On a large bar patio under a scant string of bulb lighting is a food truck. The windows are partially covered by old Mexican serapes. A rear quarter panel is missing, and the truck is overdue for a good wash. This is El Luchador and they serve up my favorite burger in the East Village. For $4 dollars (cash only) you can purchase a cheeseburger – a single velvety patty with pickle, ketchup and mustard- between a soft bun lightly kissed by the flat top grill. I have only seen two people work at El Luchador. Most recently, it has been a quiet, kind faced twenty something who keeps warm inside Ernie’s Boondock. He politely takes your order, cooks it up and when he’s done, delivers the grease pocked paper bag into your eager hands. The heat trapped inside the foil wrapping essentially creates an emulsion of cheese and condiments. $2 buy you a side of crispy, thin cut fries that are unevenly seasoned that – like the whole experience- are far from disappointing.
El Luchador @ 440 E Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA