Main Location: Minneapolis
The brainchild of Saffron creators Saeh and Sameh Wadi, this bright red and yellow monster was one of the first on the scene, separating itself from the pack by its highly consistent location next to the Nicollet Lightrail stop. Its popularity easily apparent, the owners have now branched out to create a World Street Kitchen restaurant located between 27th and 28th on Lyndale.
WSK the Truck offers an often-changing menu focusing around blends and combinations of Pan-Asian, North-Asian, Middle-Eastern, and other such flavors and techniques found SouthEast of Russia (oh if only they did vodka shots and borscht…). As such, one will quite often find a few Vegetaria. The one constant is their “YumYum Rice Bowl”, with vegetarian or meat options, short ribs if you’re lucky.
This last summer I finally had the chance to try the bowl (it’s a higher priced item, so it was never my first choice); I have to admit it is very deserving of the name. Flavorful sauces, meat you want to keep shoveling into your mouth, tasty toasty peanuts and crisp garnishes. The rice is cooked RIGHT and flavorful, as it should be. If you have the extra couple dollars to shell out, it’s worth it.
The fact is, I’ve been here a few times, which is pretty remarkable in its own right. This truck acts as a great international cuisine staple. Not to mention, it sells the Mexican-made Coke in a Glass Bottle, made with actual sugar; that’s reason enough to stop by.
As expected from the creators of one of Minneapolis’ highest quality Indian/Middle Eastern restaurants, the quality of the ingredients and food made is fantastic. The Pulled Lamb Panini I got there on my first visit was perfectly crisp, rich, somewhat gooey and flavorful with the spices. As I said, the YumYum Bowl lives up to its name, as did this Hash I had there at one point. Generally speaking, they are worth money spent.
It can vary though. At one point I had a Chicken Curry Bahn Mi, and though it was still good, it wasn’t really at the level of a true good curry nor other Food Truck bahn mi’s, though the bread and toppings were still crisp and fresh.
They offer a few sandwhiches/bahn mi’s now and then which are pretty easy to walk around with. Their main staples, on the other hand, such as the Bowls and Salads, do require sitting down with fork or chopstick. One can still eat while walking if they have two free hands, but really you want to sit down.
Prices are certainly worth the offerings, but they’re still a touch higher. They probably suit the restaurant a bit more than the food truck, but as a restaurant price they’re a really good deal.
With their few years spent in the business, and many more in restaurant, they’ve fine-tuned and got the hang of getting orders out. Food is taken outside the truck, you’re given a slip, and the guys in the top call out the various numbers as they come up. It is not that long of a wait to come up, even with a long line.
The TOE: 8.5
The whole idea of a “World Street Kitchen” really gives one the feeling this is a truck that roams around the nation and delivers good food wherever they settle down (to tell the truth, I sorta thought that myself, didn’t realize they were pure Minnesota until recently). That is a GREAT feeling to have when you visit a Truck, because it’s usually built not by design or name but by the experience and skill of those who run it. That’s the true indication that you’ve just found something special.
When you’re on the street, get a sandwich; they’re usually better priced, easy to eat with one hand, and VERY tasty and satisfying. Get a Coke while you’re at it, they’re pretty darn good.
If you want the Bowl or something else, try and head down to the new restaurant. You can sit down, be a little more open about spending money, and there’s a larger variety offered than on the actual truck, so you might just find something even better.