you know it’s going to end soon? We’re not necessarily talking about a leisurely 90-minute feast at which your boss announces your promotion in front of your whole department including that one guy you can’t stand. We mean those elusive, satisfying, reasonably priced and, dare we say, even memorable meals you eat at your desk and don’t even realize you’re enjoying until they’re nearly over. Strangely, if you ever try to recreate the magic, it’s like “chasing the dragon,” and you end up with a sandwich of Styrofoam peanuts between two pieces of corrugated cardboard.
We know how rushed, disappointing and dull weekday lunches can be. So, in an effort to tip the odds in your favor and give you the tools to piece together a truly excellent working lunch every day, Cool Things proudly presents Rhode Rations.
For our first installment, we visited what is considered by many to be the best food truck in the state, if not the region, if not the…you get the point. The Hewtin’s mobile food truck features Chez Pascal’s house made sausages, cured meats, delicious condiments and specials including, a new addition to the Hewtin’s menu, barbecue pulled chicken with smoked mozzarella and lettuce.
We’ve tried the excellent bacon-wrapped pork meatloaf sandwich before. Topped with coleslaw and spicy fig compote, this sandwich is beyond ridiculous. When family or friends come to visit from out of town, we want to take them to this restaurant or that restaurant but always, upon hearing they haven’t tried it yet, figure out a way to squeeze in a pilgrimage to the Hewtin’s truck for the meatloaf sandwich. Rich and delicious, that thing is essentially perfect. For whatever reason, however, it seems like more of a cold weather option, perfect for warming your hands on before a visit to the Wintertime Farmers Market at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket.
(Pat’s Pastured Beef Brisket Sandwich w/ spicy tomato compote, cheddar, crispy bacon, and aioli)
A fallback option for peckish pork perfectionists is the pork butt pastrami with sauerkraut and Dijon mustard. For those of us who used to live in New York City, finding good pastrami can be a challenge in Providence. Some people mistakenly think pork butt is the rear end of a pig—we can’t imagine why—but take our word for it, it isn’t. Pork butt is part of the shoulder of a pig and could scarcely be more delicious. Hewtin’s pastrami is an ideal Ocean State substitute for the usual beef variety served at famous New York delis like Katz’s. And—don’t tell anyone on the Lower East Side this—the bread, the sauerkraut and the mustard, too often phoned-in at delis, are vastly superior on the truck.
This time around, we decided to taste the barbecue pulled chicken. The truck’s take on this backyard smoker staple, while perhaps not traditional enough for Tennessee or Texas, still packs a tangy punch. The chicken, complimented by delicious barbecue sauce, is cooked perfectly. The smokiness of the mozzarella and the crunch of the lettuce round out this flawless alternative to the plentiful pork and beef offerings Hewtin’s has become famous for. Even the bun was to die for. Some potato salad and an ice-cold Yacht Club soda on the side made for a pleasantly surprising office lunch. We didn’t leave behind a speck of food and neither will you.
You can taste for yourself on Tuesdays between 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Weybosset Street in downtown Providence in the parking lot adjacent to Gourmet Garage and Thursdays and Fridays between 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on the corner of North Main and Smith Streets. On Saturdays, the truck hits its home turf between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at Chez Pascal right across from the Hope Street Farmers Market.
To find a place to live—you’ll want to plan to move into a house, apartment or loft as near to one of the above locations as humanly possible—feast your eyes on everything The Rhode Guide has to offer at www.therhodeguide.com. Bon appétit!