As a youngster, I spent days traveling to the mainland to visit relatives in the Bronx and northwards. Coming from Long Island, these trips could be tiresome but my dad was quick with a story, music by the Beach Boys, or best of all a stop at Jerry’s hot dog truck in Pelham Bay in the Bronx.
At Jerry’s, my dad’s order was always the same: three dogs with sauerkraut, onions and mustard while my order was two dogs with sauerkraut and one with onions; both of us ordered a bottle of Yoo-hoo. As I grew older and my palate grew stronger, my order became the same as my Dad’s. I remember the perfect snap of the first bite of the Sabrett, followed by the full flavor of the red onions. My dad tried to replicate Jerry’s onions. His attempts were well meant, but he never got the balance of spice and sweetness just right.
As the years went by, Jerry’s disappeared, but my cravings for food truck cuisine were satisfied on trips to the Hamptons with a stop at Grace’s Hot Dogs in Manorville. Grace’s hot dogs were no joke; this simple food truck turned into a thriving small storefront visited by locals, tourists and celebrities in search of this fine hot dog until it closed in 2002.
Sadly, with Grace’s gone for many years and laws restricting food trucks in some Long Island towns, it wasn’t until last year that I found satisfaction in food truck cuisine once again by discovering Rollin’ Cubans. They have the best Cubano sandwich I have tasted outside Florida. This truck, which posts its daily location online via Facebook, serves delicious homemade Cuban food. Its straightforward menu is an utter delight and if you are in the town of Hempstead, I think you would be doing yourself a disservice by not trying to track this truck down.
¡Viva la food truck!
And save the date: Edible’s annual Great Food Truck Derby is scheduled for August 8.