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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sebastian's Kitchen - Spicy Chicken Torta

Sebastian's Kitchen Food Truck in Houston, TX
Truck: Sebastian's Kitchen
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St. Emmanuel
Date: November 10, 2013

Sebastian's Kitchen Spicy Chicken Torta
Spicy Chicken Torta - $8

A really large classic Mexican style Torta. Loaded with spicy stewed shredded chicken. The chicken was the style you'd get in chicken enchiladas or chicken tacos, old school TexMex style. Loaded up with jalapenos and shredded cabbage. Lots of heat in this one. Mine seemed really creamy inside for some reason. Synopsis: This great big sandwich is a great big value.

Sebastian's Kitchen Menu

Banh Appetit - Banh-mi.nis

Truck: Banh Appetit
Location: Houston Food Park, 1504 St. Emmanuel
Date: November 1, 2013

Banh Appetit Banh-mi.nis sliders
Banh-mi-.nis - $7

This is a clever concept I'm surprised I don't see more of, banh-mi sliders. You get two mini baguettes with your choice of pork belly, chicken, sausage, or beef. I got the pork belly because, well you're not really a foodie unless you swoon over pork belly. There's is braised and then pulled apart then finished on the grill. It's like pork butter. One of my sliders was topped with the traditional pickled daikon and carrots, plus some pickled jalapeno. All this is topped with a Serrano chili mayo. I could also taste sesame oil. I don't know what to rave about here more, the buttery pork butt or the excellent pickles. My second slider was topped with a pickled jalapeno cabbage. Jose told me this is new and they are trying it out. I asked for a taste of it by itself and its just killer. I can think of all kinds of things I would put it on. It's spicy, still crispy, and a little sweet. The sweet is perfectly balance by the pickling. It makes an excellent banh-mi. Synopsis: this new truck is one to watch, if they keep making food this good they are going to be a top truck in Houston.

Banh Appetit menu