Gastronomical accounting: Plouf Plouf
Most people don’t usually associate high-quality cuisine with food trucks, but it seems that Plouf Plouf, the newest addition to Brown’s food truck menagerie, hasn’t gotten the message. Distinguishable by its bright red colors and Gallic rooster, Plouf Plouf strives to serve French cuisine at premium prices to hungry students.
The truck holds a good understanding of the on-the-go mentality of the average food truck eater, while still maintaining consistent quality. At peak hours, the wait should be no more than ten minutes, and I found during a recent visit that my food took roughly three minutes to cook. The menu features an assortment of French classics, including escargot and a variety of daily specials.
The food was solid, including the duck burger, which retained a good amount of flavor considering that it was re-prepared in five minutes. However, the truck’s frites (fries) were the stand’s pièce de résistance. The truffle frites, one of the truck’s two frite options, were so good that I was scrounging around in the to-go bin in attempt to gorge myself on any leftovers. This desire for more leads into one of Plouf Plouf’s failings: portion size. Plouf Plouf’s food was tasty, but just not quite filling enough for a whole meal.
The small portion size becomes magnified by the fact being that the meal was very costly for a food truck. The average meal seems to be around 13 dollars, roughly twice the cost of eating at any of Plouf Plouf’s competitors. While Plouf Plouf accepts credit cards, one will have to excuse the ENGN0900 student in me as I wonder: What is the truck’s target market, and where exactly does the truck fit into the Thayer St. food ecosystem?
Plouf Plouf’s food was good, but not miles above any of the other food trucks on Thayer, who all offer decent eats for lower prices. Despite our supposed affluence, Brown students don’t seem like the type to regularly splurge the 13 dollars needed to eat at Plouf Plouf. The truck’s hours are incredible, open some nights to 9 p.m., but do SciLi snackers really want to shell out 10+ dollars for fine cuisine?
For a place that styles itself a gastronomie, Plouf Plouf will be just as interesting to watch as a social experiment as it will be to visit for food. Do our palates control our wallets or vice versa? Regardless of the cost, Plouf Plouf is definitely worth a try. Who knows? If it succeeds, it might prove The Herald’s point about wealth at Brown. If Plouf Plouf is still around next year, we might have to (not) talk about how much we spend on the comforts of good food.