Arts & Culture

Bon Me food truck parks in Providence

“Asian-influenced” mobile eatery offers new take on traditional banh mi, special Iced Dirty Chai

By
Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Boston-based company Bon Me comes to Providence with a new food truck, which served free samples of its specials to students last Wednesday.

 

Despite the previous day’s inclement weather, the Bon Me food truck rolled onto Waterman Street to celebrate its grand opening at Brown on March 15. The bright yellow truck attracted several students, who huddled together on the sidewalk to sample free half-portions of the truck’s signature sandwich alongside a Thai basil limeade drink.

Primarily based in Boston and the surrounding areas, Bon Me’s first out-of-state location is Providence, said Elise Yost, marketing specialist for Bon Me. “We wanted to expand further … and we saw a similar market with young professionals and college students (here).”

Bon Me’s menu offers a variety of Asian-inspired eats, ranging from noodle salads to deviled tea egg, a hard boiled egg soaked in a smokey Chinese black tea mixture. “All of our food is really fresh and delicious, and we have a lot of really different options for people who are vegetarian or vegan or gluten intolerant,” Yost said.

“I’m from a place where there’s a lot of Asian food, so it’s nice to have a food truck with these kinds of options,” said Jolie Ren ’21 as she perused the menu plastered on the facade of the truck.

The menu’s signature item is a sandwich inspired by the traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, Yost said. The sandwich contains fresh cucumber, fresh-cut red onions and a house-made spicy mayo to provide a “nice spicy kick” instead of the traditional jalapeños, she explained, adding that customers can choose from a range of protein options to fill the sandwich. “Traditionally, we recommend the Chinese Barbecue Pork, (which is) a roasted chopped pork with a lot of different spices,” Yost said. For vegan and vegetarian customers, the food truck always offers a roasted paprika tofu option, which is accompanied by a walnut-based spread.

“(The sandwich) is pretty good,” said Catherine Li ’21, “I’m not a big fan of the radish inside, but I really like the bread and the pork.” Priced at $7, it is “essentially the same price as the banh mi sandwich served at Andrews,” she added.

Bon Me’s menu also has a special drink exclusive to Providence — Iced Dirty Chai, which has been created in collaboration with New Harvest Coffee Roasters.

“We wanted to honor the locale with a collaboration with a local business,” Yost explained. The Iced Dirty Chai is a reflection of both Bon Me’s and New Harvest Coffee Roasters’ menu — “it’s (New Harvest Coffee Roasters’) coffee, (while the spices in the drink) are similar to what we use in our Thai Ice Tea,” Yost said. “It’s a really delicious caffeinated drink that we hope will be really popular with Brown students!”

The food truck can be found on Waterman Street on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and at Kennedy Plaza on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

 

A previous version of this article stated that the truck serves a Thai basil lemonade drink. In fact, the truck serves Thai Basil Limeade. The article also previously stated that the truck serves pork ramen. In fact, the truck does not serve pork ramen. The Herald regrets the errors.