As anyone who has ever written anything for publication will tell you, there is something called a deadline. When that deadline is reached the author has to stop writing and turn the work over to a publisher. If there were no deadlines, some writers would never stop editing their work.
Since the publication of my book, Houston’s Top 100 Food Trucks, earlier this year, a number of food trucks have opened that would have made the list if there were no such thing as a deadline. Here are five of them.
When L. J. Wiley left Yelapa restaurant in 2010, he moved to New York. He recently returned to Houston to open his own food truck, where he is serving his take on traditional Mexican fare. The best thing I tried was the taco de lengua, where he takes beef tongue that he has marinated in a spicy tomato sauce until it falls apart when cooked. All the condiments and salsas are homemade adding that special touch, which elevates his food to more than just street food.
While it may be hard to contemplate eating a hot and spicy PhoThai soup in sweltering temperatures, the experience will reward you with a soul-warming beef soup with unmistakable Thai flavors in a rift on the classic Vietnamese noodle soup. Souli Phaduangdet and John Tapia serve Asian fusion cuisine and their “Thai-cos” are made with an Indian paratha and come with a variety of fillings. The best is the shrimp version, with a smear of guacamole and some homemade green papaya salad.
Matt Mui is one talented sushi chef and his Pork Bunz is a simple dish that exemplifies his cuisine. He uses a traditional bao bun which he fries instead of steams. He fills it with slices of pork belly, which has been cooked sous vide for 24 hours, making the pork so soft that chewing is unnecessary. The pork is covered in a Japanese BBQ sauce with pickled cucumbers and green onion slices, which give it an interesting crunch as a counterpoint to the soft meat.
Angie Dang and Cat Huynhn have created a fusion of Japanese and Vietnamese cuisines. Musubi is a Japanese word that means rice wrapped in nori (dried seaweed). Their cooking is epitomized by his Pork Belly and Five Spice Egg Musubi.
Churrasco To Go
Oscar Santaella is from Veracruz, Mexico, a town known for its seafood. So it might seem a tad unusual that he’d open a mobile churrasceria serving nothing but rodizio-style meat in the Argentinean/Brazilian style. Oscar’s father is Mexican and his mother Brazilian, so he brought the best of both of these worlds together in his food truck called Churrasco To Go.
His Rodizio plate consists of a thick slice of picanha, or top sirloin, a piece of bacon-wrapped chicken breast and a Brazilian Linguiça sausage. The meat is simply prepared with just some sea salt and olive oil, which makes it glisten. The outside layer is the most flavorful because it is closest to the wood used to cook it. The bacon on the outside of the chicken breast gives this dish its delectable flavor. Linguiça is a coarsely ground pork sausage with lots of garlic. The plate is served with homemade chimichurri sauce and rice with black beans.