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Jul 21, 2008 12:19 PM

The dearth of food carts and trucks in Boston

After eating burritos from the cart in Back bay station (pretty decent, I should add), my co-workers and I were discussing Boston's lack of food carts and trucks from which to lunch.

Around here, there are 3 in Back bay station (no more arepas though) and a hot dog guy and an ice guy in Copley. That's it.

Not that Boston has to compare itself to NYC, but you could eat lunch a different cart every day for 20 years there. And be quite happy.

Why no carts here?

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  1. I think there are a bunch of carts around MIT and of course, Speed's, Franks, Moe's and one other hot dog cart I'm blanking on.

    What I want is a taco truck, like this ....

    10 Replies
    1. re: yumyum

      My picture wont post. So instead just imagine an old-school camper van painted with a goat's head and signage that says "el cabrito reyes" selling tacos for $1.50

      And then imagine me running behind waving my three bucks.

      1. re: yumyum

        there is one like that in the nashua area. Parks on a side street near a playground. Homemade tortillas, tacos, etc..

        1. re: hargau

          There is a great feature in the New York times magazine from Sunday with the platonic ideal of a taco truck, as well as some recipes for making carne asada (hint: use really cheap meat) salsa and horchata.

          However it is in California where, no doubt, it operates year-round.

      2. re: yumyum

        The food carts around MIT range from passable to awful. I would not recommend any. I would kill for some good food truck food in Boston.

        1. re: stephaniet

          I find the Mexican food truck passable for a quick filling bite to eat, and it's the most consistent of the bunch. I know Gooseberry's often gets long lines, but of the handful of things I've tried, 2 were edible and most were downright disgusting (threw most of it out). If it weren't for the dearth of good, quick ethnic food in that area, I can't imagine they would get any business. Oh how I wish a decent cart/truck would offer bahn mi in the Kendall area. Simple, easy and delicious.

            1. re: jajjguy

              Hey, don't knock it. I lived on that stuff for 9 years, that was all I could afford! Even nowadays, when back in the hood, I will stop by for some of their Banh Mi sandwich.

          1. re: stephaniet

            Don't forget the new(ish) Clover food truck! It's way beyond passable if you ask me.

            1. re: Jesseve

              Clover is pretty good, but like many veg places, too much of the menu is artificial meat substitute instead of good ol' tasty vegetables.

              1. re: the modern serf

                The last two times I visited Clover, of the 4-5 menu items at lunch, only one was seitan. I chose the falafel and then the eggplant, both tasty and yummy. Why would this be "too much meat substitute"? And even seitan of course is natural - it's not exactly chemically made or processed.

                I think Clover is a fabulous addition to the MIT cart scene. They have veggie dishes, as well as heartier options for those who want more protein in their meal.

        2. There's a burrito cart and a middle eastery-y looking cart I've been meaning to try, both in Downtown Crossing.

          2 Replies
          1. re: SaraASR

            I've tried the burrito cart (Hererra's) and wasn't impressed at all. I got a carnitas burrito w/rice, beans, salsa, guac and hot sauce and paid $7.80. I will say that the guac was better than Anna's, but the meat lacked flavor and the rice was on the oily side. It was worth $4.50 tops. I haven't been back.

            1. re: Chrispy75

              Herrera's started out as a cart..10-15 years ago. I think they've gone downhill since opening the store on Temple St.

              I keep meaning to retry them; but always decide on something else. Burrito Express on Bedford..around the corner from Kingston Station is very good.

              If the Middle Eastery cart you're referring to is Karo's, it's very good

          2. I don't have any hard facts, but I bet the area makes it way too expensive (w/licensing, etc.)

            Was nearly a year ago when I went on the JP Crawl, and we discovered Madego's cart. At that time, he had some really good meat patties (empanadas?) for only $1 each. Fredid said that he's in front of Mozart's Park (I'm not familiar w/JP).


            Does anyone know if he's still there? (mmm - now I'm craving empanadas!)

            1. There's a little pastelito cart that sets up in JP, on Centre St by Hyde Square. Along with various empanadas, I think they also sell flavored ices, and best of all, fresh mangos, carved in hedgehog fashion with chili powder!

              1. There's also often a hot dog cart by the Porter Square T.