The other day I walked over to 38th street between Walnut and Spruce to get lunch from Lil Dan’s food truck, an unsuspecting truck that usually goes unnoticed due to its proximity to Bui’s. But with not a single person on line at 1 pm, it seemed the obvious choice. It’s blue and white checked exterior and the childish crayon-like font of its logo screamed family business. Daniel and Laura Pennachietti, the owners of the truck, aim to supply great gourmet ingredients that are accessible and affordable. The sandwiches, which are between $7 and $8, are more expensive than the typical Bui’s sandwich, but use higher quality ingredients making them worth those extra few bucks. Location is huge for Lil Dan’s; it’s right in the middle of campus and right next to Commons, which offers a place to sit down and eat. They also accept credit cards, another huge plus for a food cart. My friend and I decided to split “The Pauly” and “The Godfather” and each eat half.
When my friend and I sat down, we immediately noticed how big these sandwiches were; you definitely get your money’s worth. I started on the Godfather, a sandwich composed of a breaded chicken cutlet, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, aged provolone, and bacon with a bit of mayo in between a sesame seed Amoroso Italian roll. The high quality bread was key to the sandwich: crunchy enough to not get soggy but not too hard that it hurts to bite. The cutlet was clearly much better than your run of the mill chicken cutlet, pounded fairly thin and evenly breaded. My one complaint? I could have done with fewer pickles, as they were a bit over-powering. The Pauly was a complete 180 in terms of taste. Consisting of thinly sliced Italian pork, a choice of broccoli rabe or spinach, roasted peppers, aged provolone cheese, and two fried eggs on an Amoroso French roll, The Pauly is intense. I loved this sandwich, —it was both creative and delicious. While the runny yolks made it a little messy, the eggs kept the pork, which can sometimes be too dry, moist and brought together all the flavors of the sandwich. A touch of hot sauce was the only thing missing, so next time maybe I’ll BYO.
To all those looking to mix up lunch, check out Lil Dan’s. It’s convenient and you can be confident that you’ll be getting a great product at a reasonable price. Give this family-owned truck a try and I’m sure you’ll get a warm welcome from the always friendly Dan.