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ITHACA, NY — Luna Street Food will host a barbecue this Friday, July 8 at Lot 10, one of many Luna events to come at this location.
The second in the Reggae Roast series, Luna will bring a roast pig and an array of vegetarian sides to the Lot 10 Beer Garden.
Elliot Martin and Jay Spaker of John Brown’s Body will provide the tunes from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Afterwards, the Club Rub-A-Dub party will continue inside upstairs in Lot 10 with more studio one, roots & dance hall reggae.
“The pork is done Cuban style, marinated for a couple of days in a mojo, a sour orange-based marinade. Then it’s slow roasted, cut up and pulled apart right there,” said Luna Chef Consultant Bryan Keller.
The pig is covered in coals in a roasting box called a La Caja China, the same principle as burying a pig to roast for a luau, but the box cooks almost like a convection oven in ~six hours, instead of 12 to 16 hours with the same results.
For the first Reggae Roast on June 10, Luna roasted a whole pig from Bostrom Farms in Seneca Falls, and brought along five side dishes: Cuban black beans, island rice and grains, sweet potato and kale hash, street corn, and a tangy cabbage slaw.
This Friday the food will be available for $15 for a platter with two sides, or $9 for a sandwich with a side. All the sides can be made into a vegetarian platter for $9.
“This is the best and most fun event of the month,” said Keller, who is excited to host more Luna events at Lot 10.
“It’s something new, something fun. It breaks things up a little bit, and gives me a chance to cook food that I’m not cooking every day.”
That’s the main vibe for Luna at Lot 10. Instead of being a carbon copy of Luna Inspired Street Food on Stewart Ave., the downtown location is part enhancement, part experiment station.
The core menu at the Lot 10 location will be familiar to those who have visited the Collegetown location; the tacos, French fries and mac ‘n cheese options are all there. But menu additions exclusive to Luna at Lot 10 up the ante on what its sister restaurant up the hill started.
For one, there is a full size burger instead of sliders, and a weekly burger special. Diners will find a fried chicken bao buns, a complement to the pork belly bao from Stewart Ave.
While those are all variations on the familiar, the largest difference is the Food Lab, a rotating menu of “composed dishes.”
Food Lab items are full plated meals with an upscale casual vibe, Keller explained.
As opposed to a la carte in takeout containers, “these are a step or two above,” said Keller.
The Food Lab has featured items like a fried trout po’ bo sandwich, battered Idaho trout on an Amoroso roll along with baby heirloom tomatoes, Romaine lettuce, and a housemade jalapeno remoulade accompanied by fresh cut fries.
“We have an heirloom tomato and burrata salad, composed of roasted tomatoes, some fresh baby heirloom tomatoes and burrata, which is cream-filled mozzarella,” Keller said. “We do a lemon oil, cracked pepper, and grilled corn bread croutons tossed in the dressing, like panzanella.”