Fall weather may not exactly inspire al fresco dining, but that hasn't put a damper on the ever-growing conga-line of new food carts gradually taking over every spare scrap of space in town. In the past month alone, the downtown Alder Street Pod between Southwest 9th and 10th Avenues has gained a hot dog cart (that makes two), a Korean cart (that makes three), a Hawaiian cart, an Ethiopian cart, a pork sandwich cart (that makes two—more if you count all the bánh mì carts) and THREE
Thai carts (that makes 5,304,598*).
Last week, the street welcomed El Cubo de Cuba
, a tiny yellow caravan serving up Cuban fare, including Cuban sandwiches (hey, more pork sandwiches!), tostones and maduras. Tasty as these things are, they're not what I'm here to write about.
I'm here to talk wheat milkshakes.
I realize that sounds disgusting, so let's use the far sexier Cuban name, Batidos de Trigo
. Those are the three words that distracted me from my mid-afternoon fried plantain cravings long enough to instead take a chance on what the charming cart owner described as a “sweet cereal” shake, topped with cream and cinnamon.
Not only was the description spot-on, I'll go him one better and specify that this drink tastes almost exactly like Honey Smacks
(“Sugar Smacks” to those of you old enough to remember), but with the addition of a complex blend of spices to help delude yourself that it's really an adult beverage. The term “milkshake” is slightly misleading; oh, it comes in a cup with a straw, all right, but that's purely ornamental—this is undoubtedly a spoon job, with the viscosity of a thick-shake or even grits.
It's both savory and sweet, grainy and creamy, and utterly addictive.
A 12 oz Badito de Trigo will set you back $2.50. You can also get a 20 oz for $3.00, but unless you plan on feeding an entire family, I can't imagine that's medically advisable. You can also opt for fat-free milk, but, really, what's the point?
*approximate number. But really, how much dodgy pad Thai does this city need?
El Cubo de Cuba, SW 10th Avenue and Alder Street, 11:30 am until sold out, Monday-Friday. Facebook