Amman Street Food Park brings the vibe, forgets world flavors

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Amman Street Food Park is an open-air park containing multiple food establishments operating out of converted shipping containers. (Photo: Facebook)
Food trucks have so much to offer: Authentic “street” flavors, a dynamic and mobile vibe, and direct connections between food preparers and happy customers. But mobile vehicles serving food are not yet permitted in Jordan. The solution? A vibrant, open-air street food park.اضافة اعلان

Across its active social media channels, Amman Street Food Park boasts of being the first park of its kind in the Kingdom. Established in December 2021, the park consists of multiple restaurants operating out of converted shipping containers, with central pavilions for foodies to munch, chat, and relax.

(Photos: Zeid Odeh/Jordan News) 

Amman Street Food Park is located on Medina Munawara Street. The park’s ambiance is simple, decorative, and bright, with various lighting fixtures and several seating areas. Children’s games and dessert shops also lend the area a festive feel.

The park houses about 10 shipping containers with various food concepts — or so one would expect. Unfortunately, the offerings are more or less repetitive, lacking originality.

On a mission to sample all the park has to offer, I selected one dish from every vendor, asking for the signature menu item at each container window. After arranging my slew of edibles on the table, I was impressed by the quantity of food.

The parks vendors include Yami, serving Italian pasta and pizzas; Bhar and Khardal, serving hot dogs, corn dogs, and other hot dog-themed items; MLT, serving Beef and Chicken burgers; Error 404, serving snacks, appetizers, and sandwiches; Budz, serving tacos and burritos; Flip, serving burgers; and last but not least, Food Coma, serving burgers.

My order was:

Yami — Penne rose

Bhar and Khardal — Korean and Taki corn dogs

MLT — Jamaican chicken sandwich

Error 404 — Fried platter

Budz — The taco trio

Flip — Steak Sandwich

Food Coma — Coma burger

Starting with Yami, I must say that the portion of the pasta was more than ample, even for sharing. The pasta was cooked al dente and was sufficiently sauced. The marinara had a healthy undertone of herbs, bringing great depth to the dish. However, the sauce would have benefited from a longer cooking time as it tasted undeveloped.

Tomato sauces can generally be tricky to do properly, requiring a delicate balance between sweetness, saltiness, sourness, and herbs. The tomatoes must also be cooked very well for the flavors to marry.

Moving on to the corn dogs from Bhar and Khardal: I had been craving corn dogs, since it had been a while since I had one. Traditional corn dogs are hot dogs on a stick dipped in batter and deep fried. Bhar and Khardal’s trendy version was Taki flavored, with the spicy-sour chips crushed and placed on top. While corn dog dough is usually a pancake-like batter, this vendor’s version is crunchier and draped in various sauces, depending on the order.

Visually, it is an appealing item for those who enjoy street food, featuring a toasty, golden-brown color. It tasted good. I would probably come back for a plain corn dog just to dip it in mustard and enjoy the simplicity of a well-crafted basic.
The park houses about 10 shipping containers with various food concepts — or so one would expect. Unfortunately, the offerings are more or less repetitive, lacking originality.
The chicken sandwich from MLT, dipped in their Jamaican sauce, was on another level. MLT has been a long-standing favorite of mine whenever I crave a fried chicken sandwich or even a burger. Their crispy-gold, deep-fried chicken, bathed in their homemade sauce and served with vegetables in a soft bun, is definitely worth a try. Bring extra napkins, though; it can get quite messy.

Error 404’s fried platter, which consists of mozzarella sticks, onion rings, fries, and chicken tender pieces, quite frankly added no value to the overall experience. I wished that just one of the items were homemade instead of flash-frozen and fried from a bag. I will give them this: The way their sauces are served provides for an interesting customer experience, which attracts people to the place.

The Budz taco trio was a flavor experience, featuring a dynamite chicken taco, a Cheetos taco, and a steak taco. Each taco was prepared with a unique combo of sauces, marination, and toppings. They were all served in flour tortillas. Flavor-wise, the chicken taco was well seasoned and flavored, and the vegetables across the board were perfectly portioned and offered the right amount of variety.

I would class Budz’s offerings more towards Tex-Mex than authentic Mexican tacos since they were heavily Americanized, but the concept was well-executed.

The steak sandwich from Flip was stuffed in a beautiful buttered brioche bun, which excited me to dig in. The steak-to-vegetables and cheese ratio was ideal, and the flavoring was done well. However, adding some oyster or barbecue sauce would have allowed the meat to meld better with the other ingredients.

Finally, the coma burger, which was Food Coma’s specialty, was average at best. Even though this burger was supposed to be the menu’s highlight, the patty was a little overcooked, and the sauce was not-so-special.

The repetition of ingredients and menu items was very hard to miss in a place like Amman Street Food Park. How many times does dynamite anything need to appear on a menu? And the world has so much street food to offer — think Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, Thai and Indonesian peanut-based dishes, Chinese noodles, South American empanadas, British fish and chips, Spanish tapas, Indian samosas, and fried vegetable cake; the list is endless. The park is also noticeably lacking a vendor with healthy options, specialized in gourmet salads and healthy appetizers.

In terms of value-for-money, the containers all average about the same per meal. This could pose challenges for some businesses wanting to compete in this environment.

In seven words: A Convenient one-stop shop for late munchies.

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