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Review: Papa Perrone's lunch truck, 7/10/09

Want to check out Papa Perrone's for yourself? Click *here*

"It's Friday, for God's sake. To hell with my damn diet! Everyone sucks and I deserve an artery clogging lunch!" I mumbled while exiting my office building. I was a woman on a mission en route to Papa Perrone's truck for a greasy, red-sauce-laden, carboholic's dream lunch.

As I walked up 55th Street between Park and Madison Avenues, there she was: A large white truck/van (think along the lines of an Ararmk/Cintas uniform or food service truck) with a huge red, white and green Italian flag on the back. Nearly the entire passenger-side wall of the mobile kitchen-on-wheels was outfitted with a counter, where shakers of basil, salt, Parmesan cheese and hot pepper flakes stood. And beyond that stood Papa Perrone himself, working up a healthy sweat as he single-handedly took orders, cooked and delivered.

By noon, there was already an ample line of hungry Midtown Manhattanites hovering around the truck. The Papa handled himself with charm, humor, charisma and precision; I was impressed. "Hey dowall, what can I getcha?" He asked me in his thick Staten Island accent.

I ordered a slice of grandma-style pizza (a thin crust, square-shaped Sicilian), paying a little extra for a hefty topping of meatballs. Fifteen minutes later, I was back at my desk, ready to indulge. My first bite was a mouthful of sweet and tangy tomato sauce with just the precise consistency (not too thick/pasty and not too thin/sparse). The crust was thin and crunchy, giving way to a skinny interior layer of moist and pillowy dough. The meatball topping was generous, and while I found the texture velvety and the product flavorful, I couldn't help but wonder about its gamey lamb-meat aftertaste. Could it be that the Papa mixes his polpette (Italian for meatball, come on, people!) with lamb? Readers, do any of you know? 

For just under $6, I enjoyed a warm, homemade lunch prepared by one of the friendliest and hard working entrepreneurs I've encountered in a very long time. And to that I say: Go out and support your city's local businesses. Both your wallet and stomach will thank you.

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