By Matthew DeRobertis | Citizens Times
What do you make of an eatery that declares its cuisine as “delicious raunchy fusion” or “locally sourced Gramamma style cuisine, with a delicious raunchy flare”?
I didn’t know what to expect, and I also don’t know of any “Gramamma” who wouldn’t smack you upside your head for calling her food raunchy. But I will admit to admiring this food truck’s name: Deli Llammma (did you catch the “mmm?”).
It took a few tries to catch up to this truck, but once I did, I found a fusion menu with Tex-Mex items like a steak burrito with kimchi and Seoul sauce. There were Mexican and Asian flavors in other dishes. Then the menu jumped to the Middle East with hummus and veggies, then to Italy with cheese ravioli. So, yeah, fusion works to describe this menu.
Cuba, or Florida if you’d prefer, was also represented in the “Beard Wrecker,” Deli Llammma’s take on the Cuban sandwich. It wasn’t pressed, nor served on Cuban bread, but instead used a nicely toasted miniature baguette. It came stuffed with smoked pork and thick slices of ham, the traditional sliced pickles and not-so-traditional mustard slaw.
Finally, melded right into the mustard-heavy slaw were thin slices of pickled red onions packing some heat. Attempting to keep the sandwich all together were slices of Swiss cheese that needed more melting. Frankly, pressing this bad boy might be a good idea because it’s pretty thick. This sandwich isn’t dainty. It may not be traditional, and Florida residents may stick their nose up at it, but the Llama don’t care, and you shouldn’t either. This is a good sandwich.
On sides and smaller bites
There are few sides including “Frizzle Fries,” served with bacon, melted shredded cheddar and sliced green onions, all finished with Himalayan salt, and no lack of it. The fries arrived on the paler side of pale golden. They were fine, but definitely lacked frizzle and didn’t even approach raunchy.
“Cabbage Patch Kids” were cleverly named Brussels sprouts served in a small paper tray and fried until dark and extremely crisp. I happen to think dark is the perfect shade for Brussels. Thin slices of toasted garlic and crispy pieces of bacon were mixed in, all tossed together with a bulgogi sauce with notes of ginger, sesame and soy. Between the fries and Brussels, it’s Cabbage Patch all the way.
But if you were to just order one thing at Deli Llammma, it should be the taco pies. Essentially empanadas, you’ll find two to an order. Shredded cheddar jack came heftily mounded on top, a delicious, creamy avocado hot sauce drizzled over both. The cheese wasn’t melted and piled on the outside, so if you want cheese in your bite you’ll have to eat these empanadas with a fork, which can prove difficult with beer in hand. The negatives ends there.
The pair of crisp empanadas were filled with peppers, onions, tomatoes and plenty of ground beef, mild on heat but big on flavor with spices like cumin and chili powder. With the creamy hot sauce, this was a notably well done plate.
I still contend that raunchy might not be the best term to describe your food, even if a couple of dishes (taco pies and Beard Wrecker) got a little down and dirty. But however you label it, you’ll find something good to sample from this mobile fusion truck.
IF YOU GO
The restaurant: Deli Llammma, 828-713-4060, delillammma.com, See website for weekly locations.
Hours: Days and hours vary, see website for weekly hours
What to try: The Beard Wrecker and the taco pies were the two favorites of the trip and you can’t go wrong either way. Whichever wins the war, make sure to pair it with an order of Cabbage Patch Kids.
Beverage notes: See hosting venue.
The bottom line: Food trucks often have a theme such as tacos, grilled cheese or burgers. Deli Llammma’s theme is all of the above. Varied items find flavors from Tex-Mex, Asia and beyond. Not all lived up to the raunchy fusion claim, but only one dish disappointed and the rest are easily re-orderable which aren’t bad odds at all.