Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rosa City Diner

Thursday March 18th 2010
Rosa City Diner, 4th and Spring Garden, Philadelphia, PA

The Rosa City Diner is a small food truck located in close proximity to my workplace, at 4th and Spring Garden. They serve pretty standard on the go style food truck fare; hot dogs, egg sandwiches, cheesesteaks, etc... I read over the menu a few times before approaching the window and ordering the chicken cheesesteak. A different take on the Philly tradition, and possibly completely undeserving of the steak title in the name.
The one woman working the truck, taking orders, cooking food, maintaining everything, spoke a foreign word at me in an inquisitory tone immediately following my request. I did not understand, but I agreed. “Yes.”, I answered. It took me a few moments to process the sound she emitted and relate it to my native “onions”. I was to be having onions on this sandwich.
Now I am in no way mocking foreign accents, but post onion agreement, she launched into a series of questions about what I would like included on my sandwich, none of which I understood. I simply nodded my head. She would glance back at the grill, think of something else that could be added, turn back towards me, make a suggestion, and I would blindly agree. “Everything.”, I finally told her.

Once the cooking and assembly process had begun, I noticed this sign on the side of the truck. “Bottle it’s better.”, was the caption, with a royal display of sodas standing tall before their sergeant. Now, weird grammar, possible lack of punctuation aside, does this mean anything? I mean, if you look closely theres cans in that picture!
All this nodding and yessing got me a sandwich full of minced chicken smothered in American cheese, some caramelized onions, and despite how many ingredients it seemed like I agreed to the only others I could pin point were ketchup and mayonnaise.
An occasionally wise man by the last name of Otis, over a meal of mayonnaised cheesesteaks, once told me amidst my complaints and confusion, that if you didn’t have mayonnaise on the cheesesteak that you would simply be “choking on dry steak and cheese with nothing to help it go down.” This could be debated, but in the case of the chicken cheesesteak the portions and tastes of both the tourist condiments were complimentary, and not offensive in any way like you might have expected them to be.
At $4.50 the chicken cheesesteak provided ample sustenance and a taste I’ll settle for at a pretty reasonable price. I believe this truck gets there pretty early in the morning, but is usually gone by 5 pm.

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