East Idaho Eats: New zombie-themed food truck brings authentic Cubano, other sandwiches to Pocatello
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POCATELLO — Ben Campbell has always loved to cook. As he says, had he been able to afford it, he would have opened a restaurant decades ago.
With a little bit of extra money and a continued thirst, he and his wife, Jonia, identified a need in Pocatello. They decided Gate City’s growing food scene lacked an authentic Cubano sandwich.
So the duo launched a food truck. And they used a theme that is so much a part of their lives, it was also the theme at their wedding — zombies.
The Zombwiches food truck has been up and running for about two months. And despite launching around the Cubano — or as they call it, ‘El Hefe’ — the Campbells offer a selection of tasty sammies.
“The whole reason I (started this food truck) was that sandwich,” Campbell said. “But each (sandwich) has its own unique style and flair.”
According to Ben, folks who have tried his Cubano say it is the best they’ve had outside of Miami — the birthplace of the sandwich — and can even stand toe to toe with many in the city.
His trick is, as is the case with all his sandwiches, creating the signature flavors.
The Cubano — for those who have never indulged — is made with signature Cuban bread, mojo pork, ham, cheese, Cuban mustard, and a pickle.
Ben makes the mustard and mojo marinade himself. But what truly sets his Cubano apart from others is the bread, the recipe for which, of course, he devised himself.
Jonia said Ben blends several pounds of fruits and vegetables nearly daily to make the marinade and also created the bread recipe through trial and error. Once satisfied, he took the recipe to a local baker, whom he pays to make the bread for him — to cut down on his many tasks.
“The mojo pork and the bread, if you don’t have those right, you may as well not even serve it,” Ben said. “It’s so simple, but everything pulls together to make one of the best sandwiches you will ever eat.”
In addition to the Cubano, Zombwiches offered EastIdahoNews.com samples of the Zombwich — a pizza-inspired sando with pepperoni, salami, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, and peppers — and the new chicken club.
All three were delicious in their own way, with the chicken club offering a bit of a twist through Ben’s homemade chipotle mayo. But the Cubano was the top sandwich of the three.
Ben said he is also proud of his Bahn Mi — a Vietnamese specialty — with home-pickled vegetables. But he decided not to offer it as a tester because he uses the Cubano bread rather than the traditional baguette.
“It’s really good — it’s just not authentic,” he said.
A new menu item — one Dr. Frankenstein would be proud of — combines the mojo pork with the vegetables and sweet chili sauce from the Bahn Mi, all on Ben’s Cuban bread. The Zombwich name for the creation? Porkenstein.
Ben, Jonia, their children and Zombwiches can be found at the Food Truck Roundup, both at Downtown Pocatello on Monday evenings and Chubbuck City Hall on Wednesday evenings. They are also regulars at the farmer’s markets in both cities.
You can also find their schedule on Facebook — here.
If you want to make a recommendation for the next destination to be included on East Idaho Eats, email Kalama@EastIdahoNews.com and include “EATS” in the subject line.