The Real Boss brings bites of Argentina in Southwest Detroit

The food truck is part of a growing family-owned enterprise

The Steak Bomba sandwich from the Real Boss food truck.
The Steak Bomba sandwich from the Real Boss food truck. Tom Perkins

The Real Boss

6700 Dix St., Detroit
$10-$17 for sandwiches
11 a.m.-3 a.m. daily
Wheelchair accessible

Southwest Detroit’s The Real Boss food truck scores some points for conceptual originality by trading in the cuisines of two souths: The American south and South America — or, more specifically, Argentina. Don’t think I’ve previously encountered a menu like this.

It’s a product of father and son Chris and Julian Muñoz, both of whom long ago immigrated from Argentina, a nation known for its barbecue and producing what’s arguably the world’s best beef.

They also run the neighboring Tacos del Barrio truck, which are parked at the spot formerly held by the incredible El Parian taco truck, and the lot is one of my favorite places in Detroit to eat. It’s in the parking lot of a car wash owned by the Muñozes, and if the wind is blowing the right direction then you can also smell the suds. It also neighbors a massive, busy trucking terminal and sits at the always congested Dix, Vernor, and Waterman intersection. The noise from the tire shop across the street competes with traffic noise, and the whole scene is the perfect picture of industrial Detroit. I love it. The Muñozes did, however, make some upgrades and soften things a bit with a new shelter, picnic tables, and giant chairs painted like Latin American flags, which serve to block the view of the neighboring truck terminal traffic.

The Real Boss food truck menu is built around barbecue sandwiches – some, like pulled pork and brisket, are billed as southern-style, and a few are common Argentine options, as well as a Cuban.

The best territory is the Argentine component, especially the Argentine chorizo, which is labeled on the menu as kielbasa and is a whole different game than Mexican chorizo. The sausage, made in-house, is packed with red wine, paprika, garlic, and pepper — a crumbly interior with snap from the casing. It’s run on the grill renders it a bit smokey with generous sear. Argentine chorizo’s fat-to-meat ratio is different from most American sausages – the higher fat content helps keep it juicy, Muñoz says. It’s at the center of the Choriboy, Real Boss’s take on Argentina’s ubiquitous choripan sandwich. The sausage is split down the middle lengthwise to fill the grilled ciabatta, served with a coating of caramelized onions, grilled red peppers, tomatoes, greens, and a slather of the tangy, creamy “Boss Sauce.”

Another standard Argentine sandwich is the lomito completo, which Muñoz describes as a “street food” that one gets before going to a soccer match. Real Boss’s version is stacked on a grilled ciabatta, and includes a pile of thin steak, grilled ham, a fried egg, cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, and tomato. It’s finished with a healthy amount of Boss Sauce and some chimichurri. For the uninitiated, chimichurri is an Argentine condiment often composed of chopped parsley and/or cilantro, garlic, olive oil, peppers, red wine vinegar, oregano, and salt.

One can also find the chorizo in the loaded fries, a sloppy, condiment-laden dish of fries bathed in a cheese sauce with green onions, sour cream, pickled jalapeños, pickles, and bits of the sausage.

Real Boss’s brisket sandwich, the Tipsy Texan, comes with tender cubes of fatty brisket, heavy on the smoke and soaking in a tangy barbecue sauce. Cooling coleslaw and bread and butter pickles provide crunch and acidic pops. It’s served on a soft brioche bun that absorbs the borderline condiment soup contents but is still strong enough to hold the package together.

We also ordered the Cochiloco, a sandwich that is entirely the same thing as the brisket sandwich but with salty pulled pork in place of the brisket, and with a similar smokey quality, piquant barbecue sauce, slaw, and pickles. On the side, the crisp coleslaw is at the same time extra creamy, as is the mac and cheese.

Real Boss is open to 3 a.m., catering to the local club crowd, and a third truck with housemade ice cream, churros, coffee, and desserts will join the Real Boss and Tacos del Barrio.

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