Thursday, October 25, 2012 / 10:12 AM
Let us now praise the food trucks of St. Louis. Our diversity is our strength. We have trucks that specialize in gyros, grilled cheese, Filipino food, hot dogs, soul food, cupcakes, Mexican, Italian “Hill” food, sushi, Korean, sausages, crepes, ice cream, falafel, meatballs, vegetables, banh mi sandwiches, Miami cuisine, New Orleans cuisine, burgers, locally sourced food, shaved ice, and others we hear about and add to this continually, frequently evolving guide.
Time to add one more. One type of cuisine heretofore unrepresented on the streets of the Lou: deli food.
Jay Silverman’s new Deli On a Roll truck fills the gap with sliced-to-order Reubens, potato latkes, “Jewish burgers,” hot salami sandwiches, and more.
Silverman, the former owner of Pumpernickles Deli in Creve Coeur (at right, with "daughter I never had" Rachel Carpenter), told us a few months back he wasn’t done corning beef just yet. His new delicatessen-inspired food truck ventures into new territory: he caters to the needs of auto-dealership employees who need to eat quickly and get back to work. He’s only been on the streets a week, and still figuring out where he’ll be parking, he said, but he plans to hit some of the usual food-truck stops (busy intersections, County business parks, etc.) in addition to the car dealerships.
The menu features deli fare like sandwiches made with corned beef, pastrami, turkey, ham, brisket, salami, and tuna salad. You can mix and match, and add the usual toppings (lettuce, tomato, mustard, etc.), with everything fresh and sliced to order.
Their variant on the Philly (above left) is made with brisket meat and Swiss cheese. The “Deli on a Roll” special (above right) is the truck’s gazinta (overstuffed) namesake, made with corned beef, turkey, brisket, pastrami, house-made sweet cole slaw, and house-made Thousand Island dressing on a hoagie.The distinctive soft tzitzel rye used for the Reubens (below left) and other sandwiches was developed for Pumpernickles and other local delis at Hazelwood’s Theodoro Baking, said Silverman.
The “Jewish Burger” (above right) is a half-pounder grilled and then braised in brisket gravy and onions, he explained. A quarter-pound hot dog is Kosher. Potato latkes (below left) and other new items have been popping up on the menu.
Breakfast includes omelets, eggs-your-way, pancakes, French toast, the requisite egg/cheese/meat sandwich, bagels and lox, and “mishagos” (Yiddish for insanity, or the condition of being mixed-up), which is what they’re calling corned-beef hash. Both breakfast and lunch will be served at any time the truck is open.
Desserts include a mini-version of the classic St. Louis-Jewish “UFO,” an upside-down cupcake enrobed in thick icing.
Here’s hoping we don’t have to shlep to a far-flung car dealership to track down Deli on a Roll. This truck fills a new niche, and should be a success just about anywhere.
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