Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Whole Foods Truck - Kenya Crepe and Beet Tots

Whole Foods Truck, Houston TX
Truck: Whole Foods Truck
Location: My Food Park, 800 Highway 6 South
Date: December 23, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WFMtruckHTX

Whole Foods Truck, Houston TX Kenya Crepe and Beet Tots
Kenya Crepe - $4

A crepe filled with sweet potatoes (yams) collard greens, githeri, tomatoes and onions. You can get a regular crepe or vegan crepe. Githeri is a Kenyan stew of beans and maize. Greens and potatoes are often added, so the fillings of this crepe make for a pretty traditional Kenyan meal. This was my first experience with githeri, but the flavors are good, very savory for a vegan dish. the crepe was classically thin and tender, not at all rubbery like an over cooked crepe. Synopsis: A tasty introduction to something exotic.

Beet Tots - $3

When I saw these I couldn't help blurting out "they look like Christmas turds". Beets are one of the popular super foods these days. If all you've ever had are pickled beets from a jar, you'll be surprised at how mild these taste. The brilliant beet red color goes through and through. I found them tasty, but texture-wise I think they are a bit dense. They are made by finally shredding the beets. I suspect a course grind like a classic tater tot would lighten them up some. Synopsis: Don't let the look turn you off, you should try these.

Whole Foods Truck, Houston TX Menu

Monday, December 23, 2013

Rock 'n' Sandwiches - Italian Sausage Sandwich and R'N'S Fries

Rock 'n' Sandwiches Houston, TX
Truck: Rock 'n' Sandwiches
Location: My Food Park, 800 Highway 6 South
Date: December 23, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RocknSandwiches

Rock 'n' Sandwiches Italian Sausage Sandwich
Italian Sausage Sandwich - $7

Plenty of grilled Italian Sausage, and best of all not especially greasy like much Italian sausage is. Sliced long-ways so a tough piece of casing doesn't cause a problem. A nice touch. Lots of grilled peppers and onions. Topped with signature "roll" sauce. To be honest the sauce never made an impression on me, good or bad. The bread is almost the best part of this sandwich. A good grilled hoagie roll, a nice crisp crust and a little "chew" to the bread. Good bread can make or break a sandwich, this makes it. Its nice when you take a bite and can taste each ingredient. There is nothing new and unique in this sandwich, just a really well executed classic. Getting 5 ingredients to add up this well is tough. Synopsis: This is a sandwich I'll go out of my way to have again.

Rock 'n' Sandwiches R'N'S Fries with Ribeye
R'N'S Fries with Ribeye - $8

Hand-cut fries and tossed with a house seasoning. When you're making loaded fries, food service fries don't cut it, so the hand-cut fries are what you need here. Topped with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, sauteed onions and both the house "Rock" and "Roll" Sauces. I think the "Rock" sauce is the green sauce, tasted like a creamy Serrano pepper sauce. It does give a little kick without being so hot you can't enjoy the food. Lots of tender grilled ribeye. The ribeye was very much like the ribeye I've had at famous cheesesteak joints in Philadelphia. Enough so I know I have to try Cheesesteak Sandwich next. The fries were cooked crispy enough that they stood up to the topping for a little while. Synopsis: Make a meal of these excellent loaded fries.

Rock 'n' Sandwiches Menu, Houston, TX

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Miso Yummy - Slaw-P Dog

Miso Yummy Food Truck, Houston TX
Truck: Miso Yummy
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St. Emanuel
Date: December 14, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MisoYummytruck

Miso Yummy - Slaw-P Dog
Slaw-P Dog - $8

A large beef dog topped with a very good sweet sesame slaw. Shredded cheese, Asian sauce, and the signature yummy sauce finish this dog. The unique spin on this dog is the bun. It's served on a baguette like a Bahn Mi sandwich. I think its a terrific idea, especially if you are getting it to go. Lets face it, the bread of a classic hot dog bun is basically Wonder Bread and a yawner. A classic baguette, now that's a bun with some chew to it. I got it to go and it was 15 minutes before I could dig in. Slaw is tough on a bun, but this was still flaky and crispy. The slaw was excellent on its own. Synopsis: An excellent spin on a classic.

Miso Yummy - Menu

Gastro Punk - Chicken Pot Pie and Jalapeño Poppers

Truck: Gastro Punk
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St Emanuel
Date: December 13, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GastroPunkTX

Chicken Pot Pie - $7

I had settled on one of the specials when I saw this on the menu. Something about chicken pot pie (CPP) on a cool dreary day that just works. This was kind of a deconstructed version of CPP. A bowl of great CPP filling. Lots of chicken, carrots, potatoes, and peas immediately jumped out at me. The gravy/sauce was perfect. Topped with a big piece of puff pastry to represent the crust. I think all the choices here were a smart way to make CPP into street food. The filling can be held hot until topping it with the crust keeps it perfectly crispy until you order it and you don't get a soggy crust. Did I mention how good the crust is dunked in the filling? Synopsis: Its hard to turn slow comfort food in to fast food this well done.

Jalapeno Poppers - $5

This is hard review to write. First the good news. These are without question the best jalapeno poppers I've ever had. You get two. Each is a large jalapeno stuffed with a cream cheese, corn, pepper, cilantro, and zucchini filling.The filling is a work of art. But wait it gets better. Instead of just breading and deep frying it, they are wrapped in puff pastry. That's a brilliant move. Its hard to make breading stick to so something like a jalapeno. Pastry solves that problem by being a complete envelope. It was like biting into a perfect turnover, but instead of apple filling you get a spicy cheesy surprise. I'm hoping this is something that stays on the menu. Heck I may go looking for them tonight. Now the bad:  mine were cold, really cold on one end. That said, even cold these were absolutely the best popper I've ever had. I would take them cold over any popper I've ever had. I've had a lot of food from Gastro Punk, I've every confidence that getting something cold is an isolated incident and I have no qualms about recommending these popper as the best in Houston. Synopsis: You must try these while they are off the menu.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yummy'z Kitchen - Croissant Burger and Fresh Cut Fries

Yummy'Z Kitchen Houston Texas
Truck: Yummy'z Kitchen
Location: 1711 Westhiemer Rd
Date: December 11, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Yummyzkitchen

It's getting hard to find a truck in the Montrose these days in the evenings, all the trucks seems to be hanging out at the food parks. Fortunately for me, Yummy'z was at a new location Wednesday night.

Yummy'Z Kitchen Croissant Burger
Croissant Burger - $9.75

A giant 1/2 pound seasoned patty cooked when you order it. Topped with a generous amount of bacon and cheese. Lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and Yummy'z sauce finish the burger. Overall this is a high quality burger, big and tasty. The unique Yummy'z spin on this is the colossal toasted croissant used as a bun for this burger. A classic croissant is layered flaky pastry and doesn't usually have the structure to hold a big sandwich together. In this case the beef patty itself provides the backbone for the burger, then the croissant becomes the wrapper of the package. This is one of the better alternate burger buns I've tried. I like it and will have it again. Synopsis: Yummy'z makes a yummy burger big enough for two!

Yummy'Z Kitchen Fresh Cut Fries
Fresh Cut Fries - $2.50

Freshly cut fries cut from large potatoes and cut thin shoestring style. The thin cut is a good idea, they can be fried up and served hot and crispy by the order in a reasonable amount of time. Mine where hot and crispy, but they don't stay crispy very long. I don't think that's any fault of Yummy'z though, just the nature of a fresh natural fry. They are some of the better fries I've had lately. Synopsis: eat'em while they're hot!

Yummy'Z Kitchen - Menu

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Katmania - Meat Lovers Crepe

Katmania Crepes, Houston TX
Truck: Katamania
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St. Emanuel
Date: December 4, 2013

Katmania Crepes Meat Lovers Crepe
Meat Lovers Crepe - $6.75

A large 16 inch crepe filled with lots of ham, bacon, and sausage. Cream cheese completes the filling. A little mayonnaise over top completes the presentation. I had this for dinner and a single crepe is enough for a light meal. The crepe was done perfectly, a perfect golden brown. My only complaint is this is Houston, we crave something edgier. Maybe chipotle mayo on top, or cilantro pecan pesto inside? Just some ideas for a way to make something "safe" into something on the edge. These crepes are technically very good, but wow me with something interesting on the inside. Synopsis: Crepes are not just for dessert.

Katmania Crepes Menu

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Foodgasm - Catfish and Shrimp Wings and Waffles

FoodGasm Truck, Houston TX
Truck: Foodgasm
Location: Karbach Brewing Company
Date: November 29, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodGasmHtown

Finally caught up with one of the newest trucks in Houston, Foodgasm. Besides the dishes below that I actually tried I saw some very good looking double burgers coming out of the window. I also saw some good looking onion rings.

Karbach Brewing Company's Black Friday in the Biergarten was a perfect way to spend the afternoon. Great weather and the extended hours made for a very relaxed atmosphere, and well, made me hungry.

FoodGasm Truck - Fish and Shrimp
Catfish and Shrimp - $11

You get two large fillets of catfish and three "colossal" butterfly shrimp. Both the shrimp and catfish are breaded with spicy cornmeal. My guess is Tony Chachere's and lots of black pepper. That said it was perfect; just a little bit of heat and bite from the black pepper, not so much so you couldn't taste the food. The cornmeal dredge comes out nice and crispy and neither the fish or the shrimp was at all greasy. My only criticism is my shrimp were a little over cooked and tough. Both the shrimp and the fish were obviously fresh. Synopsis: Great food to go with a cold beer at the brewery.

FoodGasm Truck - Wings and Waffles
Wings and Waffles - $10

A hot fresh waffle dusted with cinnamon and sugar crystals and syrup on the side. Four wings done with a little heat in the dredge. The waffle was hot and fresh, but could have been a little crispier in my opinion. Crispier is just my preference, it wasn't under cooked at all, and it was light an fluffy. The wings were close to perfect, hot and cooked just right. Synopsis: Another great bar food dish for the brewery. 

FoodGasm Truck, Houston TX Menu

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Koagie Hots - Po'Koagie

Koagie Hots Food Truck Houston Texas
Truck: Koagie Hots
Location: Karbach Brewing Company
Date: November 23, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/koagiehots

A note to readers and food trucks. This is my 97th review and my 100th review is coming up fast. Does anyone know or have a special coming up with week that would make a good 100th review? 

Koagie Hots - Po'Koagie
Po'Koagie - $8.50

Start with the recipe for a classic Philadelphia Cheesesteak Hoagie, but make it Korean style (Korean + Hoagie = Koagie), but swap out the traditional thin sliced ribeye for marinated pork and you get Po'Koagie. Options are provolone cheese or wiz (wiz short for Cheese Wiz, the unspeakable processed cheese sauce from Kraft). When it comes to cheesesteaks I'm a provolone man. The sandwich is topped off with grilled onions and spicy mayo. A good crusty bread is used. The sandwich is loaded with what I'm told is close to a half pound of meat, so it pays to use the fork Koagie Hots provides and enjoy some of the meat in its own before you try to close the monster. The meat is a good sweet spicy version of Korean BBQ. The spicy mayo is not wickedly spicy so you can still taste the other ingredients. The flavors of the sandwich are nicely balanced. While the bread is more crusty than a traditional cheesesteak roll, I think its a good choice here because you need a bread with a backbone to stand up to these messy ingredients. Synopsis: A great sandwich to enjoy with a cold beer on a blustery day like today!

Koagie Hots menu Houston, TX

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Foreign Policy Truck - Donut Bacon Cheese Burger and Korean Fries

Truck: Foreign Policy Truck
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St Emanuel
Date: November 22, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ForeignPolicyTX

Friday was almost a wash out for Food Trucks in Houston for lunch, I could only find three who were brave enough to get out. I headed over to Houston Food park to check out something so wrong it just had to be good from one of the brave.

Foreign Policy Truck - Donut Bacon Cheese Burger
Donut Bacon Cheese Burger - $8

Behold! - The glory that is the Donut Bacon Cheese Burger. That's a lot of wrong in one place. Foreign Policy uses their super thin beef they use for the Mexican and Korean dishes instead of ground meat. Its fundamentally less greasy than ground meat, but still tender and I think tastier. Plus I know I'm getting meat, not the ground up unspeakable pieces. Add lots of good bacon and top with grilled onions. I noticed a technique on the onions I've not seen before. They got cooked first in the deep fryer then caramelized on the grill. Awesome idea and they come out perfect. Now for donut part. Take a large glazed donut, split it and grill both sides, then build your burger with it. Its a bit messy to eat, what with the outside covered in caramelized donut glaze! The glaze did stick to my teeth a little, but the sweet with the bacon and the onions was great. I think this burger would self destruct if a traditional ground meat patty was used too. The thin strips of beef let it hold together. There is so much savory and sweet going on here. This is more than a novelty burger. Synopsis: This is a bucket list burger!

Foreign Policy Truck - Korean Fries with BBQ beef and Kimchi
Korean Fries - $7

Battered fries loaded with chopped Korean style chopped BBQ, Kimchi, Green Onions, and queso. A large number of trucks serve Kimchi Fries these days, but Foreign Policy's are some of the best. You get a huge serving that makes a meal in itself. Plenty of beef on the fries, and good kimchi. I think the key to these fries is they use battered fries. The batter helps the fries stand up to the topping and delays then from getting soggy. Synopsis: Some of the best Kimchi Fries in Houston.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Churrasco Truck - Meat Lover's Sandwich and Three Meats Empanada

Truck: Churrasco Truck
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St. Emanuel
Date: November 15, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChurrascoTruck

Churrasco Truck Meat Lover's Sandwich
Meat Lover's Sandwich - $13

Three meats chopped and piled high on a fresh bolillo roll. This sandwich is loaded with homemade Brazilian sausage, pork sirloin, and I think picahna (beef). All of the meats are very tender and spiced perfectly. A bit of lettuce and pickled onion round out the sandwich. The finishing touch is homemade chimichurri sauce. Like all of Churrasco Truck's sandwiches, this thing is a monster, you could easily split it with someone (but its so good you might not want too!) The sandwich is a bit messy, but nothing you wouldn't expect from all theses savory meats. Synopsis: Get plenty of napkins and dig in!

Churrasco Truck Thee Meats Empanada
Three Meats Empanada - $3

This is new on the Churassco Truck menu, and its a keeper. Stuffed with three meats (I'm guessing the three meats from the meat lover's sandwich) and deep fried golden brown. Just like a pie crust made from lard, the fats from the meats seem to make this pastry incredibly tender and crispy. Topped with a bit of flavorful chimichurru sauce. Synopsis: I could eat of pile of these for a meal.

Churrasco Truck menu

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gastro Punk - Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog and Chili Smoked Shrimp

Truck: Gastro Punk
Location: Memorial Wine Cellar, 7951 Katy Fwy
Date: November 13, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GastroPunkTX

Gastro Punk Chili Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog
Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog - $7

This dog starts with a very good hot dog wrapped in a thick slice of bacon. Deep fry that to cook the bacon and give the outside of the hot dog some color and a good "snap" when you bite it. Top that with some fresh home made relish and lots of good mustard. Just so to make sure that your meal starts with a good foundation grill the bun and give it some good grill marks. I see this as a take off on a classic Sonoran Hot Dog, but deep fried instead of grilled. That's why I keep finding myself at this truck. Gastro Punk takes something simple like a hot dog and add some punch to it like deep fried bacon and makes it something you would go out of your way for. Synopsis: mmm bacon.....

Gastro Punk Chili Smoked Shrimp
Chili Smoked Shrimp - $5

Chili rubbed shrimp skewers grilled perfectly and basted in a mango gastrique.  You get three large, fresh shrimp that are perfectly cooked. I find most shrimp are over cooked and tough. Gastro Punk gets them right so that they are still plump, juicy, and tender. The gastrique add a nice sweet and sour taste that goes so well with shrimp. Classically a gatrique is a caramelized sauce deglazed with an acid and then flavored. Fruit gastriques are all the rage these days it seems. Mangos are a good choice since they have plenty of natural acids for the sour component. Synopsis: You get big flavor from these shrimp.

Gastro Punk Menu

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bernie's Burger Bus - Homeroom

Bernie's Burger Bus, Food Truck, Houston TX
Truck: Bernie's Burger Bus
Location: University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Rd
Date: November 12, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BerniesBurgers

Bernie's Burger Bus - Homeroom Burger
Homeroom - $9.75

This is a messy burger. Plenty of bacon. The cheddar cheese is melted in to the burger. The tipsy onions are sweet and that works well with the bacon. The burger comes with an egg and you can have it fried hard or runny. I got runny and its adds a lot of richness to the burger. To tell the truth the chipoltle aioli didn't jump out, but that not a bad thing when the sum of all the parts are this good. Each of the parts add something here and I bet I would have missed the smokiness in the background if the aioli wasn't there. With no lettuce, tomato, or pickles this is a super savory burger. Synopsis: Get plenty of napkins if you order this great meateater's burger.

Bernie's Burger Bus menu

Monday, November 11, 2013

Third Coast - Eye of the Tiger

Third Coast Food Truck, Houston TX
Truck: Third Coast
Location, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Rd
Date: November 11, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThirdCoastHTX

Third Coast Food Truck - Eye of the Tiger Sandwich
Eye of the Tiger - $9.50

Chopped ribeye served on a nice fresh roll. Plenty of grilled red onions, green bell peppers, and mushrooms. The onions and peppers give it some sweetness. The mushrooms add some depth of flavor. Melted provolone cheese makes it rich. The roll was especially good, crispy and flaky. The sandwich comes with a fork and its not a bad idea to eat some of the beef, peppers, and onions first, its a loaded sandwich. I've had my share of cheese-steaks in Philadelphia and I don't believe you can really get it perfect away from Philadelphia, but Third Coast is getting pretty darn close.  Synopsis: You'll feel like an Italian Stallion after downing this great big sandwich.

Third Coast Specials Menu

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Banh Appetit - Edgy Tacos and L-vurrito

Banh Appetit Food Truck, Houston TX
Truck: Banh Appetit
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St Emanuel
Date: November 2, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Banh_Appetit

Saturday afternoon I rolled back by the Houston Food Park to try a few more things off the menu of one of the newest trucks in town. This is one of the trucks to watch here in Houston.

Banh Appetit Edgy Tacos
Edgy Tacos

These tacos are made with paratha. Paratha is a flaky flat bread from the Indian subcontinent. It could very well be the ultimate taco delivery vehicle. You can get your tacos with your choice of 4 meats; pork belly, chicken, sausage, and beef. I got the ginger teriyaki marinade beef. The beef was tender and bountiful; nicely flavored by the marinade. The menu listed iceberg lettuce, cilantro, pickled carrots, Oaxaca cheese and Serrano peppers; but I also noted some pickled daikon, shaved cucumbers and shredded red cabbage. These guys are great picklers and I welcomed all the pickles on these tacos. I noticed that they grabbed the iceberg lettuce out of the cooler and shredded it just for my taco. I'm not a big fan of iceberg lettuce, but if you're going to use it make it as good as you can and I appreciate the extra mile they went to go get it as fresh as possible. All the vegetables were sliced paper-thin with a mandolin. The was especially nice for the Serrano peppers so you didn't get slammed with their heat. You can have Serrano pepper mayo or cilantro-Serrano ranch. The Serrano pepper mayo is the spicier of the two, both are excellent. I personally preferred the coolness of the ranch in with the fresh vegetables, but that's just my preference. Synopsis: Some the best, fresh, fusion tacos around.

Banh Appetit L-vurrito

The L-vurrito comes with your choices of meats, pork belly, chicken, sausage, and beef. My wife ordered this and choose chicken and the Serrano pepper mayo on the side. I only got to taste a couple of bites, but was impressed. The tortilla is stuffed with mint, bean sprouts, shaved cucumbers, caramelized onions and mushrooms. The wrap is then pressed and grilled torta style. The effect of the ingredients and the crispy outside give the whole thing a giant egg roll or spring roll vibe. The Serrano pepper mayo gives it a little heat when you want it.Synopsis: Maybe the best Asian fusion burrito in town.

Banh Appetit Menu

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Foreign Policy - Korean Burger

Foreign Policy Food Truck, Houston TX
Truck: Foreign Policy
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St. Emanuel
Date: November 1, 2013
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ForeignPolicyTX

Visited with the guys at Foreign Policy Friday night after hitting up all the samples at Spec's Downtown (i.e. what I call Spec's Happy Hour). I noticed Foreign Policy has a new menu design, likely much less confusing for many. They also hooked me up with a Korean Burger.

Foreign Policy Korean Burger
Korean Burger - $8

A burger made from strips of tender spicy Korean BBQ, cheese, green onions, cilantro, spicy kimchi sauce and kimchi. There really is a large portion of meat on the burger and just enough kimchi and sauce to make it pleasantly spicy. I'm not sure if the meat is marinated to make it tender or mechanically made tender by pounding, but is it very tender and certainly very tasty. I bet it make great tacos too. I'm not sure this burger needs the cheese to tell the truth. I think the great beef would really "pop" through and I'm going to try my next one with no cheese. To finish the burger its pressed and grilled Mexican torta or Cuban style. Synopsis: An excellent Korean take that stands out in the sea of burgers in Houston.

Foreign Policy Food Truck Menu