Saturday, August 31, 2013

St John's Fire - Pulled Pork Sandwich and Fried Crawfish Mac and Cheese Balls

Truck: St John's Fire
Location: 1455 W Loop South
Date: August 30, 2013

Slow Roasted Pulled Pork Sandwich - $7

A mountain of smoky and very tender pulled pork on good ciabatta bread, dressed with a marinated coleslaw and pepper jack cheese. Ciabatta is an idle bread for this sandwich. The pork is juicy and the dressing from the slaw make this sandwich a bit messy, the nooks and crannies in the bread help hold that together. (hint, don't try and eat this while driving like I did, the steering wheel gets slippery). The pork is sweet, smoky, and buttery soft. The coleslaw is tangy with vinegar and balances the sweetness of the meat. I'm not sure what the pepper jack is doing there. I really couldn't tell it was there until I looked. It doesn't offend, but it doesn't add anything for me. Ciabatta is a good chewy bread and this sandwich needs it to slow you down, else I at least would have wolf it down too fast to actually savor. Synopsis: A great and distinctive pulled pork sandwich.

Fried Crawfish Mac and Cheese Balls - $5

Four big macaroni and cheese balls, stuffed with plenty of crawfish, dusted with Parmesan (they look like Beignets here!). Served with jalapeno ranch dressing. The balls have plenty of crawfish in them, and a really good crust on them. The jalepeno ranch has just enough zip from the pepper heat to be noticeable, but not too much to over power the crawfish. Mine were gone too fast. For a Cajun inspired dish though I would have expected a bit more spice in the cheese sauce, this sauce is quit mild. Synopsis: One of the best versions of mac a cheese balls in Houston.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Hungry LumberJack - The Hungry Lumberjack

Truck: The Hungry Lumberjack
Date: August 29, 2013

The Hungry Lumberjack - $8.99

A bacon cheeseburger with the works and a split and grilled sausage link. While the bacon was a good thick piece of bacon, the sausage dominates and covers it up. Still I do like the sausage on the burger. The rest of the burger was a pretty straight forward cheeseburger. Fresh toppings and a decent bun. Overall a pretty good burger. The burger comes with home made fries. I think they precook the fries and fry them a little to warm them up. These weren't crispy at all, couple more minutes would be nice on them. Synopsis: A pretty good burger when you want something that's not a fusion mash up from a food truck.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Coreanos - The Dawson and Three Wise Fries

Truck: Coreanos
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St. Emmanuel
Date: August 23, 2013

The Dawson - $8

A giant 3 meat burrito, marinated beef short ribs. spicy marinated chicken, and spicy twice cooked pork belly. If that wasn't enough, add on some fries, then add cilantro, grilled onions, cheese and their signature El Scorcho sauce. It really is a mountain of a burrito. The fries kind of hide in the background and give the burrito some creaminess. I've found heat levels kind of inconsistent from Coreanos, but today things were a pleasant spiciness. I'm sure if I ate a bowl of El Scorcho it would live up to its name, but today it was used with restraint and worked perfectly. Synopsis: I don't know who this Dawson guy was, but they named a great burrito after him.

Three Wise Fries - $7

Your standard food service fries topped with, well the makings of a Dawson burrito. The fries are topped with the same three meats, beef short rib, marinated chicken, and twice cooked pork belly. They also come with the cheese, grilled onions, cilantro and El Scorcho sauce.These are good, but think of it as a meal and not a side. If you don't eat them while they are hot, the cheese will glue it all together on you. Synopsis: think of this as a burrito without a tortilla!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Food Patty Wagon (AKA Miss Patty) - Catfish Basket

Truck: The Food Patty Wagon
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St Emmanuel
Date: August 18, 2013

Catfish Basket - $8.50

A couple of nice crispy catfish fillets, seasoned well. Home cut fries, nice and crispy. It comes with a very good homemade version of tarter sauce. For some reason the basket comes with Texas Toast. Actually this wasn't proper Texas Toast, it was just a buttered and grilled slice of white bread, not the proper double thickness Texas Toast. The catfish is the star here. Synopsis: Ignore the toast, you got this for the catfish!


Skratch - Roasted Pork Cuban Texas Slider

Truck: Skratch
Location: Houston Food Park
Date: August 18, 2013

Roasted Pork Cuban Texas Slider - $5

Lots of thin sliced roasted pork, mustard, pickles, Swiss cheese on a brioche bun. Brioche bread is a version of french bread with the addition of egg and butter, marking it richer and finer. Usually brioche is yellow in color, good stuff. The roast pork was tender and kinda sweet, made me almost think of ham. pickles and mustard are just natural companions. Synopsis: Its the other white meat!

Flaming Patties - Blue Betty and Sweet Potato Fries

Truck: Flaming Patties
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St. Emmanuel
Date: August 18, 2013

Blue Betty - $8

I think this is one the Flaming Patties signature burgers. A nice thick burger with lots of blue cheese stuffing, topped with more Gruyere cheese caramelized onion, and chipotle mayo. Instead of lettuce plenty of arugula (I hate iceberg lettuce, so whenever its left off, I'm for that!). The burger is well cooked through but the blue cheese stuffing leaves it still nice and juicy. Love the Gruyere and caramelized onions. The peppery bite of the arugula counters all that rich cheese. The chipotle mayo add just a touch of heat. Synopsis: You'll be whistling a happy tune and not singing the blues after this burger.

Sweet Potato Fries - $3

Hand cut sweet potato fries, fried nice and crispy so the crispy lasts. I had to travel before trying these fries and they were still good and crispy 20 minutes later and nice and moist inside.  Synopsis: Maybe the best sweet potato fries in Houston?


Fork in the Road - Green Chile Mac and Cheese Balls

Truck: Fork in the Road
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St. Emmanuel
Date: August 18, 2013

Green Chile Mac and Cheese Balls - $2 for 2

Two nice size macaroni and cheese balls served with cilantro yogurt dipping sauce. The balls have a great crisp on them, and the mac and cheese is nice and creamy, The green chilies add a little heat and make them interesting but aren't too much for most people. The cilantro yogurt sauce is nice to, smooth and the cilantro compliments the chilies well. Easily one of the best Mac and Cheese Balls in Houston. Synopsis: Bet you can't eat just two.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tamalitos Cafe - Beef Torta AKA the OMG Torta

Truck: Tamalito's Cafe
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St. Emmanuel
Date: August 16, 2013

Tamalito's Cafe again hits it out of the the park with another super value, delicious dish off their menu.
Beef Torta (AKA the OMG Torta) - $6.50

Ok I asked what was good today and I got the suggestion, "try the torta, its big and you'll look at it and say OMG". When a truck operator makes a suggestion its a good idea to take it, that should be the food they are most proud of. You get your choice of meat and I got the recommended beef. My past experience with their beef was excellent so I went for it. I wasn't disappointed, great seasoned and grilled skirt steak. That's just the starting point. A 10 inch bun, lightly pressed and toasted, rice and beans, pico de gallo, avocado and just to make sure its over the top, throw in some ham! OMG, look at that thing, it almost fills a 9 inch takeout box. The pico has a punch of heat and the avocado cools things right back down. Synopsis: Come Hungry, you don't want to miss a bite of this one.

Zeapod Cakery - Black Forest Cupcake on a Stick

Truck: Zeapod Cakery
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St. Emmanuel, Houston TX
Date: August 16, 2013

Black Forest Cupcake on a Stick

So I was at the Houston Food Park for lunch and the Zeapod Cakery hooked me up with a Black Forest Cupcake on a Stick (also known as a  "Pushie", but I thought Victoria's Secret sold "Pushies"?). So a cupcake on a stick is a pushup pop style parfait of cake and icing. Like any good Black Forest cake this one was topped with a  maraschino cherry. Great super light chocolate icing, then a layer of cake, then icing, then cake, etc. I like this format. With a slice of cake sometimes you have desert of cake before you get to more icing. Don't get me wrong, a good cake really doesn't need icing, and this cake doesn't disappoint. It's a super moist chocolate stout cake. It was made with Guinness Stout. I was told they had not found a locally sourced stout, I recommended they try Southern Star's delicious Buried Hatchet Stout. I digress, back to the cup cake, think of this a great three layer cake that you eat from the top. I think the portion size is good, just enough to feel like dessert without making you feel like you had too much. Synopsis: A perfect portion of perfect cake and frosting. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gastro Punk - Gingerbread Stout Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese, Pulled Pork Nacho, and Stout Braised Short Rib Tacos

Truck: Gastro Punk
Location: Buffalo Bayou Brewery, 5301 Nolda Street, Houston, TX
Date: August 10, 2013

Ok, maybe I have a problem, Gasto Punk has been open about 10 days and I've eaten from them three times now. They are clearly going to be one of the premier trucks in Houston from here on out. If you are food truck fan you have to try them out.

Gingerbread Stout Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese - $11

A great big 'ol grilled cheese with provolone cheese, lots of fall off the bone tender beef short rib and caramelized onions. The bread was basically your Sizzler Texas toast. A big sandwich that really fills you up, but it could use some bold tastes, like some pepper-jack cheese or maybe garlic aioli or sun-dried tomato pesto? Synopsis: Good but not as bold as your typical Houston dish.

Pulled Pork Nachos - $11

Homemade tortilla chips, a homemade 4 cheese sauce, grilled jalapenos, fresh pico de gallo, black beans, and some of the best pulled pork I've had in some time. There was plenty off the dark "bark" from the pulled pork, giving many sweat crunchy, porky bites. At first glance I thought the grilled peppers were poblanos, but one bite, proved me wrong. I like the grilled jalapenos, they give a smokey bite to the nachos. The cheese sauce is the same one from the mac and cheese balls I learned, just another reason to go back. Synopsis: What's not to like here!

Stout Braised Short  Rib Tacos - $6

Tacos made with corn tortillas, queso blanco, baby arugula, and a whole lot of the tender braised short rib. A bit of horse radish gives the tacos some bite and works great with the beef in the ribs. This could be the best deal on the menu, three large terrific tacos for a great price. Synopsis: Terrific tacos that will fill you up.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Speers Rolling Bistro - The Cuban Sandwich and Garlic Fries

Truck: Speers Rolling Bistro
Date: August 9, 2013

Evening found me back at the Houston Food Park (1504 St. Emmanuel, Houston TX) looking for my dinner. A hopping place with lots to choose from!

The Cuban Sandwich - $7.50

A classic Cuban sandwich, ham and pulled pork, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, pickle relish on a pressed bun. This is a good tasting sandwich. I've not tried too many Cuban sandwiches but should this have been this tough? Something about the pressing and grilling process that made a tough layer in the middle of this sandwich. Still it was tasty sandwich, lots of ham and pork in this.

Garlic Fries - $3.50

A big order of hand cut fries, tossed with garlic and herbs. Not especially crispy, but very very tasty! They come with homemade SRB sauce (lime cilantro aioli) and SRB ketchup. The SRB ketchup is a sweet tomato ketchup with a forward taste of allspice. Synopsis: some really great tasting fries.

Pho-jita Fusion - Chicken Basil

Truck: Pho-jita Fusion
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St. Emmanuel
Date: August 9, 2013

Chicken Basil - $8

Classic Thai style basil chicken, stir fried chicken with lots of basil and Thai pepper, ginger rice and a sunny side egg. I like that when I ordered I got a big smile and a "great choice". While most  of Houston's trucks are serving great food, few seem very enthusiastic about it. Nice also I was given a choice about how runny I wanted the egg. You get to pick the heat level, I choose medium and in true Thai style it lit me up. Thai heat doesn't linger though and the heat shortly was a pleasant memory. There was enough basil in this to qualify as a vegetable. I think rice is always under-rated, but don't short change this ginger rice, its as much a star here as the spicy chicken. The egg adds a richness to the whole dish. Synopsis: As good a version of the Thai classic as I've had in an sit-down restaurant. 


Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Golden Grill - Pizza Grilled Cheese and Bacon Feta Potato Salad

Truck: The Golden Grill
Location: Inversion Coffee House, 1953 Montrose Blvd.
Date: August 7, 2013

Pizza Grilled Cheese - $7

A big grilled cheese with lots of well melted mozzarella and pepperoni. The tomato jam is sweet, but that works with the pepperoni and cheese. I would be curious about how the sandwich would work with sun-dried tomato pesto. As always the bread is perfectly grilled. Synopsis: almost as good as a slice

Bacon Feta Potato Salad - $3.50

A good chunky potato salad with lots of bacon, The feta is worked in well and isn't in chunks. Synopsis: Its like a baked potato in a bowl.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Taco Nuts - Chicken Licken Vixen and Caballero Loco

Truck: Taco Nuts
Location: Houston Food Park
Date August  2, 2013

Sorry for the late post, busy weekend and I'm just getting to finish reviewing lunch from Friday!

Chicken Licken Vixen - $4

Shredded Chicken, queso fresco, and sauteed baby Mexican squash served in a couple of corn tortillas. A simple taco loaded with squash so you can feel good about eating it. Very mild flavor. You'll want a little hot sauce or pico de gallo to heat things up a bit.

Caballero Loco - $5

Spicy shredded beef brisket, pickled onions, six pepper salsa, chili aioli and a punch of cilantro. Now this is a great taco. The pickled onions are good enough I'd like a bowl of them by themselves. You would think all the times pepper and chili made it into the description that this would be a "take the top of your head off hot" taco, but really the pepper/chili flavors are more rich and deep that hot. There is heat, but nothing too much for most people.Topped off with some fresh cilantro and this is a treat of a taco. Synopsis: Go head get three, you know you want them.

Gastro Punk - Fried Truffle Mac and Cheese Balls

Truck: Gastro Punk
Location: Houston Food Park
Date: 8/2/2013

Things just keep getting better and better at the Houston Food Park. Have to give a shout out to Zeapod Cakery for chatting with me at the park. I promise I will check you guys out soon, well as soon as I remember to leave room for dessert!

Fried Truffle Mac and Cheese Balls - $6

ok, just wow on these. I might have nit picked Gastro Punk on my previous review on them, but please don't charge a thing on these. When I ordered these i was expecting truffle oil, nope there were bits of real truffles in a great white Cheddar sauce. Breaded and fried crispy they were crunchy on th outside and luxurious and creamy in the center. served with a white sauce with a little Sriracha on top. You've got to appreciate a touch like making the Sriracha into a flower with a few strokes of a toothpick. Synopsis: Best cheese balls in Houston.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Phamily Bites - Fried Potstickers

Truck: Phamily Bites
Location: Houston Food Park
Date: 8/1/2013

So much to choose from at the Houston Food Park today, there were 4 trucks I've never had the chance to try, so after ordering from Gastro Punk on their inaugural day, I headed out to find me a side dish!

Fried Potstickers - $5 (order of 6)

An interesting take on the classic potsticker. Classically a potsticker is a steamed dumpling that's pan fried on one side so one side is crisp and the other is still soft. These I think are deep fried. The effect is good, crispy on the outside, soft and steamy hot on the inside. They come in chicken and vegetable. I got the chicken and the filling was excellent, a soy ginger version. They were perfectly fried, not a hint of grease. The dipping sauce was kind of the classic soy dumpling dipping sauce, but these are so flavorful you really don't need it. Synopsis: Six isn't quit enough I could have eaten twice as many.