food truck quick bite: the sarap shop....filipino american comfort food, well that's what the truck said
With a semi non-traditional work schedule, every now and then I have the chance to pop out and try some new spot for lunch or visit an old fave I have been to in awhile. On this particular day it is a return to SOMA StrEatFood Park, a place I haven't been for lunch time trucks in quite some time.
The place was actually buzzing as it was a rare sunny day and there seemed to be more food trucks than you might normally see. I made my usual rounds to see what was what. And then I made another round. Seems I was having one of those, what do I really want days. After about 15 minutes of haggling with myself I settled on a The Sarap Shop which was serving up "Filipino American comfort food." And of course, when looking at the menu, I think it was pretty clear what I was gonna get.
Yes, the I Love My Adob(r)o--tangy marinated pork belly and okra flash fried and served on my choice of salad, which was a cabbage mix with carrots, corn, tomatoes and a calamansi poppy seed dressing. Seriously, like I'm gonna pass up pork belly that is deep fried AND with okra?!! It's like a Southerners dream plate. Add in the cole slaw and it is also paleo-ish. For $10 you get the above and it was quite large and felt heavy, like total value for the money heavy. Plus, it looked good. But how does that old adage go, "looks can be deceiving."
Where do I start, ugh. How about with the fact the whole dish was luke warm to cold. It was almost as if the sauce they put on the meat after "flash frying" was straight out of the fridge and took out any heat there may have been. The pork belly was also overcooked and hard to chew to the point of being inedible. It seems it may have been cooked before hand and possibly sitting in a big bowl then when someone orders it, they toss it in the deep fryer with some okra to heat it up again. Seems this was left too long in the fryer. Or maybe it was overcooked and tough to start with, hard to know. As for the okra, there was barely enough to even notice and the sauce they put on took away any crunch it may have had. The sauce was also somewhere between a sweet and sour and a tangy bbq, like it couldn't make up its mind what it wanted to be. Didn't matter, they had already killed the meat so no addition of sauce was ever going to make it better.
There were high hopes for the slaw with the cabbages, corn and poppy seed dressing. But where the meat was not hot, the slaw was not cold. More room temp than anything. And the poppy seed dressing was just off. I know it had the citrus addition, but it wasn't like the classic poppy seed. Can't put my finger or taste bud on exactly what it was, maybe it was mixing badly with the sauce on the meat. Who knows, either way, not good, not good at all.
I can safely say, this was one of the worst things I have had in some time. From the hard to chew meat to the luke warm slaw, it missed on every level. Which is a shame as the idea, cost and look is there, the taste is just terrible. Come to think of it, my previous review was less than favorable too, seems this is a theme week! God, I can't believe I ate that! Or that left a bad taste! Or just Yuck Week! Maybe I just caught them on a bad day, though it wasn't exactly like they were busy with a line or anything. Whatever the reason, I didn't love this adob(r)o. Fortunately I'm on my way to Trader Joe's a few blocks over, I find something there to wash away the taste and memory of the day I hated pork belly and okra. A real Southerners nightmare.