Editor’s note: Each week, Pittsburgh Current’s Haley Frederick will review an area food truck
For this week’s food truck review, I ventured out on a Friday evening to Eleventh Hour Brewing in Lawrenceville to find Blue Sparrow. The Blue Sparrow food truck is where chef and owner Luke Cypher serves up his eclectic menu of “global street food.”
The menu includes classic Korean eats like the rice dish bibimbap and stir-fried noodles called japchae. They also have their own creative creations like a burger with ramen noodle buns, a korean cheesesteak with bulgogi beef and kimchi, and a grilled kim-cheese with kimchi, white cheddar, and mozzarella. You can add a dippy egg to any dish for one dollar.
When Cypher takes my order I ask him what their top seller is and he doesn’t hesitate; it’s the banh mi. Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich usually made with pork, pickled vegetables, and cilantro on a baguette.
The Blue Sparrow version includes all of those components plus their “Sparrow sauce.” It’s a traditional banh mi with the flavors turned up—the pork is deliciously fatty and perfectly cut by the sharp vinegar in the pickled carrot and cucumber. The cilantro, which isn’t usually my favorite ingredient, works beautifully.
The roll—which is made from scratch in the Blue Sparrow kitchen—is substantial enough to mop up the juices without getting soggy or falling apart. The sandwich is still a little hard to handle, though. Expect some spillage, but expect it to be so tasty that you happily shovel it into your mouth with the help of a fork.
I hear another customer ask about vegetarian options. The list of options went on and on. Some dishes like the grilled kim-cheese are already meatless. For others, they offered to remove the meat and replace it with an egg or fried tofu.
Blue Sparrow is easy to find—a quality that is harder to come by than it should be in the food truck business. While they surely do a lot of business with hungry passersby, Blue Sparrow fans who find themselves with a craving only Cypher’s food can satisfy are glad that the location is never a mystery.
They do a great job of updating their social media accounts with their whereabouts on the weekends. They also stick to a consistent schedule during the week: Wednesdays are spent at The Dancing Gnome in Sharpsburg, Thursdays at Commonplace Coffee’s Mexican War Streets location for lunch and Brew Gentleman in Braddock for dinner, and Fridays at Eleventh Hour in Lawrenceville.
Overall, Blue Sparrow is a top-notch food truck. The food is creative and flavorful, with as many components made from scratch as possible. The staff are friendly and energetic as they greet customers and take orders, clearly enjoying their time on the truck.
It’s clear that for Cypher a food truck isn’t just a temporary path to a brick and mortar shop. He’s dedicated to serving restaurant quality food on wheels—so much so that he recently announced the purchase of a new rig, a 1956 Greyhound bus, on Blue Sparrow’s Facebook page. It’s under construction, but in the meantime their current truck is well worth a visit.