While their brick-and-mortar counterparts can afford to have multi-page menus to please a wide variety of palates, mobile food kitchens (that’s food trucks to you, Bob) are somewhat at a disadvantage. By sheer necessity, food trucks must be limited, well-defined, maybe even singularly focused. The advantage the successful ones have is that they can concentrate on creating memorable dishes around their concept using a few common ingredients. Rollin’ On In, for example, lists only four entrees on its menu: three tacos, a quesadilla, three enchiladas and a burrito.
With those four entrees, however, there are an infinite number of “build-your-own” possibilities. Your construction options include four fillings (shredded chicken, shredded pork, ground beef and potato and veggie mix), eleven fresh faves (cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, fresh jalapeño, grilled corn, green onion, red cabbage, cucumber, cilantro and lime) and four sauces (lime and cilantro ranch, salsa, red chile and green chile). Okay, mathematically the number of options isn’t infinite, but with over 300 million possible combinations for each entree, (don’t ask me to show my math) that’s still an impressive number.
Food Network celebrity chef Bobby Flay once lamented, “when people pile seven things onto one burger, it drives me nuts!.” Similarly, seven ingredients on any of the four entrees on the Rollin’ On In menu would be a hodgepodge, a medley, a potpourri. It’s everything including the kitchen sink. It’s ingredients competing against one another for your rapt attention and all that serves to do is confuse your taste buds. Who wants confused taste buds when the goal of any meal should be to tantalize and titillate those taste buds with ingredients that work very well together?
With that realization, we asked for only four ingredients on our quesadilla: shredded chicken, grilled corn, onion and for dipping, the lime with cilantro ranch dressing. The lime with cilantro ranch dressing is genius, a blending of distinct and complementary flavors that coalesce beautifully and provide a nice counterbalance to the fatty, salty, melted cheese. It’s a terrific alternative to salsa which seems to be a de rigueur accompaniment to quesadillas. The shredded chicken isn’t “torn and tattered” as some “shredded” meats tend to be. It’s silky and fine with no extraneous sinew or fat. While the tortilla, served in four slices, may have picked up residual elements from the cooking vessel, it did its job and kept all ingredients in place.
Like the proverbial mad scientist with an array of burbling beakers, it’s easy to get carried away when you’ve got so many ingredients from which to choose. Thankfully my Kim isn’t quite as “experimental” with ingredients as her husband who sometimes gets carried away—often to the detriment of a dish. She opted for a simple is best approach on the three tacos we shared: shredded pork, grilled corn, onions and the terrific lime and cilantro ranch dressing. Hmm, that sounds just like the ingredients from which our quesadilla was constructed. Why mess with a good thing? These tacos were terrific. The corn shells were a perfectly pliable envelope to hold ingredients intact and had a pronounced corn flavor, too.
More than any dish we enjoyed at Rollin’ On In, the enchiladas made us wish we were dining at a brick-and-mortar establishment. That’s because the enchiladas are far too good for a paper plate and plastic utensils. In the spirit of carnivorous diversity, we ordered the enchiladas with beef and potato, grilled corn, onions and cheese (unfortunately fried eggs are not an available option) smothered with red and green chile. While the enchiladas are fork tender, they aren’t plastic fork tender. They are, however, very tasty with pleasantly piquant chile. Large niblets of roasted corn impart sweet notes to the dish while the white onions give the chile a bit more bite. Make sure to order beans and rice on the side.
In July, 2018, Rollin’ On In established a small brick-and-mortar restaurant in the comfy confines of the El Vado complex. It’s one of several Lilliputian food pods ranging in size from 191 square feet to 495 square feet. Being small in size doesn’t mean these food pods can’t produce huge flavors or offer a large (but not infinite) variety of options. Rollin’ On In’s Food Truck is proof of that.
Rollin’ On In Food Truck
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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LATEST VISIT: 6 October 2018
# OF VISITS: 1
BEST BET: Quesadilla, Enchiladas, Tacos