It has just been a food week here on Over Yonderlust and I’m glad that you’ve come along for the ride. When I get hungry, things get a little weird ‘round these parts as I’m screaming “LETS GET SOME FOOD MOFO!” while we’re hauling ass down the road and simultaneously trying to figure out what food truck is next on our list but trying to accomplish this before I go into a hypoglycemic lack-of-food zombie state where I drool and Shaun has to make decisions (*breathe*). It is how we stumbled upon Melvin’s Deli Comfort and I couldn’t have been more grateful to its north-ish location.
Situated in the North Loop area of 53rd and Duval, this little trailer packs a whoppin’. Owners and operators Melinda and Kevin (“Melvin” – how very sappy of you guys!) decided to bring their A-game to Austin with home-cured deli meats and confit. If there is anything lacking in the food world of ATX, it is definitely our lack of badass cured meat sandwiches. We’ve been waiting for you.
The one pickle we always seem to find ourselves in is that we always arrive too late to the party. Every freaking food truck we go to is always OUT OF SOMETHING. Shaun had been dying for a Reuben for a long while now and he apparently was not alone in that craving. Poor guy. Good for them, bad for us. I guess I should try to eat meals earlier or something. I start to feel rather geriatric when that happens though.
This is what we ordered:
Hot Italian Beef: Roast beef warmed in jus, green peppers, provolone, spicy pepper giardiniera, on sub roll, with jus
Pork Confit Sandwich: Seared Pork Belly Confit w/ Brie and mustard greens in vinaigrette
Side of homemade potato chips
Beer: Because it was their 1 year anniversary and we drank Lone Star in the freezing cold because – you know – it was FREE BEER. (Also, a huge congratulations to these guys. A year is HUGE!)
Just a side note that this is NOT fast food and I would consider these guys to be more in line with the slow food movement. Each sandwich is made with love – which can be seen by the fact that they cure the meat themselves. It can take a while to get your food. Be patient. I promise it is worth it.
Shaun ordered the Hot Italian beef at the suggestion of Kevin (who gets tired of eating cured meat day after day). The bread was soft and crunchy with a delightfully soft inside. I think I even looked at it in surprise and was like, “where the hell did they get that thing?!” Nothing surprised me more to find out it was a Bolillo from Fiesta (score one for MEXICANS! WOOP WOOP!). The flavors of the sandwich as a whole were perfectly in line. Crunchy peppers with just enough spice and moist and tender roast beef await you with this sandwich.
Shaun note: The sandwich is fantastic, even without the jus. In fact, if you enjoy the texture of crunchy grilled bread, skip the jus or pour it over the meat instead of dipping.
I went with the pork belly confit because I asked Kevin for some “porky goodness”. Pork belly is always a winner in my book.
For those of you needing to catch up on the confit train:
Cooked in its own rendered fat and lard, pork confit is seasoned pork that is slow cooked. When the cooking process is complete, the pork is extremely tender, as it has been submerged in its own renderings for the entire cooking process. Before the pork confit is served or used in any of a number of recipes, it is allowed to cool without being removed from the renderings. Once the pork confit is cooled, it is stored in the fat in which it was cooked. – Wisegeek.com
Since my household has been participating in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), I’ve become slightly obsessed with mustard greens. Their house mustard vinaigrette covered mustard greens provided the perfect bite to the smooth, fatty, and delicious pork belly confit. Albeit a bit greasy (I mean, how is it not when it is cooked in its own lard?), I sat around in porky heaven. The bread was a fab pick and the brie really rounded out the sandwich to be a scrumptious combination of flavors.
Score: 4.7 out of 5
Cost: $20.70 (but totally worth every penny)
Ordered: 2 sandwiches and chips
Favorite thing: Can’t choose.
Least favorite thing: Out of the big sellers on their menu.
Type of food: Gourmet/Cured Sandwiches
The truck we visited can be found here: