Tag Archives: BBQ

Top Nosh Truck

I admit it.  I am a terrible note-taker.  As a result, I like to research the ‘digital footprint’ on the trucks I visit to refresh my memory and to sometimes learn stuff about a truck I didn’t think to ask.  After all, it’s really about the food, right?  So when I was putting together an update on my list of active food trucks so I could figure out who I needed to track down, I didn’t find much about Top Nosh.  So I sent a message to Chef Matt Thomas and told him he needed a bigger digital footprint.  Apparently, he listened.  Now you can find Top Nosh Truck on Facebook, Twitter and even a website.

Top Nosh Truck
Top Nosh Truck

I caught up with them at Fort Worth Food Park on a gorgeous day.  The menu wasn’t much bigger than their digital footprint but the quality more than makes up for any shortage of options.

The menu changes as Chef Matt tries new things but this is what it looked like the day I was at Top Nosh Truck.
The menu changes as Chef Matt tries new things but this is what it looked like the day I was at Top Nosh Truck.

I realize it’s almost sacrilegious to live in Texas and not be a fan of BBQ.  I have lived in famous BBQ towns like Kansas City and visited ALL of the big BBQ meccas but it took moving to Texas for me to figure out, BBQ is not my favorite way to prepare meat.  That said, the Braised Brisket Sliders lived up to their advertising as AWESOME!  Tender, juicy, and spicy without being hot are the result of the brisket being perfectly prepared.  The bun was fresh and the portions balanced, even the bonus goat cheese that is part of this compelling reason to eat BBQ and to like it …. A lot!

"The" Two-fer - Braised Brisket Sliders with Goat Cheese.  The Red Cabbage Slaw was a nice complement but it is even better when you put it on the slider!
“The” Two-fer – Braised Brisket Sliders with Goat Cheese. The Red Cabbage Slaw was a nice complement but it is even better when you put it on the slider!

“The” Top Nosh Steak Sammy goes a completely different route that leads to the same smile when you bite into this overstuffed delight that features grilled hangar steak and onions, lemon-thyme mayo, grape tomatoes, Pepper Jack and Feta cheeses and for a little color and flavor splash, flash fried spinach.  My partner-in-crime on this culinary adventure told me it was ‘really, really good’ and she loved the flash fried spinach.  But then, I knew that from the two little bites I got to try and the fact I only got to try two-little bites!

"The" Top Nosh Steak Sammy is topped literally and lip smackingly with flash fried spinach.  Popeye never had it this good!
“The” Top Nosh Steak Sammy is topped liberally and lip smackingly with flash fried spinach. Popeye never had it this good!

The Shut-Yo-Mouth Tater Tots go to prove that it’s not what you start with but what you end up with that counts.  Ours were fried perfectly and covered in an assortment of cheeses.  If you want yours prepared with truffle oil, you can have ‘em your way, too.

The Steak Sammy deserves another look but take a peak at those cheese topped Tater Tots.  The only reason to Shut Yo Mouth with these is to chew and enjoy!
The Steak Sammy deserves another look but take a peak at those cheese topped Tater Tots. The only reason to Shut Yo Mouth with these is to chew and enjoy!

The Fruit Boat was as pretty as it was cool and refreshing.  The Lemon Marscapone really sets off the citrus in the pineapple but it’s just as great with the strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and banana.  What a fabulous way to end the meal.

Super happy taste buds are the pot of gold at the end of this fresh fruit rainbow.
Super happy taste buds are the pot of gold at the end of this fresh fruit rainbow.

Afterwards, there was a break in the crowd and we got to spend a few minutes with Chef Matt.  It’s clear that he’s passionate about food and creating items that are interesting, fresh and, as it says on the website, “lovingly doted on one order at a time.”  And as much as we liked everything we tried, Chef Matt says the Tacos Chinos will become your favorite item no matter how much of a ‘beef’ guy you are!

The Top Nosh Meal - sit back and enjoy as you nosh away.
The Top Nosh Meal – sit back and enjoy as you nosh away.

A couple of things jumped out at me as I ‘researched’ the background on Top Nosh Truck.  First, his website is simple but well done; just like his menu and food. And second, unlike a lot of other Facebook Pages I visit, I was amazed by the number of photos that had four, or five, or even six items in the photo.  Now I don’t feel so bad about how much I ordered.  It wasn’t my fault, Chef Matt made me do it!

If you want to find Top Nosh, check out the now ‘expansive’ digital footprint you can find on Facebook, Twitter and even their website.  But if you really want to learn more about Top Nosh Truck and Chef Matt, just go out and eat with Chef Matt and  Top Nosh Truck.

And then repeat … repeat … repeat.

 

 

Chef Dan served up Southern Comfort food of Rib Tips, Mac 'n Cheese and Collard Greens

Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort at Triton Brewery- Indianapolis

Chef Dan Pairs with Triton Brewery for Beer and BBQ

This experience is proof positive that a little effort can reap big rewards.  On our recent food truck odyssey, we found ourselves headed from Cincinnati, OH to Terre Haute, IN to spend the night with good friends.  Indianapolis has a growing food truck community and we’d hit town just about dinnertime.  Calling up a food truck junkie’s favorite tools, Google and Twitter, we found notice that Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort would be parked outside the Triton Brewing Company and they were just a few miles off our route!  Program the address into the nav system and we’re off!

Chef Daniel Carter and wife, Allison, are Mississippi born and bred and they know something about southern comfort food.  The menu reflects the ‘feel good’ food found in the south. This is just the tip of the turnip.

Tonight’s Menu – space limits what can be offered at one time but the full menu covers the whole range of southern comfort food. Check it out on the website.

 

It is dinner time so the Rib Tip Dinner flies to the top of the option list.  I pair the meat with Cajun Pasta and Collard Greens.  I am not disappointed!  The BBQ sauce is smoky, sweet and spicy and the rib tips melt in your mouth.  They fall apart when you bite into them and your fingers and face end up a mess – just the way great BBQ is supposed to be!  The Cajun Pasta is cool and a pleasant complement; creamy and tender with just a hint of Cajun spice.  The coup de grace that any true southern foodie wants is Collard Greens.  And Chef Dan’s Collard Green’s will stand above anybody’s – mild flavors, firm texture (not mushy) and ohhhhh, so delish!  A light, perfectly fried Hush Puppie to fill out the experience.  Oh yeah, I’m feeling really ‘comforted’!!

Tonight’s feature: The Rib Tip Dinner with Cajun Pasta and Collard Greens

 

The dessert menu tonight is simple.  You can have anything you want as long as it’s Banana Pudding.  This is about as simple as it gets for dessert – vanilla pudding and banana slices layered with Vanilla Wafers.  There are two camps on Banana Pudding – crispy Vanilla Wafers or softened cookies – and the make-ahead requirement means you’re much more likely to get soft (even soggy) cookies than crispy ones.  Regardless of which side of the argument you side with, who hasn’t been taken back to their childhood by this simple, sweet ending to a meal filled with favorite comfort food.

Banana Pudding the Chef Dan Southern Comfort way

 

I’m not sure what it is about food trucks and beer, but the synergy generated when you pair them up produces an experience greater than the parts.  Triton appreciates the benefits of rotating food experiences and schedules food trucks Wednesday – Sunday nights and lunch on the weekends.  Tonight’s pairing with Triton Brewing Company, gave us the added benefit of getting to experience the sampler from Triton.

The Triton Sampler – why limit yourself to one beer when you can experience six different brews?

 

Chef Dan, a graduate of the Paul Prudhomme Culinary School, has more than 30+ years of cooking experience that includes opening the kitchens in various casinos and the downtown Marriott, cooking as Executive Sous Chef for the Indianapolis Colts and even overseeing the meal preparation for President George W. Bush’s inauguration dinner.  Now, he and Allison are living the dream of working for themselves and bringing a creative ‘home cooked’ menu to the food truck.

Chef Dan’s Mobile Kitchen – it’s not big or fancy but the food is fabulous

 

Oh, coincidentally, today (October 20th) is the 1 year anniversary of Triton Brewing Company’s opening.  Why don’t you go out wish them a Happy Birthday.  You’ll miss Chef Dan, he was there yesterday celebrating my birthday.  Well, I was there celebrating in my thoughts!  But if you want to find out where Chef Dan and Allison will be setting up next to serve their amazing southern comfort food, you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Indianapolis is a great destination city for business or pleasure.  If you find yourself in Indy or traveling through, make the effort to sample their food trucks.  If Chef Dan is an indication, it will be well worth the effort to track ‘em down!  And if you want, tell ‘em that Food Truck Connection sent you!

 

 

 

Up_Barbeque_Nachos_closeup

Q UP Barbecue is Bringing the Best BBQ to Phoenix

BBQ Done With Style

When you think of barbeque, Phoenix is not the first city that comes to mind.  When Phoenicians think about what to have for lunch or dinner, barbeque is not the first thing that comes to mind.  Devin Clough is out to change that situation by bringing high quality BBQ to Phoenix … and serve it out of a gourmet food truck.  First impressions are important and based on my first impression, he’s well on the way.

Q UP offers Pulled Pork Tacos and a BBQ Sandwich but I went for the full Monty by ordering the 3-Meat Platter, Nachos and Breaded Mac-n- Cheese Bites.  Devin uses a Kansas City style of BBQ sauce but makes it his own with layers of flavors, sweets and heat.  If your BBQ preference runs to a thick, slightly sweet sauce with the heat coming on at the end, you’ll love this sauce.

 

The Nachos may be the absolute best nachos I’ve ever had!  The “truck-made” chips are crunchy and made from flour tortillas instead of corn.  They stay crunchy even after the pulled pork, BBQ sauce and other toppings are added.  The serving is HUGE (plan to share) and the chips were still crunchy when the leftovers made for an interesting breakfast the next day!  The pulled pork is melt in your mouth tender, seasoned to perfection and moist.  The BBQ sauce provides the sweetness complement to the savory pork while the tomato and green onion make it all pretty and colorful.

 

The 3-meat plate is great for sampling or for the undecided.  Tender brisket, pulled pork and spicy sausage are provided in good-sized portions.  It’s hard to pick a favorite as each of them are good in their own way.  You know how I feel about the pulled pork (see nachos above!) but the brisket was just as tender and moist with that buttery flavor the comes from slowly breaking down the higher fat content in the brisket.  The sausage was good, but even before learning it is one of only two items not prepared by Devin, I recognized that it didn’t have the same ‘Devin touch’ of the other meats.

 

The plate comes with one side.  Darn!  More choices!  The Southwestern Tangy Slaw sounded really interesting but I picked the Mac-n-Cheese.  Your kids might like this Mac-n-Cheese but Uncle Devin’s Bacon-y Chees-y Mac is all grown up.  The penne pasta is a lighter in texture and larger sized than traditional elbow macaroni and the sauce spiced up and thinned down for a more complex, grown-up taste.  I was never a big Mac-n-Cheese fan but some of the offerings I’ve had on the various food trucks I’ve tried is outstanding and this one ranks with the best.

 

Devin is as good a salesman as he is a chef and before I got away, he convinced me to try the Breaded Deep-Fried Mac-n-Cheese Bites.  I know, I know …. You’re thinkin’ deep fried Mac-n-Cheese?  But these tasty little morsels were coated with the lightest breading seasoned with a little kick and lots of flavor.  The creamy, cheesy Mac-n-Cheese contrasted the breading perfectly for just the little bite you’re looking for to complement some of that melt in your mouth brisket or pork.

 

Q  UP Barbeque gets around but you’ll often find him hanging out with several other trucks at some of the developing hot spots for food truck gatherings in Phoenix and the surrounding ‘burbs.  You can find out where QUP is set up today by checking the Facebook page or following them on Twitter.

 

Service was fast and friendly with prices ranging from $2 – $12.  If you want Q UP all to yourself, you can get information about private catering on their Facebook page.