N.J.’s to start with Filipino food truck features genuine cuisine with a twist

The cousins had a dream.

Joseph Maglaqui and Jeffrey Fama are two of the 12 cousins in their spouse and children who constantly hoped to open up a enterprise jointly, regardless of whether it be a smaller cafe or even a food truck.

They prepared to blend Maglaqui’s a long time of cafe knowledge and Fama’s fiscal background. And at some point, which is exactly what the pair did.

Twelve, named immediately after the cousins, is New Jersey’s initial Filipino foods truck serving authentic dishes — some regular and other folks with a slight twist.

Twelve in the vicinity of Newport Centre in Jersey Town. (Lauren Musni | NJ Progress Media)

Clients can come across Filipino classics these types of as pancit (a stir-fried noodle dish) ($9) and lumpia (Filipino spring rolls) ($7) as effectively as pork and rooster skewers ($8). There are also specials and desserts that adjust weekly and at every celebration they attend.

Former specials involved bistek nachos (a Filipino dish of thinly sliced beef braised in soy sauce, calamansi juice, garlic, ground black pepper, and onions lower into rings fused with nachos) and champorado (sweet chocolate rice porridge) with a dulce de leche ice cream drizzled with nutella.

“All of the recipes are spouse and children kinds, so the pancit and lumpia are my grandmother’s recipes,” stated Maglaqui, of Aged Bridge. “But the specials and desserts — that’s from us. We try out to fuse with each other Filipino recipes with other cuisines.”

Co-owner Joseph Maglaqui preparing a dish at Twelve.

Co-proprietor Joseph Maglaqui getting ready a dish at Twelve. (Lauren Musni | NJ Advance Media)

The foodstuff truck has been cruising all-around New Jersey because 2019, with a dwelling base at Raritan Bay Medical Center in Outdated Bridge.

“We normally publish our agenda on our Instagram website page for the week on Sunday night or Monday early morning so everybody will know where we’re at,” Maglaqui explained.

“In the middle of every single thirty day period, we system what we’re executing the following thirty day period,” Fama extra. “Our plan variations each and every 7 days, but we currently know exactly where we’re going a thirty day period forward.”

Just Maglaqui and Fama adopted via on the relatives dream, so Twelve is operate by just two.

Maglaqui is a graduate of The French Culinary Institute, the place he specialized in baking and pastry. He also labored at places to eat this sort of as Trabelli’s Ristorante, Grand Marquis and Vintage Cafe. He brings the culinary know-how. Fama, on the other hand, labored at Bank of America, Napus Federal Credit score Union and the Navy Federal Credit history Union.

NJ Advance Media questioned why they chose to generate Twelve around New Jersey. The remedy was very simple, they said.

Jersey is property.

“It was additional effortless for us mainly because we’re just at ease below,” Maglaqui claimed. “Plus, there’s a enormous Filipino populace in New Jersey.”

“I was born in New York and I grew up in Virginia, but New Jersey is dwelling for guaranteed,” Fama additional. “No subject wherever I go, I always signify New Jersey.”

Lumpiang Shanghai dish from Twelve.

Lumpiang Shanghai from Twelve. (Lauren Musni | NJ Advance Media)

Twelve’s food items brought me back again to my childhood as a Filipino American. All the dishes on the menu ended up types that I would support my grandma make or meals I would eat at household capabilities.

So I experienced to try out some of its cuisine.

The lumpia was wonderfully crisp, savory and sweetly spiced when dipped in the aspect of chili sauce.

Lechon Spam Longanisa Rice Bowl special at Twelve.

Lechon Spam longanisa rice bowl specific at Twelve. (Lauren Musni | NJ Advance Media)

I also requested the exclusive of the working day, the lechon Spam longanisa rice bowl. This dish mixed all my favored comfort foods into a single dish — lechon (roasted pig), Spam and longanisa (sweet Filipino sausage) atop a fried garlic rice and garnished with red cabbage, white sauce, scallions and a fried egg. It was garlicky, meaty, crunchy and oh so heavenly.

Ube Banana Pudding dessert at Twelve.

Ube banana pudding at Twelve. (Lauren Musni | NJ Progress Media)

And of program, I couldn’t forget about dessert.

The working day I visited, they available ube banana pudding. The velvety purple pudding was vaguely nutty, sugared with the banana and Nilla cookie crust at the base. I could consume that banana pudding all working day.

View of Twelve at Union Farmers' Market.

Twelve at Union Farmers’ Sector. (Lauren Musni | NJ Advance Media)

It makes me pleased to see the soaring curiosity in Filipino cuisine, specially now with Twelve roaming the condition. Fama described that a vast majority of their clientele is actually non-Filipinos who get desire every time they walk previous the food items truck and are inclined to discover additional about their dishes.

Now I can get a flavor of the Philippines without having owning to travel all the way to Jersey City. Mabuhay!

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Lauren Musni might be achieved at [email protected]. Stick to her on Twitter @Laurengmusni. Find NJ.com on Fb.