Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First Bite: Refueler's Mobile Café comes downtown

Filipino food from a truck

Posted by Susan Cohen on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM

When we first heard about ReFueler's, the Filipino-inspired food truck that hit the road recently, we were completely disappointed — because they almost exclusively set up shop in Goose Creek and North Charleston, a bit too far for us to drive on a weekday. But when we saw that the truck would be parking downtown for the first time at the Flagship, only a few minutes away, we got right over there.

Sorry, Refuelers girl checking her phone
  • Sorry, Refueler's girl checking her phone

Refueler's signature dishes are the “Fili" cheesesteak and the chicken adobo, so of course we got one of each of those, plus a bunch of beef and pork lumpia (Filipino egg rolls).

The Fili cheesesteak
  • The "Fili" cheesesteak

The cheesesteak rivaled any traditional one you might find, with shaved rib-eye made gooey by havarti cheese and horseradish mayo, all on top of a sweet flatbread. We suggest using a fork to eat the thing, since ours started to fall apart after the first bite (though maybe if you wait a few minutes for it to cool it’ll hold up a little better). It came with a side of garlic rice.

The chicken adobo
  • The chicken adobo

The chicken adobo, a chicken leg and thigh slow cooked in a soy vinegar broth, was juicy and packed a flavorful punch. It was served with a scoop of steamed rice topped with crispy chicken skin and an egg that was boiled in the same broth. The guys in the truck will instruct you to mash the egg up in your rice when you’re handed your food.

And the lumpia are perfect. Hot, crispy, just greasy enough, and served with two different sweet dipping sauces. We also went for the dessert, banana lumpia. You get two for $1.25, so it’s a nice, cheap treat to counteract some of the garlic.


The side scoop of garlic rice, served with most of the dishes, is a nice touch; you’ll leave Refueler's feeling full, a compliment that can’t be given to every food truck around. There was also a cheeseburger on the menu, plus veggie pancit and a taco special, and all definitely seem appetizing enough to make a second visit to the truck necessary. But it’ll be hard not to just order the cheesesteak.

It doesn't look like they'll be downtown again this month, but keep an eye on their schedule for updates and to find out where they'll be next.

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