Simple is usually best—particularly when it comes to food—an adage that proved itself more than true on my recent visit to Rice & Beans food truck, based out of Danbury.
The concept: Stewed meat or roasted veggies over black beans and rice m topped with fresh herbs, radish, pico de gallo, and guacamole served up in a bright yellow food truck. The eatery is the brainchild of chef/owner Jasson Arias and based on the traditional foods of his Guatemalan heritage.
“I grew up eating rice and beans,” says Arias, whose original career was bartending in Stamford. “I thought it would be the great basis for a quick, filling lunch sold from a food cart.”
The young entrepreneur learned soon enough that food carts are not easy to license in Connecticut so he had to upscale to a food truck/trailer. But with the additional cooking capabilities he could expand his original concept to a wider variety of food and he settled on pollo guisado (stewed chicken), slow cooked beef, and roasted vegetables built on the foundation of rice and beans—allowing him to remain true to his original concept.
“I still wanted to keep the menu simple, as a way to focus onfood quality rather than trying to do too many things at once,” says Arias. “It’s better to be great at a few things than so-so on a lot of different ones.”
Although minimal, the trucks offerings are outstanding and Arias hits the kitchen at seven am to cook everything from scratch for the daily lunch rush. The chicken and beef are richly flavored and cooked to fork-shredded perfection then served over well-seasoned rice and beans that aren’t mushy (a sign of the cook’s culinary prowess). Fresh toppings of pico-de-gallo and shredded radish add bright crunch to the tender starch and proteins. The guacamole, whether as a topping or on its own, is a delight in and of itself—creamy and delicately spiced then finished with a zing of lime.
For those who prefer their avocados naked, sliced avocados are an alternate topping to the rice and bean bowls. If heat is to your liking, Arias provides a condiment stand with Mexican hot pepper sauce that adds a good amount of spice while still being packed with flavor.
Mostly based in Danbury, Rice & Beans rolls into towns around Farifield County in a signature yellow food truck with its iconic retro pin-up girl replete with tattoos that tell the story of the business’s founding.
The truck hits food festivals and is also available for catering but Arias has big plans for the future including a second truck and a brick and mortar location in 2018 or 2019. Ultimately, he dreams of creating a franchise fleet of his popular mobile eatery—but always with a tight focus on a less-is-more menu of quality food.
Find out where Rice & Beans is rolling next by following them on facebook and instagram @riceandbeansctor there website: http://www.riceandbeansct.com/ 203-885-3863