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Apr 18, 2007 06:18 AM

C.F. Luncheon Wagon truck at MIT

Anyone know the backstory on this particular MIT food truck? It's usually parked outside 400 Main Street, with either the Indochine (sp?) or Lunch Box truck as its neighbor. I've gotten lunch from it twice and had fairly divergent exeperiences: The first time, everything was pretty good to great. The second, a Friday afternoon around 1:15, they were out of almost everything, which was a cause of some concern: Were they out of everything because they make everything fresh and had run out (we were there on the late side)? Or were they out of everything because...they'd made everything earlier in the week and had not restocked.

I should stress that even after that more-negative experience, I'm inclined to go back: Their stuff IS tasty, and largely authentic (as far as I can tell, anyway).

I'd love any scoop/insights/experiences anyone has to share...

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  1. Is this the truck with the green lettering on it (I don't pay attention to the names)? If so, I found their food to be pretty boring to bad, even by lunch truck standards. I tried it twice. The first time I got ma po tofu on rice, and the only thing in my dish were a few cubes of tofu and an odd mixture of cabbage and other veggies. No meat, and not remotely spicey. I think the ground pepper was supposed to add the heat that is integral to the dish. I thought maybe it was my high expectations for them to do a Sichuan dish right, so I went for a plain old chicken leg and rice dish, but as you experienced, they were out of it, and I had to opt for the soy sauce chicken leg instead. Again bland and boring, and plain scary looking when I opened the box.

    Taste-wise, none of the dishes were bad per se, but just woefully not even close to what it should be. Those two dishes were not authentic by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe also being spoiled by the rice-to-go lunches I get in Chinatown and elsewhere, I was sad to see that they skimp on rice (which is usually what they overload on to skimp on meat and the better stuff). Haven't been even tempted to try this truck again.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kobuta

      I think the truck I'm referring to is the one parked NEXT to the one with green lettering. (It's not in the main food truck parking lot -- it's part of the two truck splinter faction outside 400 Main.) "C.F. Luncheon Wagon" is printed in small letters near the front; you hardly notice it, and at first I didn't think the truck had a name. Anyway...the food at C.F. Luncheon Wagon also suffered somewhat from a shortage of spice, but it wasn't (at least in my experience) as off-putting as what you're describing. Hmmm...maybe I need to go back just to get a better description for this board...

    2. the dishes served on food trucks are fine, maybe depends on how they cook it. But the idea of food trucks is practically nice that you won't have to go to a fast food chain or restaurant to do all that troubles. Also it has used the truck acessories- -and parts to make the truck seemingly a nice place to dine in.

      2 Replies
      1. re: venum

        I lunched nearly every day at food trucks by Penn when I was there, so I don't have any concerns about food trucks, but the ones by MIT I find very lacking in comparison. The only food truck I find consistently tasty and good is the Mexican truck that sells great burritos by the Stata building. Goosebeary's is also decent if I need to dine cheaply on Asian food. The CF truck though has just been disapppointing.

        1. re: kobuta

          is the yellow food truck which parks in front of the Italian restaurant on Main still there? That one used to be quite decent and authentic although i haven't been for a long time.