Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tandoori Chicken USA Mobile - Tandoori Chicken Sandwich

After more than a dozen years working in places as far away and exotic as Oakland and Daly City, I finally have a job in the Financial District again. Long having been jealous that Liz gets a steady flow of food trucks around her (although not necessarily right next to her work anymore; please help save the trucks!), I'm excited to be surrounded by an almost limitless supply of lunch options, including food trucks. So what did I do on my first lunch break of the new job? Why, I walked the two blocks to Truck Stop, of course, and made a beeline for Tandoori Chicken USA Mobile and their Tandoori Chicken Sandwich!

The truck with the impossibly-long name has its roots in the now shuttered Tandoori Chicken USA restaurant in El Sobrante. When Bobby Mahal decided to relaunch the family food business as a truck, he knew that the signature dish of the original restaurant had to make it onto the new menu. Wrapped in a piece of fluffy Naan bread, the Tandoori Chicken Sandwich features tender chunks of red tandoor-cooked chicken and lettuce smothered in a spicy green sauce. It's the same recipe that made the restaurant famous, and it's doing a good job of it with the truck, too.

There is a reason that other Indian food trucks choose to surround their creations with tortillas or roti. The Tandoori Chicken Sandwich with its Naan bread is a messy creation, and my advice is to take full advantage of the sandwich's paper wrapper, because that may be the only thing holding it together. Structure aside, though, the Naan is soft and slightly chewy, just like a good piece of Naan should be. The relative thickness of the bread helps soak up the green sauce where thinner choices might fail.

Tandoori chicken gets its red color from a chili and yogurt marinade. The meat is then roasted in a tandoor oven at extremely high heat. TC USA's chicken is extremely flavorful, and the spices of the tandoori masala still shine through the veil of the green sauce. It's a spicy sauce, to be sure, but it's not an overpowering heat. There's enough restraint shown to make the sandwich very balanced, with the lettuce providing a little crunch and coolness.

It used to be that I could count the number of lunch options within walking distance of my work on one hand. Thankfully, those days are over. Of course, with such delicious items as Tandoori Chicken USA Mobile's Tandoori Chicken Sandwich available to me now, I might have to do a bit more walking to compensate. Now there's a problem I hadn't thought of before!

Rating: 4.5/5 (ratings guide)

Tandoori Chicken Usa on Urbanspoon

Tandoori Chicken USA Mobile (@tcusamobile) $8.00 per sandwich

Does reading this make you want to try this vendor? Tell them that you saw them at I Left My Cart in San Francisco and support San Francisco street cuisin

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