33rd and Spruce
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Well, full disclosure. Tyson Bee's is awesome. Ha. Seriously, they are probably the best food truck at which I have eaten in Philly. They are cashing in on the (current?) Korean fusion fad that swept the nation a while ago and has been sweeping our fair city as of late. They make some seriously tasty food. And the truck is generally bad ass.
Tyson Wong Ophaso, previously of Iron Chef fame, runs an incredible cart out in University City, right in the middle of UPenn. If I went to school there, I would eat at this truck seven to eight days a week. It's street food done gourmet. Your taste buds will be in heaven. The biggest problem: still wanting more after finishing three separate menu items. However, that is my own problem of completely ignoring moderation, something I have yet to master.
I went for the Korean BBQ short rib burrito, grilled BBQ lemongrass pork Banh Mi, and the red chicken curry over rice. I dove straight into the burrito first. It was straight out of my food dreams (which, disconcertingly, I have almost every night!). Tender, smokey, sweet beef, a variety of pickled veggies that had an incredibly addictive tart smack, and perfectly cooked rice, wrapped in a tender flour tortilla. Incredible.
Next stop, the Banh Mi. Although I LOVE traditional Banh Mi, the problem can sometimes be unwanted pop-ins from gristly, chewy pieces of meat. Problem solved, only order Banh Mi from this truck. I kid, I kid. But seriously, this was a real treat, and a steal at $5. Cucumber, carrots, radish, banana pepper, cilantro, a drizzle of spicy mayo and meltingly tender pork made for one of the best of the "Koagie" variety around. Everything at this place just "popped" with flavor. If I had to make one change in my entire meal, it would only be to wish that those carefully thought out ingredients were lovingly laid into an authentic vietnamese hoagie roll. The Amoroso'ish hoagie roll was just lacking that crispy exterior that some of the more authentic places use as a delivery vessel. That being said, I am certainly going to order this again, and most likely within the week.
The red curry was the grand finale. Only because I figured the shelf life on the tortilla and bread of the other two was much more time/liquid sensitive. Suprisingly, the red curry was, once again, incredible. I only say surprisingly, because if you go to a place that specializes in fusion, and order something traditional, you might, rightfully so, expect it to be an afterthought. But the red curry was executed with the same level of precision and love as the rest of the food. I immediately thought of how it was actually BETTER than its Chinatown counterparts. Needless to say, I implemented a scorched earth policy with any of the remaining holdouts I managed to find in any of the corners of the take out containers. I am talking - not a grain of rice was left when I was through with this meal. And all this inside of my car, because it was so cold outside!
To put it lightly, if you are within any reasonable distance (100 miles?) and you don't try Tyson Bee's for lunch, you are only hurting yourself. They are open 11-6, I believe Monday through Friday at least, and possibly weekends, and as can be expected, cash only. Take a nice bike ride across the new South Street bridge, turn right on 33rd and it's right there. Just be prepared for some of the best food you have eaten in a long time.