Food Truck Fridays: Jerry’s Kitchen
Food Truck Fridays is a column by sophomore Will Constan documenting all the tasty mobile treats in Philly.
I am always a sucker for food that is a variation on a traditional dish or cuisine, so when I saw Jerry’s Kitchen sign, which advertised “Creative twists on classic American food for every appetite”, I had to try it. After my first bite, I knew that Jerry’s would become a part of my usual rotation. I sampled two sandwiches, the “Porker” and the “Crispy Chicken”, off Jerry’s lengthy and mouth-watering menu.
When I ordered a sandwich called the “Porker”, I was expecting a very heavy and meaty sandwich. However, this sandwich is surprisingly light given its meat content, which means it is a good choice for an every day lunch. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of meat on this sandwich. There is a remarkably tender and juicy, but not chewy or overly fatty, grilled pork loin at the center of the sandwich. On top of the pork is some perfectly cooked spinach.
Slowly melting on top of the spinach is a piece of warm mozzarella cheese. I give Jerry’s a lot of credit for using fresh mozzarella as well. The fresh cheese definitely improves the flavor of the sandwich over using a drier, supermarket-style mozzarella.
Topping it all is a subtle but flavorful garlic aioli, which is definitely the highlight of the sandwich. It has the essence of garlic without overwhelming the flavors of the pork and spinach. It even combines nicely with the spinach to create a mix that has hints of bitter broccoli rabe.
Finally, for porky textural contrast, the sandwich is also topped with crispy bacon (because why not put bacon on a the same sandwich as a grilled pork loin).
This whole pile somehow fits on one pillowy, brioche-like roll. It is extraordinarily soft and absorbent, which means that it retains many of the flavors that are locked in the juices of the pork. However, it is also dense enough to hold its shape and give a satisfying bite. I even wanted to buy a couple rolls from Jerry’s so that I could use them in my own kitchen.
Perhaps my favorite part about this sandwich is that although the sandwich has a decent diversity of flavors, they all play off of each other so that as a whole they feel like they were meant to be together.
The Crispy Chicken
Although the “Crispy Chicken” lacked the diversity of ingredients of the “Porker”, it had just as much flavor. The center-point of this sandwich is, of course, the crispy breaded chicken. This chicken lives up to its name; I genuinely do not know how they managed to make the chicken so crispy without repeated deep-frying. Rather than just one large chicken breast, the chicken is in several smaller pieces, making the sandwich easier to eat. Honestly, I would be perfectly happy just eating a couple of pieces of this chicken, but this sandwich ups the crisp with a topping of the same crunchy bacon as in the porker. Though it may seem redundant, the crispy bacon manages to add even more crispiness to the whole sandwich and creates one very satisfying crunch when you bite into the sandwich.
On top of this symphony of crunchy goodness is a piece of cheddar cheese, providing a nice texture change and adding a subtle cheddar flavor. I tend to prefer sharper cheddar, but this cheddar works with this sandwich.
Although I loved the crunch of this sandwich, the maple Dijon mustard was the highlight of the sandwich. The sweetness of the maple flavor takes the edge off the typically harsh taste of Dijon, while leaving enough of it to give the sandwich some bite. This mustard adds a whole new flavor profile to the sandwich and makes this sandwich, although it was a close contest, my favorite of the two.
I am looking forward to trying more of Jerry’s extensive menu. These two sandwiches only represent a small fraction of Jerry’s offerings and I urge you to go and find your own favorite. You can find Jerry’s at 33rd and Arch, and you will probably see me there. Bring your appetite and we can try the whole menu.