Ok, I admit it. After having lived here for five years, I had never, not once, eaten from a Houston food truck.
I know, I know, SHAME ON ME!
So, this post will probably be the first of many, considering the THOUSANDS of trucks there are in town to try - a girl's gotta pace herself, right? Around mid-June, I asked my Facebook friends for some recommendations, to help me pop my food-truck-cherry, as I'd been told that Houston has some pretty epic food trucks. At home, you see, the only kind of 'food truck' we have, is a chip van. It serves one kind of food (typical chip shop food) and you only find them places like carnivals, the beach etc. The concept of a food truck culture is alien to me.
Before trying a truck, I try to do some reading, Yelp, blogs, reviews on Facebook and figure out what their specialties are, what people like, what people LOVE and what people hate. I try and go in armed with a 'shopping list' and I try not to get too distracted. Col hands me the cash (we like to use cash with the trucks) and trusts me to do the ordering - he knows I take my truckin' very seriously and have done extensive reading on what's what.
I'll share my fave trucks with you in the order in which I happened upon them - read the list all the way to the bottom, some of the best are ones aren't the ones I tried first. I've tried around 30-35 food trucks, yes, I counted! (a few of these were sweet/dessert trucks, but most are savory), and these trucks have made an impression on us, many of which we'll go back to, some of which we HAVE gone back to. Check out the food truck scene in our city - honestly, you won't be disappointed!
The Waffle Bus
We started with THE WAFFLE BUS - and what a place to start!
Alright, so it wasn't in the Rice Village location on Saturday morning when it was supposed to be, but, after a mini Top Gear Challenge, we tracked it down outside the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and got stuck in.
We opted for the 'Waffle Fryders' as we wanted to try a sweet waffle too and thought that little waffle sliders would be better than two large waffles. We got an order of each, the cheeseburger fryders and the chicken fryders. They were tasty - two orders were enough for the two of us - but, I'd have preferred they used 'real' smaller version of waffles instead of waffle fries, but they were good all the same.
The piece de resistance, however, was their dessert waffle - we tried the strawberry Irish cream crème brulee waffle - it was delicious. Absolutely delicious! And, I admit, I almost went back for a second dessert waffle, mostly cause I just wanted to taste another 'flavor'. YUM!
I ordered Col the Flip'n'patty (FnP), which is a 1/3lb burger, with a stuffed Portobello mushroom, bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, FnP sauce and FnP spicy sauce.
I got myself an order of the flip'n'fries which are fries, topped with cheese, chicken, house sauce and spicy sauce - I spent yesterday describing it to people as a spicy chicken chip kebab. It was delicious - and made my nose run it was so spicy!
I LOVE THIS TRUCK. The guy who owns it is a down to earth guy, he runs their twitter account, interacts with customers - and serves up some freakin' amazing food! We LOVE Brazilian steak houses, and to discover this truck? I got wife of the year award sewn up ;) Their gaucho fries (fries, Brazilian sausage, chipotle mayo, parmesan cheese and green onions) are delicious! I keep saying that I'm going to get them to make me Picanha fries, but I haven't tracked them down yet to do so. I also want to try their lamb, but it's only served in special event (I LOVE lamb!!!)
We have also tried their meat lovers sammich, it was bigger than my head (picanha, pork and sausage) - bring your appetite. It's huge. It's delicious. It's a challenge to finish, but you'll struggle through ;)
I know, this whole post is full of my fave trucks, so when I say 'I love this truck', or this is a 'top truck', it kind of goes without saying, right? But, again, I really do love this truck! We originally went to this truck to try their lobster mac and cheese, but it wasn't on the menu that day. When I saw that they had a gravy chip on their menu, I almost cried with joy. Gravy and curry chips are totally non existent in the US, but they are ALL the rage at home. On their menu, they are called 'disco fries' and they have 'poutine', a Canadian 'delicacy' (French fries, beef gravy and cheese curds). OMG - delicious! Canadian friends - hunt this truck down, and EAT ALL THE POUTINE!!
Ahem, as I was saying, good food. Great food! We coupled our poutine with their roasted Cuban sandwich, roasted pork loin, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles on brioche - and they texted us to tell us that our food was ready. Love it!
I am a sucker for Mediterranean food. No, really, I have a serious addiction to gyros and shawarma. We tried this truck on an impulse at the (now closed), 'My Food Park HTX' on HWY6. I ordered their chicken shawarma, not really sure what to expect, but O.M.G it was delicious! Their bread isn't a traditional pita, it's a Lebanese flatbread, like a thick Malaysian roti. The contents were heavenly and plentiful and absolutely delicious. Fresh and packed full of flavor - my 'not so fussed on Mediterranean food' husband, hogged it and almost didn't share! LOL!
My side dish was their cucumber tzatziki (another thing I'm utterly addicted to) and their homemade pita chips. You may think that all pita chips are created equal, they aren't. If you haven't checked out Pitas bites pita chips - y'all haven't lived. I'm drooling remembering my PB experience. I need to track them down for a fix!
We headed to the Houston food park to check out some foodtrucks. Never having had Peruvian food, it was a shot in the dark. We like branching out and going in to the realm of 'never before' for our culinary exploration. So, ordering blind, we tried the pork sandwich (with fries) and the beef empanadas, total: $14. (Pan Con chicharro - pork with sweet potato, Créole red onions, cilantro and lemon. Beef empanadas - Empanadas stuffed with beef, onions, tomatoes and Peruvian sauce.)
We almost fought over the sandwich, holy moly, it was absolutely delicious!
Having icing sugar on beef empanadas, is just plain weird to me, but, once you get over that, the empanadas are pretty damn good!
So glad we tried this truck out, well worth the $14 for quite a good portion of very tasty food. The guy in the truck was also friendly too, he helped make recommendations and told me that they were opening a restaurant soon - watch this space!
Buttz gourmet food truck
Alright, I stalked this truck for a while. Yep, stalked. Their menu really did entice me, I mean, pulled pork sandwiches? Helllllllls yes! After a quick chat with the guy at the window and, considering that we try more than one food truck each time we visit the park, I decided that Col and I would share a 'club butt' which consisted of smoked pulled pork, smoked chicken breast, lime ranch, arugula, pepper jack and cheddar cheese and bacon, on artisan bread - admit it, your mouth is watering!!
Mr Buttz (not his real name) even offered to split our club, so we got equal shares and wouldn't fight over it, which I'm glad he did, 'cause otherwise? I'd probably have eaten the whole thing. Absolutely delicious!
We tried the modular at MFAH, as opposed to the food truck park, so it was the only truck we tried that day. We were starving! Hubby was geared up to try their famous brussell sprouts, but they didn't have them, so I ordered their boar sausage hot-dog, wonton and egg rolls. The hotdog was amazing - I was a bit wary of the meat selection, but I was famished, and, again (you'll notice a theme in this blog post), I almost punched out Col for his half of the dawg ;) lol!
The guy at the window wasn't so chipper though, maybe he was having an off day? The person in charge of their twitter, tweeted that morning that he was out unsupervised for a change and I made a crack about it, he didn't seem impressed. Thankfully his food more than made up for his surly mood, and this truck is on our 'track down again' list, hubby is determined to try those sprouts!
One of my absolute favorite food trucks - another one I'd been stalking for aaaaaages. It wholly deserves a place on my list. Ok, the wait was painfully long, they seemed to be giving food out to bigger groups/corporate orders and leaving the food traffic at the truck wait longer, so my other food got cold. But the food itself was nom-tastic.
The mac and cheese egg rolls were the perfect balance of wrapper and filling, the filling was creamy and full of flavour, 2 decent sized rolls for $5 - I'm fussy about my mac and cheese, I've had mac and cheese grilled cheese, mac and cheese balls and a few mac and cheese egg rolls from various trucks - but nothing compares to these guys. DELISH!
The bacon jammin' biscuits at 3 for $5 were so amazing we faught over the remaining one. They blew my mind! Chicken karaage, bacon jam, cheese biscuits - heck yeah! I wish they did bigger versions, I'd have ALL OF THEM PLEASE!
We tried this truck twice, the second time, we got the chicken karaage burrito - it was tasty, but it wasn't my favorite. It was quite rich and next time I would ask for no corn or avocado (I don't like either). This truck has an extensive menu - when I see it on the line-up at the food truck park, I get giddy. LOVE IT!
St John's Fire
We tried this truck at the Sugar Land farmers market, I'd had my eye on it for a while - and I'm so glad I dragged Col's butt outta bed on a Saturday morning to give it a whirl. I LOVE it when trucks come down to this neck of the woods, it makes it much easier to try new trucks - I'm a strong advocate for more trucks to come down here, but, at the same time, if they did, I'd never eat anything else! LOL!
We had the hot and crunchy chicken sandwich, pulled pork sandwich and the Tex-Mex fries, minus the Tex-Mex part (so essentially cheese fries! lol!!)
The staff were lovely and friendly, there was someone at the front of the line taking orders so there was no bottle neck, and their menu was extensive, diverse and different. Their food was delicious, their pork sandwich packed a heated punch, but not so much so that we wouldn't order it again, but as pork sandwiches go, I'd favor one from Buttz. Their crunchy chicken sandwich however? Was delicious! Chicken, bacon, fig preserve? Yes, yes, YES! Can't wait for them to come back to Sugar Land to try something else from their menu!
I'll be honest, their brisket egg roll? Not my bag. Not so much brisket egg roll, than a sweetcorn egg roll. I wasn't impressed. That said, their cheddar brisket burger on a pretzel bun, was absolutely delicious. It was a party in my mouth - tasty meat, great balance of flavors and a fresh and yummy pretzel bun, it came with fries which were also delicious. If I'd just ordered the brisket egg roll (as I sometimes order one thing from a few different trucks), this truck wouldn't have made my best-of list. They're just lucky that we were having a super hungry day!
For anyone who thinks that food trucks are skeevy, scummy, greasy food - this one is for you. Fine dining food truck you say? Why, don't mind if I do! These guys are great - they teach classes around Houston too. The girl at the window was friendly and the food came out quickly and hot - what more could you want? Was it good? Do bears poop in the woods? HELL YES it was good!
I had the beef burgundy, the meat was fall apart tender and jam packed full of flavor. As an Irish Las, I'm alllllllll about the spuds - their potato gratin was scrummy! Next time, I want to try one (or more) of their desserts, the day I went they had vanilla bean panna cotta and banana nutella crêpes - I just didn't have the time, plus I had bubs with me on my own, so dessert wasn't really practical. But I have your number CC's, and one day your dessert will be miiiiiine!!
This is one of my most recent discoveries, it's a new truck that I tried in early December. I ordered the triple cheese and bacon burger - by the guy at the window's own admission, it's one of their best sellers. He was very friendly and sliced my burger in half so we could share, it was delicious - juicy, but not greasy, packed full of flavor and very reasonably priced. Fries were a let-down to me, but the burger knocked it out of the park - next time, we'd double up on the meat for sure.
So that's my first round up of Food Trucks in Houston -I do have an ever growing list of trucks that I want to try in the future, including Mahalo Munchies (Hawaiian food), Southern Express (Indian), Katmania crêpes and Doughmaker Donuts.
Do you have a favorite truck that I should try? What's their 'signature dish'?
Las McMaster (29) is an Irish expat who has been living in Houston, Texas, for five and a half years. Her then-boyfriend (now-husband) was transferred to Houston for work and she decided to tag along for the ride. She blogs about Houston, their travel adventures, their fertility journey, pregnancy and parenthood. She can be found tweeting over at @icemaiden013, blogging at www.lasandcolgotexan and over on Instagram at Icemaiden013.