The Bronx River is always a picturesque vein of the city, depending on your view of picturesque. It's bridges and reinforcement walls are heavily painted with graffiti, and the river is lined with all ends of the borough from rich to destitute. On stretches of the river nearing its mouth that were once heavily polluted by industry, people are now canoeing and kayaking.
Never lacking for congestion is the Westchester Avenue bridge from Soundview to Hunts Point. On the east bank sits the Martinez Catering truck, in full view of all of these slow moving vehicles as well as the 6 train screeching overhead. Sharing the sidewalk of the Getty filling station is the truck above, purveyors of Dominican treats, chimichurri, and full meals.
The nice women who work the truck might have been surprised to see a curious face like mine roll up on foot, but were happy to serve me with a smile. They had a few orders going simultaneously from people unseen hiding from the cold in their cars, and even at 4pm seemed quite busy. In warm weather there certainly must be a crowd of people ordering and eating around the truck, using it as a gathering place before and after trips to the bar. Unfortunately in the winter there is no place to hide for the casual pedestrian.
As the wind whipped across the river, I thought I should limit my order to one item and resisted the tasty looking arepitas ($1 each, below) that others were ordering. The pastelitos ($1) also looked very good.
It takes about five to seven minutes for the truck's chimi burger ($4, below) to arrive in a paper bag. The small meat patty has a tomato on it, but the creation could more closely be called a cabbage and mayonnaise sandwich. It has hints of a spicy sauce which I will ask for more of next time. There is something that feels right about ordering this from a truck, even in the Bronx. The first chimi I had was from a street vendor in Santo Domingo on a brief visit to the Dominican Republic, the only thing missing here is the beach and hot sun.
It is the perfect food to help soak up the alcohol, but they do also have bigger plates of chicharron, longaniza, and pig ears priced from $8 to $10. The truck is open through the night and early morning, so I can only assume most of its clients will be coming out well after my visit.