Tinker Food Truck

Tinker Food Truck is some seriously indulgent, cholesterol-raising, rich food that would definitely cause Guy Fieri to appear, throw up weird hand gestures, and scream about how he found it dwelling on the streets of Flavortown; oh, and it’s delicious.

Following the massive success of her father’s food truck, Antonella D’Errico and her husband, Tinker, decided to venture out on a mobile eatery of their own. And if their Venezuelan street food menu reminds you of someone, your hunch is correct; Antonella’s father is none other than Milko of Arepas Milko.

But I wouldn’t call it derivative, as they’ve ventured outside of Chef Milko’s arepas, cachapas, empanadas, and patacones. Of those items, you’ll only find arepas on the Tinker menu, but they are served on a pair of smaller corn patties so they’re extra crispy and far easier to eat. For $7.99, you can choose from queso frito (fried cheese), pollo desmechado (pulled chicken), carne desmechada (pulled beef), pernil (roast pork), or sirloin for $1.00 more. I actually find that the meats at Tinker are better seasoned than the ones at Arepas Milko, with the pernil being particularly more flavorful and cooked far more tender.

Those same meat choices extend across their other offerings like their Perros (Hot Dogs) served with fresh-made fried potato shreds, cheese, choice of sauces, and lettuce or cabbage. Just be forewarned, unless you’re ordering an actual hot dog under the Perros section, there won’t actually be a hot dog in the bun, it’ll just be the meat of choice. It’s a bit misleading as it’s really just referring to the buns, but they’re delicious nonetheless. Prices range from $4.99 for just a plain’ ol hot dog to $7.99 for one filled with sirloin.

Pepitos (pictured on right) are also on the menu, a popular sandwich with your choice of grilled chicken, pernil, or sirloin in between a French Baguette and topped with cheese, house sauce, “pink sauce”, fried potato shreds, and lettuce or cabbage. These range in price from $7.99 to $8.99 depending on meat choice.

Now if this is all too confusing, I can simplify this for you. Just think of almost everything on the menu as the same toppings and meat that are in the arepas, but just wedged between a different starch vessel in Arepas (fried corn cakes), Perros (hot dog buns), or Pepitos (French Baguette). Much easier to think of it this way.

But we must talk about their burgers. Specifically, the “Tinker Triple” (pictured bottom left), which should be more accurately called the “Tinker Sextuple.”

Oh, you didn’t know?

For $13.99, you can get a beef patty, chicken patty, pork chop, ham, bacon, and fried cheese that’s smothered in gouda cheese, house sauce, “pink sauce”, MORE CHEESE (Parmesan), and then just some lettuce or cabbage to make you feel better about yourself. Easily one of the most insane things you can order in town that’s both tasty and artery-clogging at the same time. Good luck finishing it if you can even fit the dang thing in your mouth. I love it. #America

Now of course, you can also get these meat choices as individual burgers for $7.99 to $8.99, which most of you probably will. I recommend going this route, not so you make your doctor far less likely to lecture you, but so you can save room for some of their Cachapa Balls (fried corn balls filled with cheese) or their Nutella Tequenos (fried bread filled with Nutella). The latter of which I would definitely recommend ordering. But if you’re feeling extra shameless and nursing some serious hangry vibes, go with the Tinker Triple.

The decadence of their fare even extends into the drink menu. Aside from the usual sodas, Venezuelan sodas, mango juice, and water, they also offer Chicha ($5). Think of it as a thicker horchata that’s far more sugary, then gets even more sugary when topped with condensed milk, and served iced. It’s way too sweet for me, but it’s perfect for anyone who has a serious sweet tooth.

If you’re on a diet or looking to eat light, this is not the place for you. It’s the kind of food you want after a night of drinking, if you’re partaken in the consumption of the Devil’s lettuce, or if you’re just extremely hungry and hankering for a deliciously rich meal that will immediately throw you into the couch. I think Tinker knows this as well and is reflected in their hours of 6 PM to Midnight from Thursdays through Saturdays. You can find them on the corner of 34th Street and Archer Road next to the Shell gas station. Their hours can extend even later at special events (they were opening until 3 AM after a Gators home game), but just be prepared to wait for your food if there is heavy volume and deal with limited seating. As with any food truck, it’s always best to verify their location/hours on their Instagram or Facebook page prior to visiting.

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© 2020 by Ken Peng & Ken Eats, LLC. Title image courtesy of Jesse Adrian Scanlon Media.

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