Meals on Wheels
Food Trucks are All the Rage in H-Town
Taco trucks may have paved the way, but there's a whole new crop of mobile menu concepts that are joining the fleet. From cupcakes to chicken and waffles, crepes to pocket pies, just about anything your taste buds desire is being served on wheels. You'll find them on random street corners at lunch, camped out on the edge of local farmers markets each week and parked strategically between the nightclub and your car at 2 a.m. Face it, resistance is futile.
Banhmieria: The owners of Les Givral's Kahve have been serving up delicious banh mi sandwiches (chargrilled pork on light French bread) for years. Now they've taken the simple, inexpensive sandwich on the road with the Banhmieria. You can also get shredded chicken, chargrilled beef or tofu and add an egg or plate for just a $1. Find them on Twitter @banhmieria
Bernie's Burger Bus: Talk about old school. Bernie's Burger Bus is a newfangled take on the classic American hamburger. Everything is made from scratch using all natural Black Angus. And each burger has a school-based personality, from "The Principal" with bread-and-butter pickles and garlic roasted tomatoes (electives include bacon and Texas cheddar) to "The Kindergarteners" two mini-burgers with bleu cheese and Applewood smoked bacon. The hand cut fries are served with an aioli that's pretty spectacular. @BerniesBurgers
Coreano's: Korean meets Mexican inside this unique food truck concept that expanded here from Austin. This truck is fairly active, setting up shop in the Museum District, Midtown and elsewhere. Try the kim cheese fries (french fries with twice cooked pork belly, caramelized kimchi, cheese and el scorch sauce). The OG Korean bbq burrito consists of marinated beef short ribs, French fries, Korean slaw, kimchi, onion, cilantro, sesame oil vinaigrette and garlic spread. Muy Bueno. @CoreanosHTX
Frosted Betty: Forget the ice cream man, he's got nothing on Nicole Mora's treat-filled dessert truck. Want to know where to look for those delicious cupcakes, cookies, and brownies? Track Mora's Twitter (@luvfrostedbetty) for regular updates on where she's currently camped out, selling sweet snacks to faithful followers.
Fusion Taco Truck: Don't be thrown by the name. Julia Sharaby may be hocking tacos from a truck, but they aren't anything like the ones Houston's seen before. From the commercial kitchen set in her glossy black truck, Sharaby turns out a menu loaded with Asian and South American flavors like prime beef Asian sliders, chicken satay tacos and spicy curry pork flautas. Stalk the current location via Twitter @fusiontaco.
Good Dog Hot Dogs: When it comes to hot dogs, there's your standard frank with mustard or relish. And then there's Good Dog Hot Dogs. These guys are raising the bar on the wiener with Texas-made dogs, local artisan buns and handcrafted toppings and condiments. You'll often find them in Midtown and Montrose. Follow their movements on Twitter @gooddoghotdogs
It's a Wrap: The Thai steak wrap at It's a Wrap is a definite winner. So are the deep-fried macaroni and cheese balls. This particular truck is a frequent visitor to the City Hall Farmer's Market and other regular stops on the food truck circuit. Many of the options have an ethnic flare (chicken tikka masala) and are fairly healthy-except for those mac ‘n cheese balls of course. @ItsAWrapTruck
Jarro Café & Trailer: Fans have flocked to Guillermo "Memo" Piñedo's Gessner-set taco truck for more than a decade in search of sirloin tacos and hot-as-fire salsas. The biz has enjoyed such success that Memo opened a free-standing restaurant next door to his taco stand. 1521 Gessner Rd.
Melange Creperie: A Parisian-style creperie on Lower Westheimer, Melange has become a Montrose staple. You can get crepes filled with two ingredients "mélange a deux" or three "mélange a trois." The menu is always changing based on the freshest ingredients but you'll always find sweet as well as savory options, such as ham, egg and cheese.
Oh My Pocket Pies: Proprietor Joe Phillips and partner Joann Torok turn out slow food made fast from their hard-to-miss "Big Red" food truck just east of downtown, in the Kim Hung Mall parking lot. Dig into flaky pocket-size bundles filled with comfort food staples like Salisbury steak, chicken pot pie and twice-baked potatoes.@OhMyPocketPies
Phamily Bites: A little bit of pho, a cup and a dream. That's what went into Phamily Bites, a lunch and late night Asian concept from proprietor Van Pham. The pho here is definitely the signature-with a full-bodied, flavorful broth, beef, noodles, herbs and goodness. Another must-try is the Pham family recipe eggrolls made with pork and crab. Phamily Bites also delivers a killer banh mi.@PhamilyBites
Pi Pizza Truck: There's something wonderful about piping hot pizza out of a truck. And the guys at Pi know exactly how to do it. We're talking about an outside-the-box menu that includes The Outdoorsman (venison sausage, cherries in port wine syrup and mozzarella) and the Noches Borracho (fire-roasted tomato/mescal compote, Mexican Coke marinated tri-tip, mozzarella, and cilantro/lime salsa). And if you don't want to hunt them down at one of their various locations, Pi Pizza also delivers to a select area.
Sirena Seafood: You might think it would be difficult to execute good seafood dishes like ceviche, shrimp cocktail or fish tacos from a food truck. Sirena Seafood will quickly prove you wrong. Doing lunch and dinner all through Montrose, the Heights and beyond, this truck also serves up a rich seafood soup made with fish, shrimp, oysters and more. The empanadas Veracruzanas with crispy corn masa and Veracruz-style fish makes this a definite stop on the food truck circuit.@SirenaSeafood
Taqueria Tacambaro: Tucked behind The Heights' Canino's Produce is a red-and-white trailer known for its Mollejas - Mexican-influenced sweetbreads - and tacos de tripitas. Top your selection with the shimmering-green tomatillo salsa and wash it down with a cold Coke.
The Rice Box: Talk about fun. This truck has a futuristic feel and dumplings that will blow you away. Another definite must is the General Tso's chicken, which you can get topped with a fried egg upon request. Try the Golden Doomba special and a rotation of healthy and veggie dishes. @RiceBoxTruck P.S. their Twitter feed is kind of hilarious.
Looking for food trucks on a regular basis? You'll find them many days outside the Museum of Fine Arts (get free admission to the Museum when you show a loyalty card and food truck receipt) and come out for the Houston Press's Food Truck Fridays the first Friday of every month at the House of Dereon Media Center.
For more on Houston food trucks, visit RoamingHunger.com or EatingOurWordsTwitter feed.
Written by: Zach McKenzie