To be honest, I never meant to end up at Urban Bumpkin. With a day off from work and a need to satisfy my food truck fix, I drove to the corner of 23rd and Crystal St. in Arlington to grab Tasty Kabob from their stationary cart that’s often parked there. But the cart was nowhere to be found (as I later learned, they park on 27th St. on Tuesdays-Thursdays). The only other truck in the area was Urban Bumpkin, which describes itself as a fusion of Asian, Native American, Russian and American flavors. Intrigued by a mixture I didn’t think was possible, I jumped in line and placed my order.
The menu, exactly what one would expect from the wild fusion of flavors: an “Urban Native American Taco” mixing Alaskan bread, smoked meat and Mexican flavors, a Smoked BBQ Sandwich topped with pickled ginger, Asian Beef Short Ribs, a Russian smoked meat wrap and Borsch beet soup.
Looking for an adventure, but hesitant to leap completely out of my comfort zone, I settled on the BBQ sandwich with pulled pork, totaling about $10. In less than ten minutes, my sandwich appeared and I was off to find a place to sit.
After a brief exodus searching for a place to sit and eat, I found space in a park a few blocks down and dug in. The sandwich was a hearty portion, a welcome sight for my empty stomach. While the flavors were a bit unexpected at times, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sandwich. I was initially disappointed to taste the lack of kick in the barbecue sauce, but as I kept eating, I realized that the sweet flavor balanced out the pickled vegetables very well and the jalapenos on top of the sandwich gave me the heat I was looking for.
The only negative: the bun. Weighed down by all of the sauce, the bun became soggy pretty quickly and I had to move towards the more civilized fork and knife.
All in all a pleasant surprise, I’m glad I got to taste some Urban Bumpkin BBQ. Perhaps next time, I’ll take a bit more of a risk and go for something a bit more out of the box.