Totally Pretentious Food Truck Review: Sixth & Rye

I’m not trying to alienate people or anything, but I just don’t get corned beef.

Being from Texas, I just don’t understand how anyone can do that to a perfectly good brisket. In my opinion, brisket is made to be smoked, not soaked in salty liquid.

So perhaps, Sixth & Rye was not a good choice for me on a Friday about 2 weeks ago. To be fair, I wasn’t intending to go to Chef Spike Mendelson’s kosher deli food truck. I haven’t been too impressed with his other endeavors, We The Pizza and Good Stuff Eatery (lackluster except for the amazing marshmallow shake). But, the line to my favorite truck Cap Mac was, per usual, ridiculously long, despite the fact that I had waited until after 1 pm in hopes that the line would have died down. Alas, alack, no.

There was, however, a short line of about six people at Sixth & Rye, and a two earnest young people on hand to help you navigate the vast menu. When I say vast, I mean a grand total of two types of sandwiches – the “signature” smoked corned beef ($9) and the seasonal grilled veggie wrap ($7). TWO.

Nevermind, I thought to myself, there are some intriguing side dishes to spice up the over-priced sandwiches. I was immediately informed that they were out of the fresh-cut chips. Bummer, but understandable since I was there at 1:15. Hey, I get it: I’m late to the party.

I’ll save my $2 and put it toward something else, perhaps the Israeli Couscous Salad ($4). The helpful young girl guiding the line suggested it was quite delicious. Ah, nope. Too late. During my short stint in the line, they had also run out of that.

OK, well, surely there’s the Sixth & Rye slaw to look forward to. I’m next at the window and they haven’t run out yet. And, how can you run out of slaw, for crying out loud. Eeep. Spoke too soon. They inform me as I get to the head of the line that they are indeed out of slaw. No $3 cool cabbage and carrots to counteract my salty sandwich.

But…they’re happy to inform me that they do still have pickles available. For a dollar. Now, I’m off the opinion that sandwiches, especially deli sandwiches, should just come with a pickle, no? Is that too much to ask when I’m forking over $9 for a deli sandwich?

I noticed (quite excitedly) that they had Dr. Brown’s sodas. But, as was the theme for the day, they were out of the advertised diet crème soda. Fine. I’ll take regular. Only, when I got back to work, turns out, it is diet. Okie dokie then.

The website says they have desserts, but no one was pushing them that day. If they had been, I probably would have bought some challah for $5.

I helped the young man do the math on my order of a signature corned beef sandwich, an overpriced pickle and drink. I paid $12 for a signature corned beef sandwich, (the only other option was a vegetarian sandwich), a pickle and a drink. I guess I should be glad they ran out of sides, otherwise I’m pretty sure I would have gotten out of there $20 lighter.

The sandwich itself was a bit messy and very salty, and yet, surprisingly bland at the same time – truly odd. Perhaps that’s the “signature” they speak of? The meat texture was chewy and stringy – very hard to eat. And the spicy mustard was overpowering. I thought corned beef was served with Russian dressing. The rye bread was very light, not the traditional rye, but I don’t mind that so much. Like I said, the mustard overpowered everything. I also feel like a slice of cheese would’ve gone a long way in evening out the saltiness.

The pickle was awful, totally lacking in flavor. Not the nice crisp kosher pickle I would expect.

I admit, some of the shortcomings I’m complaining about are all my fault — I was very late. But the items they did have, just weren’t very good. And while I appreciate the fact that Sixth & Rye is made possible in part by a grant from The Natan Fund, which supports innovative projects that are shaping the Jewish future, I’m not on board with this food truck.

I give them two out of four wheels. Grudgingly at that.

Funny side note: when I was throwing out (most) of my salty lunch, I noticed the name Nancy Brito stamped on the bottom of my deli bag. I’m intrigued…..who are you Nancy Brito? Are you endorsing this sandwich? I’d like to know more. Where are you from and why is your name on my bag? What are your dreams, your goals, your ambitions? Do you like corned beef?

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