Tag Archives: Food

Semplice Cibo Italiano

Simply Fabulous Italian food made with passion!

 

As I think about my favorite food trucks, I find a common theme in all of them.  My favorite trucks keep the menu simple, prepare it with top quality ingredients, and serve it up with a smile.  The folks at Semplice Cibo Italiano (SCI) did their homework and are doing it right.  Chefs David McClain and Audra Denny teamed up with the spouses, Jana McClain and Chris Denny, to bring restaurant quality Italian favorites to the streets of DFW.  Unanimously committed to the mission of creating simple, fresh-made Italian food with the passion that makes every diner leave wanting just a little more.  I’ve been there a couple of times now and they must be succeeding – I keep wanting a little more.

 

I started with the Fried Ravioli.  The light breading was toasted just right and the cheese filling was a hot, ooey-gooey delight.  The Marinara dipping sauce was fresh, seasoned just right and had just a hint of tang to spice things up.  And a Strawberry Basil Lemonade to cool things down!

Fried Ravioli and Strawberry Basil Lemonade

 

I followed up with a Fettuccini Pasta with Vodka Cream sauce and Fresh Ground Italian Sausage.  Ummm!  The pasta was cooked perfectly,  the Italian Sausage chunky and a little spicy and the Vodka Cream sauce smooth.  The sausage was the weak link in this combination; good but not great.  Garnished with a little green, it looked as good as it good tasted.  Nothing fancy here – just simple food prepared with passion and care.

Fettuccini with Vokda Cream Sauce and Italian Sausage.

 

You can design your own from a selection of 3 pastas, 3 sauces and 3 ‘Add-ons’ like sausage, meatballs or sautéed mushrooms.  Don’t want to design your own?  Then try the Spagetti & Meatballs or Baked Ziti.

 

The next time I sampled SCI, I was on a food truck crawl at Siegel’s.  This time I had to try the Caprese Salad; Fresh, cool and satisfying on a hot summer night.  The tomatoes were bursting with flavor and the fresh buffalo Mozzarella cheese sprinkled with basil and seasoned with a little salt and olive oil left my mouth watering; longing for more.   It’s a great starter to any meal.

The SCI Caprese Salad – Tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese and Basil

 

For summer, SCI has added a Watermelon Salad.  Fresh watermelon chunks served cold and drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar.  Just what the doctor ordered on a hot, summer day.

Watermelon Salad – Chill out on a hot summer day

 

If you want to find 5-star restaurant quality Italian food in the fun food truck setting, then look up SCI on Facebook or find out where they are now on Twitter.  They’re saved on my favorites!!

The SCI Truck bedecked in, what else, the national colors of Italy!

 

Update:  David McClain and Audra Denny have parted ways with David moving on.  We’ll miss his big smile out front but Audra is carrying on the SCI tradition of Simply Fabulous Italian Food Made Simply.  And she’s got her own big smile!  Good luck, David.

 

What is your favorite item or experience at SCI.  Every opinion counts – we want to hear yours!  Be the latest to add to the Comments.

 

Nammi's "Insider" Special - Jalapeno Basil Mint Lemonade

Nammi: Cruisin Fusion Food and Fun

Nammi Fuses Good Food and Nammi Love to Make Good Times

2011 was a good year for Dallas.  Why?  Because Teena Ngyuen and Gary Torres decided that instead of designing buildings, they’d set their sights on designing the perfect vehicle to bring the Ban Mi and their version of Vietnamese Fusion Cuisine to Dallas.  The result is Nammi Truck.  Teena says the Banh Mi is the Vietnamese equivalent of the American hot dog.  When better than the 4th of July to tell you about Nammi Truck?

Nammi Truck #1

 

The Banh Mi (pronounced Bun Mee) is the star on the menu.  The ginormous 12” baguette is slathered with garlic mayo, and piled high with cucumbers, pickled daikons (a white raddish) & carrots, jalapenos and cilantro and your choice of meat.  Oh, and for those people who say the cilantro gets lost in everything else … who cares?  Look at all those smiles as people try a Banh Mi for the first time!!

 

My favorite is the Grilled Pork.  When you bite into the giant sandwich, the savory seasonings of the grilled pork tantalize the taste buds while the cool, crisp veggies add a smorgasbord of taste sensations ranging from slightly sweet to the bite of the pickled daikons & carrots and the spicy heat of the jalapenos.  It’s a symphony of flavors and textures marching across your palate like a John Phillip Sousa song on the Fourth of July.

The Grilled Port Banh Mi

 

The BBQ Pork Banh Mi features marinated grilled pork that is a sweet, hot sensation; a different compliment to the harmony of the veggies.  Pork may be ‘the Other White Meat’, but the marinade and BBQ seasoning turn this meat an interesting red tone.  If you like sweet BBQ, this is the choice for you.

BBQ Pork – Vietnamese Fusion Style from Nammi

 

If you are not a red meat eater, then check out the Lemongrass Chicken.  The Chicken is marinated to infuse the flavors and mine was tender, juicy and a more subtle fusion of the flavors.

Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi

 

Nammi’s got you covered if, like me, you think the baguette is a lot of bread.  I like to focus on the ‘stuffing’ and the Vietnamese Taco replaces the baguette with a corn tortilla and gets dressed up with a red cabbage sauté.  This is a different take on the taco that you’ve got to try.

Chicken Taco – but you pick the meat you want!

 

And it’s not exactly on the Adkins diet, but you can forego the bread entirely by opting for the Nammi Rice Bowl.  A succulent bowl of steamed white rice served hot so the aroma dances across your nose while the flavors tango across your taste buds.  It’s a one-two punch you won’t want to recover from!

The Rice Bowl – this one features pork

 

And you’ve got to have something to wash down all that yummy food.   The Basil Mint Lemonade is unbelievable!!  Cool, fresh and not too sweet it’s the perfect partner to finish out the meal.  In fact, it is so good, I’ve been known to buy dinner from another truck (I have to, it’s my ‘calling’!), and still stand in line to get just a lemonade from my friends at Nammi J!!  If you’ve stayed with me this far, here’s an inside tip:  If you want a little kick, ask ‘em to make yours a Spicy Basil Mint Lemonade and they’ll add some sliced jalapeno.  If you can wait, the ‘kick’ is even stronger after it’s had an hour or so.

Nammi’s “Insider” Special – Jalapeno Basil Mint Lemonade

 

One of the dangers created by the plethora of great food trucks in Dallas is that you sometimes take them for granted.  I’ve been to the Nammi Truck many times and can’t believe I’ve never shared the experience.  I think of them so often I was certain I’d blogged about them.

 

One of the most accessible trucks in Dallas, especially since adding a second truck in 2012, Nammi has a presence at every major food truck event and across the DFW metroplex.  To be safe, check their weekly schedule posted on the website or Twitter to get the latest on where you can find them and if, no when, they run out of food!  Just look for the truck with the longest line and join the crowd.  It’s worth the wait!

Look at it this way — standing in line is a great time to make new friends!

 

Oh, and if you need another reason to like Teena and Gary, they’re responsible for bringing Cool Haus to Dallas.  But that’s another story all its own.  Look for my coming article on Eating My Way Through Cool Haus.

Is Nammi the best truck in Dallas?  Tell us what you think?

Bufalo Bob’s Chalupa Wagon

Buying someone a Bufalo Bob’s Chalupa is good for you and good for the environment!


There are hundreds of food trucks, trailers and carts in Austin and the vast majority of them offer tacos or some type of Mexican fare.  Bufalo Bob’s Chalupa Wagon, one of the newer food stands in Austin, specializes in range fed all natural bison, chicken and vegetarian chalupas. Heck, he even uses a single ‘f’ in bufalo!!

 

Practicing good eating habits himself, Bufalo Bob’s mission is to provide delicious food that is wholesome and healthy.  As Bob says, “you are what you eat!”  We caught him between the lunch and dinner crowd and he came out to visit a bit.  Time permitting, he may share his remarkable health changes since moving to a simpler, healthier diet, but we’ll leave that story to him to tell.  The chalupas range from the traditional to more exotic gourmet chalupas, topped with hummus, green olives, flax seed and spinach.  He proudly boasts that 65% of the menu is gluten-free and all are built on low fat tostadas.

All natural and all good

 

It’s a good thing they tell you what they’re handing out since most of the chalupas look the same.  Taste, now that’s something different.  We got to sample four different items ranging from real healthy to more traditional.

 

The Mediterranean is one of six vegetarian chalupas.  The Mediterranean is topped with hummus, flax seed, chopped green olives, spinach, onion, tomato and Parmesan cheese.  The surprise is the hummus.  Bob makes his own hummus from Texas grown rice.  He’s serious about his hummus – it’s good and spicy.  We wondered why our friend thought it was so spicy … now we know!

The Mediterranean – Vegeterian goodness on a tostada

 

The Abilene is just like the vegetarian Texican but adds bison to the TX hummus, flax seed, chopped green olives, onion, lettuce and tomato.  This one comes with a kick from the hummus that you can pump up with the hot sauce.  If you like a hot sauce, you’ll love Bufalo Bob’s hot sauce.

The Abilene Bison Chalupa – traditional refried beans and bison topped with veggies and lettuce

The last two chalupas we ordered were the Laredo and the Armadillo.  Both come with refried beans, bison, lettuce, onion, tomato and cheese.  The Armadillo adds rice.  The tostadas were crisp, light and strong enough to pick up and eat with your hands.

Bufalo Bob’s Laredo Bison Chalupa

 

Buffalo Bob has taken the lowly chalupa and raised it to a unique level by blending the flavors of the Mediterranean and his own homemade hummus in the place of traditional refried beans to create a variety of tastes to satisfy everyone.   And more importantly, Bufalo Bob makes healthy taste good.

 

You’ll find Bufalo Bob’s at the South First Food Park at 603 W. Live Oak Drive (intersection of W. Live Oak and South 1st Street).  Check Facebook or Twitter for special events, promotions and happenings.

And when you go, make sure you check out Bob’s tribute mural to Texas musicians on the street side of the trailer.

Texas Musicians Tribute Mural

 

Have you tried Bufalo Bob’s?  Tell us what you think!

 

Free Wheel’n Cafe – Take Two

Some things bear repeating and the Free Wheel ‘n Café Truck is one of them. 

 

My first visit to the Free Wheel’n Café Truck was rudely interrupted by Dallas’ recent historic hail storm.  The silver lining is that Floyd Freeman and Trina Simpson invited me into their truck to sit out the storm and that gave me a chance to get to know them better.  They’re just good folks.

 

It’s a different experience when you go looking for a specific truck than when do you the typical truck crawl.  For one thing, you know what you want and you get to anticipate it!  Second, you know you ain’t gonna share this time!!  We were waiting on them when they arrived and were first in line to order from Miss Trina.

Miss Trina takes the heat and your order in stride

 

We knew we wanted to repeat the Classic Philly Cheesesteak and ordered it up.  The temps were in the triple digits and heating up the deep fryer for fries was off the menu.  No problem ‘cause this Cheese Steak stands on its own.

The Free Wheel’n Cafe Philly Cheesesteak – the real deal

 

This time, blazing temperatures be #@$^!, we ordered the Jalapeno Philly Cheesesteak.  What a great east meets west – Philly meets Dallas – combination!  The extra ‘heat’ from the jalapenos blended seamlessly with the great flavor of the original classic.

Add some heat with the Jalapeno Philly Cheesesteak and East meets West!

 

The cheese was melted ‘just right’!!

The cheese is melted just the way I like it!

 

Next visit it’s the Italian Philly for me.  What are you gonna order?

Ask for the “Diet Menu” when you go – give ‘em a good laugh!

 

If you’ve been looking for a real authentic Philly Cheese Steak in Dallas, hook up Free Wheel’n Café on Facebook or Twitter and chase ‘em down.

 

UPDATE:  Las Colinas Fourth of July Fireworks

 

Floyd was feeling creative and I was the luck beneficiary.  He was playing around in the kitchen and came up with a new Rice Bowl creation. Start with some rice, add grilled chicken and top with green onions, tomatoes and cilantro and then cover it all with a Spicy Ranch sauce.  The sauce was an unexpected treat – more spicy than ranch-y.  Suprisingly light with the fluffy rice and a light sauce and the vegetables were fresh and crisp.  Yeah, Floyd, this one can go on the menu.

The Rice Bowl – let ‘em know you want it on the menu!

 

The Rice Bowl – that’s a spoonful of goodness

When you are hungry enough to eat a horse, then you want to opt for the Big Philly.  A one-third pound, lean ground beef patty is topped with philly cheesesteak, lettuce, tomato and pickle on a grilled bun.  Wow, that’s a lot of sandwich!

The good times just keep on coming with The Freewheel’n Cafe truck.

Have you caught Free Wheel’n on a creative day with something ‘off’ the menu?  Tell us whether you think this is the best cheesesteak in DFW.

Pachamama’s Peruvian Creole Cuisine

 

Disclaimer:  I love Peruvian food.  So when I was researching food trucks in Austin and discovered Pachamama’s, I knew that I had to go.  My love affair with Peruvian Food started 16 years ago at the Inka Grill in Lake Forest, CA.

 

I arrived about 10:45 and they didn’t open until 11:00.  I sat in the car and felt like I was in Kohl’s commercial.  All I could think was, “Open, Open, Open!”  In no time, but what felt like an eternity, the tables were cleaned, the fans placed and finally, the window opens!  Please, let this be as good as it sounds!!

“Open, Open, Open!!”

 

The menu, bigger than most food trailers or trucks, makes the choice hard.  Finally, I settle on the Causa Limena and the Loma Saltado.  And a Maracuya to drink.  The order is in and I’m waiting again.

Chilled Causa Limena and Ice-Cold Maracuya is perfect on a hot day

 

Since this is my first visit, I can’t tell you if we got special treatment or since we were the only customers waiting when they opened, but we got table service.  The Maracuya and the Causa Limena  were there in a flash.  The table and chairs are not fancy but the umbrellas and trees provided shade and the fans kept the air moving comfortably despite the temperatures.

The Causa Limena is best described as a deconstructed chilled mash potato salad.  Described as layered potato pie marinated with lemon juice and ahi pepper, diced vegetables in sour cream, sitting on a lettuce leaf bed and garnished with cilantro, this looks too good to eat … almost!  The presentation is beautiful but I dive in for a taste.  POW!  The flavors explode in your mouth but like a good wine, you need to let it sit for a second so you can separate the texture and flavors of the exquisitely balanced ingredients.  We opted for the Vegetarian style, to put Chef Victor to the ultimate test, and we were not let down.  If you think you have to have meat, it’s also offered with Chicken, but trust me – you won’t even miss it!

Causa Lemina

 

On to the main course; the Loma Saltado.  It arrives and look, there’s French Fries.  Yes, just the way it is supposed to be.  Sauteed beef loin, julienned onions and tomatoes on a bed of french fried potatoes; served with white rice.  I can hardly wait until we get the photo taken to show the enticing presentation.  Then, the potato dripping in the juice from the toppings, puts my mouth into a food orgasm.  [Remember the disclaimer – I love Peruvian food!]  The beef loin today is not the most tender I’ve had but the seasonings result a flavor sensation that overcomes anything else.  The rice is light, fluffy and perfectly prepared.  The love affair is renewed.

Pachamama’s Lomo Saltado

 

At Chef Victor’s suggestion, we ordered the Maracuya.  A Passion Fruit beverage, it’s a little sweet but not overdone and went well with the meal.  If you need to cut back on calories somewhere, this is where I’d restrain myself.

 

RL Reeves Jr posted in Austin Food Scene the question, “Is Pachamama’s the best food trailer in Austin?”  I haven’t experienced enough of what Austin has to offer to answer unequivocably yes, but based on my visit, I’m in no position to argue that it isn’t.  But I’d go farther and ask, “Is this the best Peruvian food in Austin?”  You tell me, but my bet is that you’ll say ‘yes’.

East Side Food Park – Your destination for awesome Peruvian Food.

 

You’ll find Pachamama’s in the East Side Food Park located at 2209 E. Cesar Chavez.  The best time to visit may be evening when the sun goes down, the strings of colorful lights begin to sparkle and if you pick the right day to visit, you can enjoy a movie or live musical entertainment under the stars.  Chef Victor has started summer hours so check out their Facebook page for operating hours and updates.

 

Tell us your favorite experience at Pachamama’s.

Gourdough’s Specialty Doughnuts

One bite and you understand:  Gour(met) Dough(nuts)!

 

How far would you drive to try a doughnut place?  Recently, I found myself getting up at 4:00 AM and driving almost 4 hours to visit Austin, Texas; considered by most to be the mecca for street and mobile food.  First stop – Gourdough’s Specialty Doughnuts.

 

Emblazoned in big letters on the side of the Airstream is the message:  BIG.  FAT.  DONUTS.

The shiny Airstream – the place for doughnut dreams come true!

 

Gourdough’s does not present the typical, glazed confection found in most donut shops.  Instead, their version takes the doughnut to gourmet levels and Texas sized.  These monster creations nearly fill a standard 5” take-out box and are almost 3” tall!

The BIG.FAT. Diablo

 

The consistency is lighter and less dense than a cake donut but more bread-like than the standard glazed donut.  With just a hint of sweetness, they’re more like a mini-loaf of sweetbread than the usual donut.  Some come with a filling in the middle but you’ll find no holes in these beauties – just light, sightly sweet centers surrounded by a perfectly browned outer layer.

The light centers with just a hint of sweetness is surrounded by a golden brown crust

 

This morning, I’m feeling a little spicy and opt for The Diablo.  This scrumptious doughnut is topped with American cheese, scrambled eggs, jalapeno sausage link and hot sauce.

The Diablo

 

Bite into it and the flavors dance back and forth between the sweet, the savory and the hot in perfect step.  The hot sauce comes charging in, followed quickly and comfortably by the savory experience of the sausage, egg, and cheese all marinated in the slightly greasy drippings from the sausage infused with the hot sauce and then the relaxed finish of the cool, slightly sweet sensation of the doughnut.  AAAAhhhhhhhh … (BIG FAT SIGH)!  Worth the drive!

 

The second item on our menu this morning is The Hangover: jalapeno jelly injected into the center of the doughnut, fried egg, bacon, jalapenos and cream gravy.  I really liked this, too.  The delicate use of the jalapeno jelly plays in perfect balance with the savory fried egg, crispy bacon with just a hint of saltiness and the heat of the fresh jalapeno slices topping it.  Not too sweet, not too hot.  This is just what the doctor ordered in the morning, regardless of what ails you … or even if nothing ails you at all!

The Hangover: Good for whatever ails ya!

 

The prices are far from the usual donut range at $6.50 and $7.00 but then again, what you are getting is far from the typical donut experience.  These creations are a meal, big and satisfying, and deserving of the distinction – Gourmet Doughnuts.  More than that, they are an experience.  One you shouldn’t miss if you find yourself in Austin.

The Hangover is topped generously with cream gravy, fried egg, crispy bacon and fresh jalapeno slices.

 

If you are in a sweet mood, don’t despair.  There are plenty of sweet options on the menu that includes more than a baker’s dozen of choices.   There’s the Flying Pig (Bacon with Maple Syrup) or the Funky Monkey (Grilled bananas & Cream Cheese Icing with Brown Sugar) and plenty more to satisfy that sweet craving.  I didn’t get one of these to go?  What was I thinking?  Oh well, I see another road trip coming up in the future …

 

Gourdough’s has been a factor in the Austin food scene since debuting October 2, 2009.  You’ll find then 7 days a week at 1503 S. 1st Street.  If you are the cautious type, you can check them out on Facebook or Twitter to make sure there’s no change in the schedule.

 

Today’s Menu

 

Today’s Menu

 

The Doughnut Dream Portal – What’ll you have today?

 

Why did I leave so early?  After all, they are open all day and into the night.  C’mon, this is Austin.  I had to leave time for breakfast to settle before I moved on to lunch at Pachamamas.

 

Is this really a doughnut?  What do you think?

 

 

Inside the Truck With …. Crazy Fish

Inside the Truck With … Crazy Fish

 

The atmosphere in the food truck community is kind of like hanging out with friends.  As you get to know the people responsible for bringing unique, high quality food to the streets, you quickly recognize that they are as unique as their trucks and their menus.  This is the first in an ongoing series to introduce you to the people behind the trucks … and the food.  I thought the only chivalrous thing to do was to start with the ladies in the Dallas Food Truck scene.

The newest truck in Dallas owned and operated by an all-female team is Crazy Fish.

Crazy Fish, owned and operated by Tenielle Powers, is the first and currently the only sushi truck operating in the DFW market.

 

Food Truck Connection (FTC):  Listened to you for about 3 words and it’s clear you’re not a Dallas native.  How did we get fortunate enough for you to end up here?

Tenielle:  Well, I used to own an Ultra Lounge in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia. After some time of trying to make it a fruitful venture and working crazy hours I decided to wrap it up, be free of being an employer with all the pressure, drama and late nights, and move to Las Vegas to experience my twenties with no strings attached. That I did. And I was very good at it…lol!!!

While I was saving for Crazy Fish I was predominately working in the night club scene, as an employee, not an employer!

 

FTC:  When did Crazy Fish hit the streets and where was the first place you set up?

Tenielle:  Our first day out was May 5th.  Been rolling ever since. The first place we set up was Hightower Salons on 635 and Macarthur. It was a nice open spot where people could see us.

 

FTC:  How did you come up with the name Crazy Fish?

Tenielle:  Crazy Fish is a name that me and my brother came up with some years ago. He actually went on to open several conveyor style restaurants in Australia.

 

FTC:  Let’s talk sushi … where did you get introduced to sushi?

Tenielle:  I became very excited about sushi on a trip to Japan back in 1997 when I was 20 years old. I came across this conveyor belt Sushi restaurant in Shibuya Tokyo where they had Salmon Nigiri with Japanese mayo and a slice of onion going around on a conveyor belt. Those three flavors together had me hooked.

At Crazy Fish, we will evolve the tradition!  We take out all the stereotypes about sushi … and replace it with more interesting twists.  Our menu is organic, our fish is wild and all meats are free range.  To go along with our wildness, we add some color to the equation.  And all six of our specialty sauces are on the side so you can dip to your taste.

 

FTC:  What is the most misunderstood thing about sushi?

Tenielle:  That it is all raw. Traditional sushi is raw but sushi restaurants in western countries always carry cooked items so there is something for everyone. I have discovered that people decide that they don’t like sushi before they have tried it. I have personally broken through that barrier this week with a couple of customers!

 

FTC:  You sure broke that barrier with me.  What convinced you that a Sushi Truck would be successful in the heart of cattle country?

Tenielle:  Ha! Sushi restaurants do well in Texas so why not a truck? Mobile sushi is a niche that hasn’t really been looked into very much, so now I’m trying to conquer it, one roll at a time!

 

FTC:  Where do you get the recipes for the different rolls on the menu?  Who named them?

Tenielle:  That’s a great question! There are a lot of funny stories to do with our roll names. For example, The Asian Persuasion is named after a guy my closest friend is dating… the Red White and Blue was named by a girl friend of mine that’s in PR, she thought it would be great to have a Patriotic roll in the mix. The Bucking Bull Roll is named after a friend of mine who has a radio show. It was his suggestion to have a Texas roll that would inspire people to try sushi. I have taken a lot of ideas in conversation and put them into our menu. I want to personalize our rolls and have fun with it.

 

FTC:  The graphics on the truck are great.  Who designed the wrap?

Tenielle:  Thank you! My peeps at RolArt helped me design the wrap. It was a collation of ideas.

 

FTC:  Does your truck have a name or is that just a guy thing?

Tenielle:  Actually no, but strangely our delivery vehicle does. MILFORD. Hilarious story too…..

[FTC:  We’ll try to get that story for you later!]

 

FTC:  What about that Crazy Fish on the side of the truck – does it have a name? 

Tenielle:  No

 

FTC:  No?  I think we should have a contest to name it as your mascot?  What do you think?

Tenielle:   I like that idea!

 

FTC:  Let’s learn a little bit more about you.  What do you like most about operating Crazy Fish?

Tenielle:  I think it’s all the camaraderie with all the food trucks and customers. That is such a rewarding part for me. It is also very exciting to see something that you visualized and created enjoyed by another. It’s exhilarating.

 

FTC:  What’s the dumbest thing anyone has said to you so far?

Tenielle:  So a roll is a sandwich, right?  I had a giggle but we really want to educate, too, so it’s all good.

 

FTC:  What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you while working on the truck?

Tenielle:  Cheryl had a close call with the propane rice cooker and almost singed her eyebrows off. I think she would look good with no eyebrows anyway. Lol!

 

 

Cheryl Reeds is “little fish”, Tenielle’s  (“Big Fish”) side kick and right hand on the truck.  We may have to see what stories she has to tell!]

 

FTC:  Has anyone proposed to you yet while working on the truck?

Tenielle:  Lol! What a funny question!  Ummmm, no.  I think I have never been this single. Hahaha.  If I was dating, I’d probably be single again anyway coming home every day smelling like fish.

 

FTC:  Most people may not realize how much work it is to run a food truck.  What do you do to relax and recharge?

Tenielle:  I have a little foot spa where they give Chinese foot reflexology. It is the most awesome thing ever. You get foot and hand and back massage for an hour and a half for only $50 dollars. So good, my hands get really sore and achy from squeezing 150 sushi rolls a day.

 

FTC:  Where do you see things going with food trucks in the future?

Tenielle:  I think this boom is just starting. There will be many more, some that last, some that don’t. I think you will see the strong ones open up full restaurants after establishing their customer base. This is what I hope to do. I’m not sure people fully understand the hard work involved in this when they are starting. It’s an 18 hour a day job. I actually dreamt about food truck last night. Seriously.

 

FTC:  Crazy Fish is off to a strong start and is rapidly developing a solid following.  She’s probably going to need to put the foot spa on speed dial!

A big Thanks to Tenielle Powers for being my guinea pig.  If you’d like to be featured in a future interview or if you have a favorite truck and you’d like to know more about the owner, send the name of the truck and contact info via email to terry@foodtruckconnection.co.

If you enjoyed this, let me know and comment.  Who would you like for me to interview?  Anything in particular you’d like to know?

Rock & Roll Tacos Rock My World

The truck that helped start the Food Truck explosion in Dallas –

And still ROCKS the streets! 

If you are like me and think that everything is better with bacon, then you gotta wrap your lips around the bacon wrapped shrimp accented with grilled bell peppers and onions topped with pepper jack cheese.  You, my friend, have just experienced the bar-setter in Shrimp Tacos!

Tijuana Taco – Big, fat shrimp wrapped in bacon

 

You know you mouth is watering now, it’s the weekend so get on the ‘Net and find out where you can get your fix.   I’m tellin’ you.  These were some of the biggest, fattest shrimp you’ll ever find on a taco anywhere.   Go … Go now!  NO, wait, read the rest of the story.  Then go look up James Quinonez or any of the friendly staff on the truck and ask for the Tijuana Taco.

Want something a little lighter.  Go no further than the Ceviche Island Heaven.  A light, crispy tortilla topped with shrimp ceviche with avocado, onions and tomatoes.  Fresh, cool and just right on a hot summer night.   The little bits of shrimp in the ceviche weren’t as impressive after chowing down on the monster shrimp in the taco but the flavors melded well.  I admit, this one had stiff competition tonight, but tastes differ and it could well be just what you desire.

Ceviche Island Heaven – A little taste of heaven on a hotter’n hell Texas night!

 

For the finale, we bring you the Spicy Mac’n Cheese.  If you think Mac ‘n Cheese is just for kids then you need to try this.  Spicy, creamy, cheesy, yummy!!!

Spicy Mac ‘n Cheese – Mac for grown ups!

 

I know, you’re thinking that’s a pretty small looking cup of Mac ‘n Cheese and, at $3.00 you may think it is overpriced.  Trust me, the quality of the ingredients and the rich, satisfying taste will shortly convince you that any more is too much.

Your sign of good food!

 

Keep that in mind when you visit the Rock & Roll Taco truck.  The menu offers the basics and premium selections.  Everything on my menu tonight was a premium offering.  The Tijuana Taco and the Ceviche Island Heaven were $3.50, a full dollar more than the standard tacos like Al Pastor, Carnitas or Barbacoa.    They were worth the price.

 

 

Rock & Roll Tacos is one of the first trucks in Dallas to open a Brick & Morter location.  On May 31st, they opened in Deep Ellum in the old music venue LaGrange.  The partnership is working out great for both parties and Quinonez, not content to replicate the truck menu has gone all out in with an expanded menu, cool new interior design scheme featuring a 1954 Chevy pickup truck converted to the salsa bar and something they can’t offer on the truck – Air Conditioning.   The fixed location is at 2706 Elm Street in Dallas and the truck can be found at favored truck venues and events across the DFW area!

Follow them on Twitter and Facebook for truck locations.

Which one do you like better – the Taco Bar or the Taco Truck?

SoCal_Tacos_ Salmon_Taco slider

Surf the Waves with SoCal Tacos

YUMMMM

Are you telling me your mouth is not watering just looking at those nachos?  They are even better tasting! Bunches of flavor with creamy gooey cheese. I mean really gooey and yummy. The only thing wrong with these puppies is that some of the sauce dripped off.

 

And I know you think, why go to SoCal, it is just another taco truck, right? No, this taco truck stands out in a crowd. These are not your average street tacos.

The crew behind this truck is Scott, Jaymes, Nash and Jake. Now you won’t see Jake because he does not stand still long enough for me to get a photo of him :)

 

Marinated Shrimp topped with crisp slaw is so refreshing. The shrimp is fresh and tastes so good.

 

 

And those Salmon Tacos with BBQ salmon, lettuce and blue cheese are outstanding. Now this is one great fish taco.

 

 

And wait, with this next one you would know, they know what food is like in Southern California. They have what is lovingly known as a California Burrito. California burritos have french fries in them! I just had to see if they were as good as I remember from CA.

And the answer is yes. I close my eyes and I could be sitting in Laguna Beach eating this burrito!

But wait how about some dessert?

SoCal had Sopapilla fries with Strawberry Sauce tonight. Now this is one fun dessert! Thanks guys for a great meal, or two, or three!

 

 

And if you are not in love with SoCal Tacos yet, how about this?  They give all of their tips to local families in need.   So what are you waiting for…. Hit the road to hook up with So Cal!

 

Did you find the article helpful and informative?  What else would you like to know?

 

 

Cajun Tailgators

Bringing Bourbon Street to the Streets of Dallas

I may not be able to claim any ancestral connections to southern Louisiana or the Cajun culture, but that makes me no less of a fan of good Cajun cookin’.  A little spicy, always comforting and best enjoyed with friends or family (what food isn’t?).   Ann Keady and Jason Key, both graduates of LSU, know good Cajun cookin’.  DFW residents are the lucky beneficiaries of their homesickness for the food they grew up eating.

The truck rolled out in time for Mardi Gras and the truck wrap, adorned with the street signs from the fictitious corner of Bourbon Street and Cajun Tailgator, the fleur de lis, and the requisite saxophone, puts you in the mood before you even get to the window to order.

The Cajun Tailgator truck brings the Bourbon Street experience to Dallas Streets.

The menu, which varies slightly from time to time, holds all the standards – Gumbo, Etoufee, Red Beans & Rice, Boudin Balls and a Roast Beef Po-Boy.

My first visit, I order a Crawfish Pistolette and Chicken & Sausage Gumbo.  I wasn’t familiar with the Pistolette but they had me at Crawfish.  Turns out a Pistolette is a French roll that’s been hollowed out and filled with Crawfish Etoufee.  I love Crawfish Etoufee and this was great.  Spicy, full of crawfish and creamy and the roll was light, a little crispy on the outside and flaky under the crust.  This is comfort food!

Crawfish Pistolette from the Cajun Tailgators

The Gumbo was just as good.  I was amazed at the big chunks of Chicken and Sausage, a perfect roux and the holy trinity of Cajun food – celery, onions and bell peppers.  In fact, it was so good I completely forgot to take a picture.

Since then, I’ve had the chance to try the Red Beans & Rice with Sausage.  Just like the Gumbo, the bowl was filled with big slices of sausage, tender beans and perfectly cooked rice all in a slightly spicy roux.  This may not be the ‘prettiest’ dish they serve but it matches everything else on the menu for taste and quality.

Red Beans & Rice with Sausage from Cajun Tailgators

And finally; what self-respecting Cajun kitchen doesn’t offer the Breakfast classic (but good anytime) Beignet.  These are a regular on the Cajun Tailgator menu.  The key to really good beignets is to make sure the dough is light and never overworked.  These fit the bill perfectly.

Beignets from Cajun Tailgators

But if you prefer a more traditional dessert and you hit them on the right day, you might score a Praline Brownie.  I got the very first one they sold!

The very first Praline Brownie sold and I got it!

I’ve been looking for good Cajun food in Dallas. Who’da thunk I’d have to wait until I could find it on a food truck?  If you’re a fan of Cajun food, you can find out where Cajun Tailgators will be on Facebook or Twitter.

 

What do you think?  Does Cajun Tailgators bring a little Lagniappe to the party?