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Dishing The Dish: Three Perspectives on Porky Heaven


Today, we introduce a new feature on SavorSA that will focus on some of great work that’s being done in restaurants around town. It’s called The Dish and it will shine a light on a culinary creation that’s worth singling out for praise. It could be something seasonal, a new sensation or an old favorite. The sole point is to make you aware of the savory treats in SA.

If you have any favorites you’d like to share, either post them below or email walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

This initial effort features three pork-related dishes to wet your appetite. Each illustrates porcine perfection in a unique way.

Pig Face Wood-Fired Pie at Bin 555

Pig Face Wood-Fired Pie
Bin 555 at the Alley
555 W. Bitters Road
(210) 496-0555

Who can resist a pizza baked in a wood-fired oven that’s hot enough to scorch the bottom of the dough, giving it a slightly burnt taste that’s practically irresistible?

That’s just the beginning, though, of the joys of this pizza from chef Robbie Nowlin, who creates his own house-made torchon using, you guessed it, the whole pig’s face.  The meat is cured in salt, pink salt, white pepper and sugar for one day. Then parts are braised before being added back to the torchon before it’s ready to use.

Then come toppings of slivers of radish, strips of pecorino and, in an inspired touch, pickled mustard seeds. The chef finishes it off with leaves arugula just before serving that add a fresh green vibrancy as well as a peppery bite.

I had a couple of leftover slices for breakfast the following morning. The radish flavor intensified, giving the pizza a welcome wake-up bite.

Using the pig’s head is, like using a cow’s head in barbacoa, a wonderful way to use as much meat on an animals as possible without letting it go to waste. Place another of these beautiful pizzas in front of me, and you’ll see another example of food not going to waste.

The 50/50 Burger at Big Bob’s.

The 50/50 Burger
Big Bob’s Burgers
447 W. Hildebrand Ave.
(210) 734-2627

Bacon cheeseburgers have long been justifiably popular, but why not take that experience to a whole new level by adding the bacon to the burger and not just on top of it?

That’s the appeal of this burger, which is made up of equal parts ground chuck and ground bacon. So, all that pork goodness fills every bite, while the chuck gives it a sturdy structure with plenty of meat and fat for the required beefiness and juiciness. Add a slab of sharp cheddar and chef Robert Riddle’s grilling, which lends it a smoky flavor, and you have a big fat phenomenon.

Of course, you could crown that combination with crisp bacon strips, but I can’t decide if that’s a bit too much or just a deliciously new means of satisfying my inner oinker.

A word of caution to those Texans who want their beef dead done: The whole patty is pinker than you may be used to. The grilling on the outside adds a little blackness, but the center is pinker than you may want. That’s from the addition of bacon, not the cooking technique.

For those of us keeping low-carb, Big Bob’s also offers the burger on a salad with artichoke hearts, garbanzos, olives, pepperoncini and more laid over a mound of spring greens. Good and healthful, just the way I like it.

The Peacemaker Po’Boy
Where Y’at
Alamo Street Eat-Bar
609 S. Alamo St.
(210) 420-0069

The SA food truck scene is burgeoning with exciting new flavors to please most any palate. Place this po’boy from Pieter Sypesteyn at the top of your must-try list.

The chef starts with an unbeatable combination of corn meal-breaded oysters and crunchy pork belly, braised in root beer before being deep-fried, both of which add a mouthwatering saltiness that enlivens the layers of mustardy coleslaw, pickles and fresh jalapeño slivers, all slathered with the right amount of creamy rémoulade.

Yet, as special as the combination of pork and seafood is, not to mention the pristine freshness of the other ingredients, were, the real stars of the sandwich were thick slices of perfectly ripe, old-fashioned tomato, which brought everything together in one incomparable whole. Not surprisingly, the tomatoes were from Cora Lamar’s Oak Hills Farm, by way of the Pearl Farmers Market. There’s a reason people rave about local food, and a tomato that tastes like a tomato is it. .

NOLA snobs may turn up their noses at a po’boy not made back at home because of how special the bread there is, but this is that bread. It’s Gambino’s French Bread, imported from the Quarter. For those don’t know the type of bread a po’boy should be served on, think of a baguette, yet one with a crackly exterior that is not too dense and a center that is not too fluffy. In short, it’s sturdy enough to hold its choice filling without falling apart into a soggy mess. Plus, Sypesteyn toasts the bread first and the rémoulade just melts into it.

I made the mistake of getting the half version of this beauty the first time I tried it. I’ve make peace with myself about that and will never let it happen again.

 

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The Food Trucks Roll In and the People Turn Out


People wait patiently -- and in the shade -- for Culinaria's inaugural food truck event.

Crystal Dady takes orders at the Duk Truck.

The tickets said it started at 6 p.m. So did the announcements. And yet the tantalizing aromas arising from an array of food trucks in the parking lot of the Alon Market on Northwest Military Highway drew people much earlier than the starting time.

They waited patiently until the gates opened for Culinaria’s inaugural food truck gathering. And while they waited the crowd grew, and it kept growing long after people were granted admission into the area.

Pork sliders from 41:10 Mobile Kitchen.

Who knows how many thousand people showed up for the event? Not Suzanne Taranto Etheredge, CEO of the food and wine festival, which runs through Sunday. She was out front helping get customers in as quickly as she and her staff could, so that all could enjoy some fine wine, beer and meals from about a dozen mobile kitchens from the area.

Spice Runner offered a variety of spicy sandwiches and pocket pies as well as some irresistible Thai chicken wings with a peanut sauce flavored with coconut, lime and, of course, a bit of heat. Crepe Nation had both savory and sweet crepes to tempt your taste buds, with flavors ranging from shrimp and avocado to several featuring Nutella.

Guests throng Say-She-Ate.

Flour Power Cafe didn’t have wheels, but they had a table with cake balls, while Jason Dady’s Duk Truck offered pork tacos crowned with pineapple, cilantro and jalapeños. Those willing to stand in a lengthy line were rewarded with the likes of cochinita pibil tacos or mealtloaf and mashed potato sliders from 41:10 Mobile Kitchen or Akaushi beef sliders and duck fat fries from Say-She-Ate.

Even the dogs waited patiently for some treats.

Erika Prosper did what many at the event did. She stood in one line while her husband went to another. They swapped bites whenever they got served. She enjoyed the event, but she hopes that the trucks would add to their staff to alleviate a little of the wait.

The weather cooperated and even made things pleasant with some welcome breezes and comfortable temperatures. Even with the lines, the area was large enough for breathing space to enjoy a glass of J. Lohr Wildflower or Buena Vista Chardonnay.

Culinaria continues Friday with the Best of Mexico tasting at La Villita. For a full list of events, click here.

 

 

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Keep on Truckin’ Down to Culinaria


The San Antonio food truck scene rolls into Culinaria Thursday.

Culinaria, the city’s premier food and spirits festival, gets under way this week with a new event that showcases one of the fastest growing trends in dining today: food trucks.

On Thursday, a number of food trucks will pull into the parking lot in front of the H-E-B Alon Market, 8503 N.W. Military Hwy., for a gathering that runs from 6 to 9 p.m. or until the food and drinks run out.

For $10, guests can get into the gather and enjoy their drinks. Food from the trucks is sold separately.

It’s a causal evening of wine and beer with food that is sure to surprise by its variety, its great flavors and its sophistication.

The lineup of trucks includes KHILL BBQ Co, Guilty Pleasures, Say*She*Ate, Crepe Nation, Saweet Cupcakes, Toastie Buns, MARS Mobile Kitchen, Sabor Colombiano, Flour Power Cafe, 4110 Mobile Kitchen, Rickshaw Stop, Spice Runner, Bistro Six and The DUK Truck.

If you haven’t sampled the great diversity that the San Antonio food truck scene has to offer, this is your chance to catch up.

For a full list of Culinaria events, click here.

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Food Truck Parks Gearing Up for Some Fun


Two San Antonio food truck parks are planning upcoming events to tempt your taste buds.

The food truck parks in San Antonio area are getting ready for some fun in the next few weeks:

• The Point Park & Eats,24188  Scenic Loop Road, is having a crawfish boil on May 19.

From noon until 11 p.m., crawfish will be served up every two hours or until the little crustaceans run out.

Fat Bellies and Crepe Nation are  the presenters of the feast with Kitchen Fusionz, Takoryia and the Frigid Frog adding support. Abita beer is sponsoring the event.

Live music and beer are on tap for the day.

Call (210) 251-3380 for details.

• Boardwalk on Bulverde, 14832 Bulverde Road, is hosting a three-day Kitchens 4 Cancer fundraiser May 25-27.

The  event benefits Livestrong, the Lance Armstrong Foundation that helps people with cancer.

Trucks include Rickshaw Stop, Toastie Buns, KC’s Cones, Guilty Pleasures, Spice Runner, Taco King, Lagniappe Today, Sabor Colombiano, Alex’s BBQ, R&R Chicken Wings, Skinny Cat, Peachwave, Society Bakery and Winner Winner Chicken Dinner are among the participating trucks.

The event begins at noon May 25 and runs through 8 p.m. May 27.

For more information, call (210) 402-2829.

 

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Just Get to the Point


Denise Aguirre owns the Point Park and Eats on Boerne Stage Road with Noel Cisneros.

Denise Aguirre and her partner, Noel Cisneros, recently opened the Point Park and Eats, “an artsy-eatsy kinda place,” at 24118 Boerne Stage Road.

A customer stops at Kitchen Fusionz for an Asian-flavored snack.

The art is inside the old house on the property. The walls display pieces while the vending machine is loaded with art objects you can buy for $5 apiece.

The eats are food trucks that fill the parking area on one side. Mexican huaraches, Kobe beef burgers, fried rice and egg rolls, you name it and you’ll likely find it from one of the vendors parked in the lot. And you can eat the food in a large outdoor space filled with colorful chairs and under a serene canopy of trees.

On the side of the house facing the trucks, you’ll also find a drink stand where Aguirre and others are selling beer and wine, the sales of which cover the costs involved in operating the place. The special Blanco brew, Firemans #4 from Real Ale, is on tap, and there’s a fruity sangria if you’re looking for something to kick back with on a summer evening.

We talked with Aguirre about her plans for the park, including wine classes on the first Wednesday of the month.

SavorSA: Where did the idea for the park come about?

Denise Aguirre: I’ve always wanted to open a bar. When we would hang out in Austin, we would see the food truck parks and knew it would make sense to incorporate that into the bar idea. There weren’t really any San Antonio trucks at the time, but we figured it would eventually catch on.

Fish tacos and fries from Skinny Cat Catering.

SSA: How long have you been working on the project?

DA: In early 2010 our ideas turned into serious discussions and plans. In July 2010, I started looking for locations and worked with a couple of Realtors. One location fell through in the September/October time frame. We then found the Boerne Stage Road property and almost bought it, but someone beat us to it. The guy who ended up buying it called us and asked if we wanted to lease it. It was a sign! We signed the lease in January, then all the red tape bureaucracy started with the city and the county.

SSA: Why incorporate art?

DA: I’m not an artist — wish I was. So, all I can do is live vicariously through them. We attend First Friday quite often and the annual Southwest School of Arts Fair, and we love the vibe and energy from that type of environment. Luckily when we found the Boerne Stage property, the house was a perfect setting. It just fell into place. I want to be surrounded by creative people. Food in itself is an art, and I’m really inspired by what the chefs create. It just seems to be a natural fit.

An asada-filled torta from Texasada Mexican Street Food.

SSA: How many different trucks have you had visit so far and do you know who is scheduled for the coming weekend?

DA: MARS Mobile Kitchen, Bistro Six, Kitchen Fusionz, Texasada Mexican Street Food, Fat Bellies Cajun, Skinny Cat Catering, Crepe Nation, Chelas Tacos and Blazing Burgers have all visited the park.

Friday (tonight) we have: MARS, Kitchen Fusionz, Skinny Cat, Fat Bellies and Crepe Nation. Saturday: MARS, Kitchen Fusionz, Texasada and Fat Bellies. Sunday: Blazing Burgers and Kitchen Fusionz.

SSA: Next Wednesday, and on the first Wednesday of the month thereafter, you’re starting up a wine education program. What can you tell us about that?

DA: I’m still working out the details with my wine rep. She is on vacation and won’t be back until later in the week. Basically, I have asked her to come educate our guests on a different aspect of wine. That part will be free. We will sample 4-5 wines. There will be a fee for that. I will be selling the limited edition art poster and a bottle of wine for $25 (the wine is to be determined). The tasting fee will go toward the $25 bottle purchase. MARS Mobile Kitchen will be at the park that evening and has prepared a menu that will complement the wine we are sampling.

The Point has featured trucks offering everything from Cajun cuisine to tacos and burgers.

SSA: How are people the neighborhood reacting to the Point?

DA: One hundred percent of the guests I spoke to love it! They were all from the community and they were all just waiting for us to open. It was very encouraging to know they supported us and were happy to have us here. They love having a place in their backyard that they can call their own. It’s their hangout place. We already have regular customers in just two weekends! One of our new friends, Craig Harley, even displayed an art piece inside. We had people ride their bikes in, jog in and even walk from their neighborhoods. In one case, a guy even hopped his fence to get to the park. That is exactly the goal I set out to accomplish.

For more information on the Point Park and Eats, click here.

 

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Make Your Own Flip Happy Crêpes


People of all ages enjoy crepes.

With the Food Truck Throw Down happening until 11 p.m. Sunday at the Boardwalk on Bulverde, 14732 Bulverde Road, I thought it was a good time to run the recipe for the basis of one of my favorite food truck items, the crêpes from Flip Happy Crêpes in Austin.

I’ve stopped by the truck several times over the last few years and have never had a bad crêpe. I must point out that the vegetarian crêpe is often not available, which doesn’t matter too much to me, as that is usually the least interesting option of the day at the truck. And when I say the same to the person taking my order, he or she usually smiles and points out how good the salmon is that day or something to that effect.

This recipe is included in “Food Trucks: Dispatches and Recipes from the Best Kitchens on Wheels” by Heather Shouse (Ten Speed Press, $20), which also has information on food trucks from Marfa as well as Chicago, Milwaukee, New York and Washington, D.C., among other spots.

I wish Flip Happy had come down from Austin, but it didn’t. Another crêpe truck did, and the offerings are just as good. So, if you want  to make your own, try the recipe below. If not, head out to Boardwalk on Bulverde today or make your own trek to Austin.

Flip Happy Crêpes

6 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
1 cup water
3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking the crêpes
2 (16-ounce) jars Nutella, for serving
Fresh slices strawberries, for serving
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1 tablespoons powdered sugar (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and water. Whisk in the flour until blended. Add the melted butter and mix again just until combined, being careful not to overmix.

Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with about 1 tablespoon melted butter. Pour in 1/3 cup of the crêpe batter, swirling the pan to spread it evenly over the bottom. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the underside has golden brown spots all over, then flip and cook until spekled on the second side, about 1 minute more. Transfer the crêpe to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel while you repeat the process to make the remaining  crêpes.

To assemble, spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons Nutell inside each warm crêpe. Fold in half, then fold in half again to form a triangle. Top with the strawberries. If you want to finish it with a dollop of whipped cream, in a large bowl, whip the cream until it thickens slightly. Add the vanilla nd powdered sugar and continue whipping until it forms soft peaks. Spoon the cream on top of the crêpes and serve.

Makes about 20 (12-inch) crêpes.

From “Food Trucks: Dispatches and Recipes from the Best Kitchens on Wheels” by Heather Shouse

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Food Trucks From All Over Converge on Boardwalk on Bulverde


The Throw Down offers fun and flavors for all ages.

What’s your preference? Pulled pork? Shrimp ceviche? Asiago macaroni and cheese? Pakistani samosas stuffed with beef or vegetables? Fresh berries atop a fluffy mound of whipped cream? Red velvet cupcakes?

You can sample all of these treats at more this weekend at the Boardwalk on Bulverde  where the first Food Truck Throw Down and Music Festival runs through Sunday evening. About 25 food trucks from across town and around the state have converged on the site, serving up everything from Colombian snacks to French-style crêpes.

Tacos were certainly popular Friday evening as hundreds of people strolled into the food truck park after work and as the sun began to set. Barbecued meats, from naked chicken wings (available with a truly spicy sauce, if you dare) to sausage sliders, were also drawing lines, but a great many were also happily trying jumbo dill shrimp and Ahi tuna.

Meagan Siddiqui prepares an order at Rickshaw Stop.

At Rickshaw Stop, San Antonio’s only Pakistani food truck, owners Meagan and Sameer Siddiqui were serving up beef bihari kebabs made from Sameer’s grandmother’s recipe. He wouldn’t divulge the secret ingredients, but he did say the eye of round was marinated at least 24 hours in yogurt and papaya juice to break it down and make it tender. The rest of the spices give it an Asian edge that will make you want  to return for more.

But are San Antonio street food customers ready for Pakistani food? Meagan admitted it has been a challenge, a word echoed by several food truck vendors, but the majority of tasters do enjoy it once they try it, they all say. At Rickshaw Stop, Meagan has had to come up with Mexican food analogies to get many to try her dishes. The samosa are kind of like empanadas, she’s told customers, while the beef kebab with onions on top and wrapped in a flatbread is akin to a taco.

Those descriptions have helped people venture out of their comfort zone.

And comfort food is what most food trucks are about, chef Brian West said. Friday was his first visit to Boardwalk on Bulverde, and he loved the tasting the bacon-wrapped shrimp, the asiago macaroni and cheese, and the cupcake he tried. But he would like to see the food trucks “push the envelope a little more. I’d love to see more modern cafe food,” he said.

A trio of tantalizing tacos from Davila's BBQ: pork belly (left), short rib and carnitas.

“I’m a big believer in San Antonio,” added West, who used to own Cafe Paladar on Sonterra Boulevard.

Pork belly was one of the dishes West wanted to try, and it was served two ways Friday night at the Throw Down, but it wasn’t necessarily easy to find. Less than two minutes after West walked away, Adrian Davila of Davila’s BBQ in Seguin mentioned to me that he had an unadvertised special of a pork belly taco. So, I had to get one, as well as the carnitas taco that arrived with mango salsa and the short rib taco with a spicy salsa. All three could make your toes curl in delight.

Davila’s, which has been in business since 1959, has two restaurants in Seguin as well as the truck. And the flavors it served up may well justify a road trip.

Menudo-dusted calamari, pork belly and hominy.

Pork belly was part of another fascinating dish: menudo-dusted calamari, pork belly and hominy, served in a jumbo cup with a slice of lime. This was one of three dishes offered at Tapa Tapa, a relatively new San Antonio truck run by Culinary Institute-trained Rudolfo Martinez. Shrimp ceviche and watermelon-mint Pop Rocks (remember those?) were the other two. I started with the ceviche, which I liked so much that I had to return for the calamari, which was, indeed, dusted with a powdered form of menudo. Go figure, and go get some.

In addition to his truck, Martinez is working with the owners of Tin Can Tacos and Wheelie Gourmet, both fixtures at Boardwalk on Bulverde. One of the owners involved in those trucks, Manny Olivarez, said diners should expect a few changes in the next month or more.

The current truck that houses Wheelie Gourmet, a Mediterranean food vendor, is becoming the Purple Cow, which will offer ice cream and gourmet desserts. A truck truck is being customized for Wheelie Gourmet.

The group is also working on its first restaurant, Counter Culture, which will open in late August at the Spectrum Athletic Club, 21044 U.S. 281.

“It will feature a lot of things you’ve never seen in San Antonio,” Olivarez said. “But it will not be so eccentric as to scare people away. We have to remember who we’re serving. It will be health conscious, and it will be in keeping with our Mediterranean-Latin menus.”

Melissa Rogers operates the Kake Deva truck.

Melissa Rogers brought her Kake Deva truck to the gathering. The bright pink truck with eyelashes over the headlights, dubbed the Big Pinkie by kids who loves its ice cream and candy novelties, can usually be found driving through Kitty Hawk, down Toepperwein and into Converse.

Younger fans like most anything sweet that Rogers sells as well as the cucumbers with Lucas flavoring of chile and lime, while their parents enjoy the nostalgia that comes with certain items she has, whether it’s a Big Dipper ice cream cone or a Fudge Bomb Pop of bananas and chocolate. “Anything with Super Mario Brothers sells,” she says. “People love the Betty Boop candies, too. So many people tell me, ‘I have a sister who collects anything Betty Boop.'”

When Rogers isn’t driving the truck, she also makes and decorates cakes for special orders, ranging in style from wedding cakes to a cake decorated to look like an XBox. (Click here for more on Kake Deva.)

Choices abound at the Food Truck Throw Down.

Both the Kake Deva and Boardwalk regular Saweet Cupcakes offered cupcakes to the crowds, but there wasn’t real duplication as their flavors were different.

Duplication can be good, though. If you wanted to sample various approaches to pulled pork, you could wander from K-Hill to the Smoke Shack to Davila’s BBQ. Or you could spend the day sampling from as many booths as you can. The choice is yours. Enjoy.

The Throw Down and Music Festival continues 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Boardwalk on Bulverde, 14732 Bulverde Road. Click here for more information.

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Get Ready for a Food Truck Throw Down


Food trucks are big across the United States, but you don’t have to hit the road to try the best that the state has to offer.

Boardwalk on Bulverde will host a food truck throw down.

On July 22-23, mobile units from across the state are coming to San Antonio for the city’s first food truck throw down.

The event will take place at Boardwalk on Bulverde, 14732 Bulverde Road, and will feature up to 30 trucks offering all kinds of treats.

Cameron Davies, who owns the park and the neighboring Cruising Kitchens, has been planning the event for months, but just settled on dates.

“We’re really excited about it,” he said.

Live music, a disc jockey and events for kids will be held alongside the tastings, which are set for noon to 10 p.m. July 22 and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 23, though “if people are having a good time,” it might go later both nights, he said.

The cost for admission is $3 for adults, free for kids and will include a ballot for the four different categories of food, which are yet to be determined, he said. The winners will be announced at the end of the evening, July 23.

Davies said there will be plenty of parking in neighboring lots. He’s also planning on opening a new arcade and play space for kids. Beer and wine specials will be available.

More information will be available as the event approaches.

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Pork Lovers, Take Note: Don’t Miss the Smoke Shack


Chris Conger opens up the Smoke Shack.

There is something about a good pulled pork sandwich that makes the world stop spinning on its axis. It makes the din of the traffic around you fade into a meditative hum. It makes grown men reach for their hankies, to dab both their eyes and maybe the corners of their mouth.

OK, perhaps those claims are extravagant, but they somehow encompass the feelings conjured by the pulled pork that the Smoke Shack serves up on weekdays just inside Loop 410 at the corner of Nacogdoches Road. This mobile eatery, covered in wood so it looks like the barbecue pit its name refers to, can also be found at the Pearl Brewery on Saturdays during the farmers market there.

The succulent strands of pork are bathed in a mustard sauce that is tangy and just right. You can have the pork two ways, on a barbecue plate or on a slider, which you can order topped with coleslaw. Either way is just fine with a friend and me, who have stopped by the Smoke Shack twice for a quick bite and had almost transcendent experiences.

A pair of pulled pork sliders.

We are both adamant about the slaw on the side of the pulled pork plate or piled high on the slider. The creamy shreds of cabbage does something cool to complement the hot pork, leaving you with a smile on your sauce-smeared face.

The menu is not extensive. Kiolbassa sausage, chicken and brisket are also offered. Sides include potato salad, pinto beans and a spicy corn that would be even better if cooked with a touch more salt as well as the coleslaw. That’s it; but what more do you need when you have that pork?

The Smoke Shack is a guy place, to be sure. The last time we was there, a crowd of more than a dozen men — and not a single woman — was hanging around the truck, filling up on ‘cue. So, women, if you’re wondering where the boys are, this is the place.

The Smoke Shack also caters under the name Conger Catering. Visit www.CongerCatering.com or call 210-829-8448.

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Truck Stop: Jason Dady’s Duk Truck


There's no mistaking the bright yellow of the Duk Truck. Even at night.

The following is the first in an occasional series of quick reviews of the growing number of food trucks in the area.

I pulled up to Jason Dady’s Duk Truck close to midnight Friday. It was parked in front of Artisans Alley at 555 W. Bitters. No lights were on, but several people were at home. The truck had just run out of gas, they said, but it would be up and running as soon as the tank was filled.

So, I decided to study the menu and see what I would eventually get with the $10 bill in my wallet. No credit cards accepted, the cook said.

Right off the bat, I knew I wanted the Smoked Deviled Eggs ($3). Who could resist deviled eggs, even on a night in which the temperatures were just above freezing. They were surely cooked already, so they could be served relatively quickly.

Beef tongue pastrami on pumpernickel rye

But what about the other snack? On the $6 menu were a number of choices that tempted me at so late an hour. I nixed the Two Bros. brisket, simply because I had had it before and wanted to try something new. The same with the smoked salmon. That left filet mignon meatballs, beef tongue pastrami and chicken-fried pork belly.

I went with the cook’s recommendation of the pastrami and was rewarded with a real treat. The fleshy meat, heated to order, had a slight tang complemented by the warm sauerkraut and the bittersweet flavor of pumpernickel rye bread. It was a little messy but thoroughly enjoyable.

Smoked deviled eggs

I wish the deviled eggs were as good, but I found the filling too smooth, too processed and lacking in all but an oddly muted smoky flavor. Salt, the savior of many a bland food, was not among the vast array of condiments set out by the Kool-Aid and “Ice-T” dispensers at the end of the truck, however. The cook gladly gave me some of his stash of sea salt, but even that couldn’t resuscitate the eggs. (An aside: Few snacks in this world are as perfect as an old-fashioned deviled egg. There’s no need to jazz it up with smoke flavor, wasabi, crab meat or anything else. Just my opinion.)

Condiments galore at the Duk Truck.

Next time I see the bright yellow truck parked alongside the road and gassed up for business, I hope I have a little extra money for the $9 menu with its duck confit Asian steamed buns, Thai green curry with blue crab or Moco Loco, a combination of fried egg, Two Bros. pulled pork, ginger rice and red-eye gravy. Or maybe I’ll splurge on the $6 Nutella Sundae.

That is, if I can resist another pastrami on rye.

Duk Truck
Cash only
To find out where the Duk Truck will be, follow it on Twitter (@duktruck) or e-mail where@duktruck.com.

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