Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 10 in '12

I ate a lot of  truck food in 2012. I didn't eat at every DFW truck; actually, I didn't even eat at half of the DFW trucks. Of those that I did eat from, most of it was good, some of it wasn't. And then there were several items that stood out to me, as exceptional. Food, that for various reasons left me thinking and talking about it for days and weeks. Food that made me seek out the truck time after time; food that I wanted my friends to try. Following is the list of the top 10 items I loved from food trucks in 2012. Sadly, several of these items are from trucks that have closed.  For those items, I wish I could have one more taste; of the rest, after putting the list together, I will be tracking down some trucks this week!

10. The Belgian Waffle Company's Nutella and Banana Waffle - Before The Belgian Waffle Company was a Dallas truck, they were based in Austin and came to the Texas Food Truck Festival. At that Festival, the smell of Belgian Waffles was enough to make me stand in a line 75 people deep to have a taste. The first bite of warm waffle, Nutella and bananas was perfection.

9. Food Traveler Truck's Jerk Chicken Wings - The Food Traveler Truck had a very eclectic menu, which is always a plus for me.  Of all the global items on the menu, the jerk chicken wings were my favorite. The spiciness was perfect and the flavor was the right blend of spice and sweet. My mouth is watering thinking about these wings. I miss them and the Food Traveler Truck!

Summer Slaw Dog on the right half
8. The Wiener Man's Summer Slaw Dog - one of the trends in DFW street food this year was gourmet hot dogs, with a variety of toppings. I tried almost all of them and the one that stands out above all is the Summer Slaw Dog. High quality wiener and bun, topped with a slaw made of cabbage,  cranberries, apples, and almonds, held together was a honey mustard dressing made it a refreshingly cool meal for a hot summer day. Sadly, The Wiener Man has moved to California but the recipe remains on the 360 West website so when I am in need, it is only a kitchen away.

7. So-Cal Taco's "Special  Bowl"- Sometimes the best things on a food truck aren't on the menu. But spend some time talking to the owner or chefs and you will find out what their special creations are, the masterpieces that they make in their down time. These are the gems that you want to order.  On So-Cal, its the So-Cal Bowl.  Ingredients my vary depending on what they have extras of but generally its chicken, black beans, rice, corn, onions, salsa and ranch dressing on a bed of tortilla chips. It's fun, it's tasty and it's a favorite!

6.  Little Vessel Grill's Blowin' Steam - Little Vessel Grill wasn't on the streets long but in those few months, their unique menu made an impact on me. The creativity from this truck blew me away and it is what I look for in other chef-driven trucks.  My favorite was the Blowin' Steam, chicken thigh meat wrapped in sweet glaze bacon, stuffed inside a truck made Parmesan cheese cone, filled with risotto.  Street food the way it should be done!

Southern Hospitality on the left
5. The Butcher's Son's Southern Hospitality- Southern Hospitality is pure comfort food.  Battered chicken breast, garlic mashed potatoes and cream gravy on a slider. It has become my go to food when I am having a bad day, or a good day, or a day when the truck is nearby.

4. Gastro Bomber's Pig Toes - This was a late entry to the list as I had Gastro Bomber's Pig's Feet for the first time on December 28. I'm now trying to figure out how to get them in one more time this year.  A tater tot and a slice of jalapeno, wrapped in bacon. There's a kick of heat and a soft tater tot, which is tasty all by itself, add in the bacon/onion dipping sauce and food truck food does not  get much better.

Photo from of Cup-Cakin's Facebook page
3. Cup-Cakin's Salted Carmel-Chocolate Cupcake - My co-workers laugh at me when I run out of the office, yelling "I'll be back  in 15 minutes", they know this means that Cup-Cakin is somewhere in the neighborhood and very soon we will all be licking our lips and talking about the fabulousness that is Salted Caramel-Chocolate Cupcakes.  I love these cupcakes, my co-workers love them. They are fabulous!

2.  Nammi's Combination Bahni Mi - If you have read this blog for any length of time you well know my love all things Nammi. I have heard many a discussion about which is better, the grilled or barbecue pork bahn mi. I never understand why this is even a discussion point; get the Combo, with both and remove all questions.  If you really want to take it to the next level, add the pate...after that, the only discussion will be "why haven't I been eating this one all along?"

1. Good Karma Kitchen's Asian Noodles  - I have searched every picture I took this year as well as every nook and cranny of the Internet that would have a picture of Good Karma Kitchen's Asian Noodles and I cannot find a picture.  I suspect it is because when they hand you a piping hot bowl of noodle soup that smells amazing taking a picture is the last thing you want to think about.  The soup is so misleading, you think it's a bowl of basic vegetarian noodle soup that will cure a cold and really not have much excitement. Instead, its an assortment of flavors, from the broth of the soup flavored with cilantro and green onions to the gluten-free but very tasty noodles to the surprise of the spicy shiitake mushrooms that marinated for hours before making it to the soup. This dish has flavors that last all day and is such a surprise of tastes that it's the dish I wish I had all the time. I'm watching to see when Good Karma puts it on the menu, its worth the drive to wherever they are set-up for those flavors.  It is also worthy of being my number 1 choice for top food truck dish in 2012.

 I'd love to know what your Top 10 food truck dishes were in 2012, leave a comment with your favorites!
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  1. That So-Cal special bowl looks amazing! My new year's resolution for food trucks is to finally get the NY style pizza from Good Karma. I always miss it - not this year!

  2. Gastro Bomber has impressed my taste buds! I don't feel guilty about feeding my kids their chicken nuggets because they are the real deal!


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