Web: R&R BBQ Food Truck
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Barbecue Buffalo Cheektowaga Food Trucks Orchard Park West Seneca
One of the things that led us to pause work on Buffalo Chow last year was the realization that we were wasting time and calories covering totally forgettable, me-too restaurants. We don't want to get fat eating mediocre food, or waste the time writing detailed reviews of places that could be summed up in a few quick paragraphs. So here are some pictures of R&R BBQ Food Truck, which currently travels between Cheektowaga, Buffalo and the Southtowns. It's Buffalo's second food truck, following in the footsteps of local pioneer Lloyd by using a web site, Twitter, and Facebook to communicate its changing locations five days a week. And if you care about food quality, you can totally skip it.
R&R BBQ apparently missed the "gourmet" part of the memo on the food truck resurgence - or all of the articles explaining that people in other cities were lining up en masse for special foods. What R&R serves is closer to what you'd find in the food trucks of yesteryear: forgettable meals that just happen to be available in a parking lot, typically briefly, before the truck moves on to another destination - something it typically does every 15 or 30 minutes. The only entrees are sandwiches. You choose from four meats, including pulled pork that looks stringy and tastes stewed, beef brisket that looks like pulled pork but tastes somewhat like dried-out cow, and either "pulled" or Buffalo chicken, both tamely flavored, the latter only a little more interesting than the former thanks to what tastes like a little Frank's Hot Sauce. Fill up little plastic cups outside the truck with barbecue sauces, some sweet, one spicy, because you're going to need them to mask the flavors of the meat. Two mini sandwiches ($2 each) or one full-sized sandwich ($4) can be had in a combo meal with a $2.25 plastic-containered side (mac and cheese, applesauce, beans, chili) and a 50-cent piece of cornbread for $7. Canned sodas and bottles of water are $1 each.
Having sampled all of the meats and most of the sides, literally nothing we tried was good. The chili and applesauce were fine, cornbread was really dried out, and apart from a thin layer of decent cole slaw that was placed inside every sandwich - something we wouldn't have generally preferred - none of the flavors stood out in any way. While R&R's buns were fine, fluffy white rolls, they weren't buttered, toasted, or otherwise enhanced in any way, and all of the meats tasted like day-old leftover scraps from better barbecue places, such as Kentucky Greg's or Famous Dave's. Three of us participated in this meal, and one abandoned her sandwich after the first couple of bites; the mac and cheese and cornbread were left in similar states.
R&R BBQ harkens back to the days when people visited "roach coaches" merely because they were convenient, not because the food was good. Our advice to readers: it's worth driving someplace better for a meal. And to R&R: we appreciate that you're trying to do something different by riding the food truck wave, but please improve the food. If it tasted good before it hit the road, find better ways to store it for freshness and finish it - sauces, a little toasting, whatever - before serving it to people. At the rate this truck is going, Western New Yorkers will soon be wondering what the big deal is about food trucks, and that would really be a shame.