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We usually don't draw spiritual inspiration from Kacey Musgraves songs. However, the lyric scrawled on the side of the state-of-the-art food truck parked at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's Battery Park may have pulled us over the edge.

"Mind your own biscuits," the signage said, "and life will be gravy."

OK, that quote from the "Same Trailer, Different Park" girl may not be especially Gandhi-esque. Still, it provides the appropriate level of attitude needed for Hard Rock. And its food truck is no exception.

First pulling into town on July 7, the black-and-white mobile restaurant is an exact replica of one for the Hard Rock in Orlando, Florida.

Specializing in such Hard Rock Cafe favorites as the Tupelo Chicken Tenders (hand-breaded, lightly fried chicken tenderloins, served with honey mustard and a hickory barbecue sauce); and the totally decadent Oreo Cookie Cheesecake (a rich and creamy New York style cheesecake baked with a generous heaping of Oreo that's been drizzled with a sea of Ghiradelli chocolate sauce), the truck's open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays; and 4 to 10 p.m. Saturdays.

While Roderick Johnson can't call himself a food truck connoisseur, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's chef de cuisine definitely sees their appeal.

"(Food trucks take) unique comfort foods, perfect their recipes and feed people who want something that is fast and portable," he said. "There's nothing wrong with that."

If a classically trained chef like Johnson can enjoy food truck fare, so can the members of the Weekender Taste Test Crew.

We tried a duo of sandwiches to see if they're ready for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or if they're simply a one-hit wonder.


WHAT IS IT: This big kahuna is the burger that put Hard Rock Cafe on the map. It is a juicy, one-half pound Certified Angus Beef burger is topped with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, crisp lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes and a big-ass onion ring.

HOW DOES IT TASTE: We don't mind the onion ring but those tomato slices were way too thickly-cut. Other than that, this was a primo burger that was worth all the hype. It was messy, over-the-top and you had a headache shortly after ingesting it. Sort of like you did after listening to Pink Floyd's "The Wall," remember?

WAS IT THE BEATLES OR SIMPLY BEATLEMANIA: This is the real deal. If you order it, bring your appetite or, perhaps, a hungry friend or two.

OUR SCORE: Four out of a possible score of five


WHAT IS IT: No, we're not referencing the 1979 Steve Martin movie or such nerdy rockers as Weezer.  Hard Rock Cafe's Jerk Sandwich is smoked pulled pork, cheddar, applewood bacon, a charred pineapple slaw, a Caribbean jerk barbecue on a fresh-baked ciabatta roll.

HOW'S IT TASTE: Delicious and diabolically deceptive. "I thought this was going to be a normal sandwich before I picked up the ciabatta roll," one taste tester said. "That ciabatta's so big, it has a booty." To be honest, this needed a hefty roll. Packed with sweet-spicy barbecue and a smoky slaw, you'll be licking your finger by the time you're done with your meal. 

WAS IT THE BEATLES OR SIMPLY BEATLEMANIA? You'd be a jerk if you didn't like the Jerk sandwich.

OUR SCORE: Four out of a possible score of five.

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Food and Lifestyles reporter

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