Best New Jersey Food Trucks: Cubano X-Press

T.The smile you see when you approach the Cubano X-Press is that of Brenda Rosa. Right behind her, you can see her fiancé Henry Sanchez enthusiastically pressing Cubanos and grilling her delicious meat. Together, the couple own and operate a food truck based in North Jersey. Mouth-watering Latin cuisine with a Cuban touch is one of hers at Cubano X-Press. Best food trucks in New Jersey.

Although the food truck is only three years old, Rosa and Sanchez have a wealth of experience in the food industry. (More on this later.) Their eye-catching yellow truck boasts a modest menu featuring both traditional and imaginative sandwiches. They always use fresh ingredients and wake up early in the morning to prepare for the event. This track can be found at events in New Jersey from April through November.

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Of course, the truck’s signature item is the Cuban sandwich. The side dishes are also flavorful and go great with any sandwich. For example, they offer yucca fries layered with pulled pork and fried plantains with sofrito mayonnaise. Cubano X-Press always features the most popular items on its menu, but events often offer exclusive items. Click here to see the menu.

the couple took time to talk best of new jersey About their food, trucks, etc. Read below for the full chat.

Best New Jersey Food Trucks: Cubano X-Press Interview

Cubano X-Press Food Truck

Best of NJ: How did you two meet?

Henry Sanchez: Seven years ago I worked in Nantucket, Massachusetts and worked in Sturbridge Village for several seasons. This village recreates the colonial days of New England. I got a job as a chef there.

Brenda Rosa: I worked as a banquet server at [Sturbridge] I used to make cakes there too.

BONJ: How did you come to New Jersey?

Henry: I was born and raised in New Jersey. As a chef, I wanted to experience different things, so I travel a lot. I was in Miami for a few years, New York City for a few years, and he was in Massachusetts for three years. The rest are in New Jersey.

After dating for about a year and traveling back and forth to see each other, Brenda decided to move here.

BONJ: Please tell us about your background.

Henry: I went to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). I have been in this business since he was 16 years old. I have traveled and experienced different parts of the culinary world and work as a chef.

Brenda: I have experience serving, baking, and that sort of thing.

Cubano X Press chef Henry Sanchez cooks on the grill

BONJ: When did you decide you wanted to run your own business and why food trucks?

Brenda: One day he came home from work and said, I’m not doing this anymore I quit. “

Henry: I felt I had to. It was after working a 20-hour shift, and I was like, ‘I can’t do it every day. I was making a ton of money off someone else and there was no future there. So I wanted to start a food truck, and Brenda said,

Brenda: I said I’m not going to invest any money until you work with someone else all year long. See if you like it.

Henry: So I worked at Josh Sacks, Oink and Moo BBQ to understand the business and food trucks. He really helped me understand my job and business.

BONJ: How was the transition from the culinary world of restaurants to starting your own gourmet food truck?

Henry: Very different from a restaurant. You have to be more creative with your food. You have to be more energetic. It’s a different lifestyle than being in the kitchen. Brenda kept up the good work while I worked for Josh. We put every penny in the truck. And the first year was a struggle. Second year was good. The third year was the best.

Cubano X Press Owner Brenda Rosa

Brenda: In that first year, you make so many mistakes. The second year will be louder with events and that sort of thing. Ultimately, you will be able to choose events and spots that are good for you. There are so many things to consider and it’s impossible to master them all at once. It’s really a learning process.

Henry: After my first two months on the track, I went home and said to Brenda, I need your help to run this truck. ” She quit her job and we have been doing this since her 2017. I do the manual work and she does the paperwork, scheduling events, taking orders, and preparing food.

BONJ: Does Cubano X-Press offer catering?

Henry: I love catering parties and other events. Those are always great experiences. We offer three different packages.

Brenda: I have a combo package. For one flat price per person, choose a sandwich, side, drink, or platter. Side dishes include rice, beans and plantains. Then serve chicken, beef, or vegetables. We also offer all-you-can-eat at a flat rate per person. After that, the truck can be rented by him for $150 per hour. We also host all kinds of parties such as weddings, birthdays and more. We recently received Holy Communion.

two cuban sandwiches

BONJ: What kind of items do you offer?

Henry: We primarily serve Cuban sandwiches with a twist. For our concept, we started developing different types of Cuban his sandwiches, as well as some Latin style sandwiches.

Henry: Oh Cubano. If at the event he sells 200 sandwiches, then at least 50 are Cubanos. Our most popular sandwich. Another is Cubano Caliente. Pork, ham, pepperoni, spicy capokoro, swiss cheese and hot sauce. T.

Then there are the plantain nachos. They are fried plantains, sofrito cheese, chimichurri sauce (not spicy) and mojo sauce. You can get it with pulled pork or pulled chicken and it sells pretty well.

BONJ: What does the future look like for Cubano X-Press?

Henry: We threw the idea of ​​opening a restaurant, but we’re going to stick with the trucks. If too many people have their hands on your food, it can easily be spoiled, so to speak. That’s why we want to be able to offer you the best possible product.

Cuban sandwich with yucca fries

BONJ: Do you have any advice for aspiring food truckers?

Henry: If you want to start a food truck…

Brenda: … go and work at another food truck.

Henry: That’s the main advice. Very important. That’s how you learn the business and know if it’s right for you. I have a good example. I have a friend who is interested in starting a food truck. I told him to come work with me to see what the industry was like and he said last weekend he worked two very busy days but has not been in touch since. there is not. [laughs].

Some people buy food trucks before gaining experience in the field. But they often don’t last more than a season or two. People come to events to see you make long lines and look like you’re making big bucks. But they don’t see you getting up at 5 or 6 in the morning and starting to prepare Cubanos. They don’t see you paying permits or festival fees or your employees. I don’t see you cleaning up after working hours at an event. Starting a food truck is a gamble, so it is very important to gain experience before starting your own.

Brenda: Another piece of advice is to have a concept.

Henry: Yes, it matters too. Food trucks are very different from restaurants, so it’s important to develop the concept. such as what kind of food to make. Set yourself apart from the rest and establish your identity.

Want to discover more Best New Jersey Food Trucks?Then check out Best New Jersey Food Trucks: The Complete Series.

All images: © Patrick Lombardi / Best of NJ

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