Food Truck: Capachas Y Mas
Sighting: 47th and Park
So, I’ve already hit just about every continent on earth in my food truck travels except for one: South America. So when I saw Cachapas y Mas, a Venezuelan food truck, at 47th and Park I jumped at it, even though the grilled cheese truck next to it was calling my name. The Venezuelan truck was just calling a little louder.
Now I’m completely out of my element with Latin American cuisine. I don’t know my Cachapas from my Arepas. And so I needed a lot of help when I walked up to the window. Even with the lineup of picture, the food all kind of looked the same to me.
The man at the window couldn’t have been nicer, though. I asked him what the most popular entrees were, and he said the Cachapa with shredded beef, as well as the Sweet Plantain Sandwich (Yoyo) with shredded chicken. Feeling adventurous, I ordered one of each. Here’s a hint for the wise–while $15 of lobster rolls may hardly fill you up, $15 of cachapas and yoyos can feed a small army. But I decided to eat one for lunch and save one for dinner later that night.
The wait was a little longer than I’m used to, about 7-10 minutes, but that’s probably because the guy in front of me was evidently ordering for his whole office.
The yoyo came wrapped in foil paper, while the cachapa came in a styrofoam container.
Like many foods of Latin America, the cachapa is a maize-based flatbread inside of which goes delicious filling. In this case, the bread was soft and flat cake that was like cornbread–the flavor was subtly sweet and delicious. Inside was lettuce, tomato, a white sauce, and the shredded beef which reminded me of a cross between a sloppy joe and pulled pork. It was sweet, tender, and chewy. The cachapa itself filled me up quickly.
Later that night I tried the yoyo.
Again, this was excellent. The outer breading was deep fried plantain, and its sweetness balanced very well with the savory shredded chicken and vegetables inside. Perhaps it’s because I let it sit for a few hours, but I found the outside to be a bit too greasy for me; my lesson learned is probably that I should eat it as soon as I get it.
But overall, it was a satisfying and filling culinary journey that saved me both a trip to South America and to Inwood (Cachapas Y Mas’s brick-and-mortar restaurant is located on Dyckman Street at the northern tip of Manhattan). Now that I’ve tried the “Cachapas”, next time I see them roll around I’ll need to try the “Y Mas”.
4 of 5
Price I paid: About $7-8 per sandwich
Line: 7-10 minutes
Tricks for fast ordering: If you haven’t decided by the time you get in the front and see the massive menu staring back at you you’re in for a lot of trouble. Make sure you study the menu beforehand and know what you’re in the mood for in terms of your wrapping (cachapas, arepas, patacons, yoyos, tacuchos, or pepitos) and then your filling (queso, jamon, carne, pollo, etc.) so you can order quickly.
What to order if you’re a newbie: Cachapa with Queso Venezolano–the classic Venezuelan street food.
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