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When a new food truck arrives in town, there can be an inelegant scramble among your dedicated reviewers to taste and write about the food first.
I have some very worthy writing competitors in Adelaide, so after hearing that an Argentinean lunch truck was just starting up, I immediately jumped into my car and flew into the city. No nod to the environment or sustainability here, my bike just wouldn't be quick enough.
As always parking was a pain, but I managed to get to Hindmarsh Square just in time to see the last food being sold. Doing my best to suppress the characteristic demeanour of a Grumpy Old Man, I approached Chimichurri Grill owner/chef Greg and introduced myself. After he apologised profusely for selling out so soon, Greg produced a complimentary serve of chips and Chimi Mayo dipping sauce, which I gratefully took.
While bemused patrons of other lunch trucks looked on (discreetly) in Hindmarsh Square, I took a series of photos of my prize before allowing myself to taste. I wasn't to be disappointed - the chips were well cooked, crisp on the outside and soft inside. They are chips rather than fries, and they kept going into the dipping sauce incessantly as I sought to identify its ingredients.
The sauce is very tasty and rather more-ish. I liked it, but other than saying that it's tangy and adds new life to potato chips, I am still little closer to identifying ingredients. But if you want a snack without the stodgy aftertaste often associated with chips, then definitely give this a go.
I had to wait over the weekend for my next opportunity to try Chimichurri Grill food. Again I monitored their Facebook page eagerly, until I cornered the van in Victoria Square. Despite grilling Greg with a heap of questions about his Chimi Mayo dipping sauce ingredients to discover the secret of its more-ish flavour, he remained resolutely silent on that topic.
But fortunately for me, Melbourne Cup office parties saved the day and he hadn't sold out of my holy grail - the Chimi Steak burger. It was like being in a Michelin restaurant as I listened to orders and acknowledgements being relayed around the van, but the organisation and training showed in the way that orders flew out the window.
While the burger was cooking, Greg told me that he originally worked at Gauchos Argentine beef restaurant, but after a spell interstate, returned to Adelaide with the food truck concept in his sights. He actually built the truck himself (wow!) and they have only been operating for about a week so far.
Greg uses local produce whenever he can and has sourced meat locally, and also prefers to make his own sauce to maintain taste and quality. The Chimichurri Grill will be doing both lunchtime service around town and also catering for private functions.
The Chimi steak is served on a sturdy cardboard plate, and doesn't fall everywhere on opening. I quickly took some more pics and settled down to try it.
My first bite was heaven! The tender succulent scotch fillet steak was easy to chew and would have been a credit to a restaurant. Never before have I had a take-away steak so tender. The Chimichurri sauce complemented the meat well, and I loved the peppery rocket (better than boring lettuce). The ciabata roll was a suitable bite size, unlike some burgers where your mouth needs to be bigger than your least favourite politician's.
I was wondering whether I had missed out on the provolone cheese, but it showed itself unexpectedly on the third bite with a slightly salty but creamy burst of flavour. It's arrival added a new aspect to the taste of the steak roll.
My verdict? Highly recommended!
A delicious combination of flavours combined to produce a hearty meal. To be honest, I didn't finish mine completely (had only breakfasted an hour before), but it wasn't for lack of trying. And I had a couple of very grateful dogs when I got home.
Adelaide living is so much better with food trucks in the CBD such as the Chimichurri Grill roaming the streets tempting our office wage slaves. It *almost* makes me wish I worked in city again.
Chimichurri Grill have 183 Likes on Facebook right now. Think you should join the Chimichurri Grill Food Truck food lovers?
Aww...wanted to have a shot at writing for Chimichurri Grill, but first off, congrats on winning the award for this, very detailed, with a personal touch. Had the pleasure of having the Chimichurri Grill come to my campus today, & had the chorizo, that was delicious!
Sounds yum! I did see the van at Victoria Square the other day but I was sailing by on the bus so haven't had a chance to taste yet... only thing would be choosing between the steak and the chorizo... decisions, decisions...
Great article Dave. Good photos too. I think the food trucks are a great idea for Adelaide.......in Asia small mobile vendors are a common sight. Does the truck only go to Hindmarsh square or does it change locations?
I still haven't had a chance to try Chimichurri Grill, I've been hanging out to try them for ages. Thankfully I'm on holidays soon and will actually have some weekdays in the city! It would be great if there was occasional weekend trading in the squares. I think there's more of a possibility of that now Summer is around the corner.