Rep. Jim Langevin took to the streets Wednesday to become better acquainted with the mobile hospitality scene back home.
Brought my appetite to @KennedyPlazaPVD to check out some of the great food trucks parked here for lunch on weekdays #RIFoodWeek — Jim Langevin (@jimlangevin) September 24, 2014
Three made-to-order meals later — or what self-loathing comedian Louis CK might refer to as a “bang-bang-bang ” — the Rhode Island Democrat had had his fill. But he’s far from done digging into the Ocean State’s unique charms.
“Tourism and hospitality are central to the overall Rhode Island economy, and our food-related businesses - from five-star restaurants to bountiful farmlands and, of course, food trucks - play a major role in strengthening and further developing our state’s reputation as a world-class destination,” Langevin, who began his statewide dining trek this past winter, said via email. “I learned so much during my RI Food Week, and this week has really given me the chance to highlight some of the other excellent food businesses in our state.”
During this stop at Greater Kennedy Plaza in Providence, Langevin got up close and personal with a handful of rolling lunch wagons.
Per his office, Langevin huddled with several food truck operators but only sampled select fare from three: Portu-Galo (Patatas Bravas), Rocket Fine Street Food (Parisienne burger) and Noble Knots (tater tots). For those keeping score at home, that’s two servings of fried spuds and a caramelized onion-covered beef bomb.
A solid start, sir.
But here’s how this hired mouth would have played it:
- Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ: Confidence is high fiery pork kimchee and pepper paste-covered chicken Gochujang sliders — in sweet Portuguese buns, no less — would be my jam.
- Noble Knots: Gotta go chicken confit sammie (you had me at smoked gouda). And mayhaps a double order of tater tots — smothered in the mushroom hash (booyah!).
- Ooh Mommi Foods: What has two thumbs and likes the sound of crispy oyster mushroom po’boys and chocolate sea salt treats? (This guy!)
- Poco Loco Tacos: I suspect I could get down with some avocado fritters and a chorizadilla.
- Portu Galo: Um Prego no Pao sanduíche e cachorro-quente, por favor!
- Rocket Fine Street Food: One Man in the Moon burger, please. (Though I’d add Dijon mustard into the mix.) And you best believe I’d polish it all off with a rhubarb mint pop.
All that matters, however, is that Langevin ultimately left fully satisfied. “It’s incredible what these chefs accomplish in such a small space, and in a high-pressure environment with challenging time constraints,” he said. “Everything I tried today was absolutely delicious and really unique. ”
He’s projected to keep at the food scouting this week and next.
And, who knows, if this whole congressman thing doesn’t work out, Langevin may, one day, get into curbside hustling.
“If I were to ever start my own food truck … I would use ingredients caught right off of Rhode Island’s coast, and my favorite food, lobster salad sandwiches, would be at the top of the menu,” he said, citing Red Hook Lobster Truck as a favorite when he’s here in D.C.
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