Chicago, IL: Food Truck of the Week – The Jibarito Stop

By Sarah Freeman  |  Zagat.com

IL-Chicago-Jibarito_Stop_636_400_85_s_c1

This is just getting ridiculous. Not only have there been noticeably fewer trucks at 600 W. Chicago, but this week someone up and stole not one but both signs marking the designated food truck parking spots. So we, like many of the trucks, decided to move on to a less troublesome food-truck gathering place. This is where we found The Jibarito Stop, a Peruto Rican truck that launched two years ago.

Oddly enough, there were not actual jibaritos at the jibaritos truck. When the truck first launched, is did serve the popular Puerto Rican sandwich, but food tuck regulations prevented them from preparing it onboard and therefore the sandwiches didn’t hold up well. Instead the truck serves lunch boxes with half meat and half seasoned rice, accompanied a side of sweet plantains (which they ran out of on our visit, so we received an empanada instead).

Options for proteins range from steak to chicken and pork. The bistec encebollado we ordered was flavorful with strips of peppers and onions but had a gritty texture and was swimming in a pool of meat juices. It almost resembled fajita filling, but without a tortilla a bread to soak up the juices, it felt incomplete. The rice too was just fine; equally flavorful but a bit on the mushy side. We didn’t finish either.

The empanada, however, was the star.. Tender and flaky with a hearty crust, the dough was thick enough to contain the filling of black beans and a rainbow of peppers. The palm-sized snack is served with two sauces: one fiery hot and the other sweet and creamy. If we go back, we’ll make a whole meal out of these — we can’t wait to try the chicken, beef and sweet plantain flavors.

http://www.zagat.com/b/chicago/food-truck-of-the-week-the-jibarito-stop