Dallas has its share of Irish restaurants but you couldn’t experience the tastes of Ireland on the go until now. Kieron Go Braugh, Traveling Irish Café is one of the latest additions to the North Texas Food Truck scene. Operated by Christine Finnegan, a red headed Irish lass with a big smile, the friendly greeting paired with the simple but tasty food feels like you’ve been invited to dinner by a good neighbor.
Let’s dispel any misconceptions. The food is inspired by the tastes of Ireland but not necessarily presented in the traditional way. Take The Irishman, for example, a pair of Shepherd Pie Sliders that combines ground beef in gravy with peas & carrots and mashed potatoes between a sliced dinner roll.
You can’t think ‘Irish’ without thinking of Corned Beef & Cabbage. The Michael Finnegan presents this classic taste of Ireland as a sandwich.
The Leprechaun is another Irish staple, the Banger, served up with kraut and a spicy Guinness mustard. Despite the reference to little people, there is nothing little about the size or the taste but it might just make you feel a wee bit mischievous. I restrained myself and settled for a wee little smile as I ate it. You know, the one that makes people wonder what you’re thinking!
I showed a little restraint, too, by not ordering The Molly Malone (a grilled cheese) or The Reuben that were on the menu when I visited. It’s not that I needed to save something for a reason to go back. But if you need another reason to go, November is just around the corner and a hearty Guinness Stew will be added to the list of menu options.
As you can see, restraint didn’t include stopping before everything was gone! (Spoiler: I had help!)
First impressions suggest Keiron Go Braugh may have the competition seeing ‘green’ and regretting their failure to take Irish fare to the streets. If you’re looking for somewhere to spend a bit o’ your green, you can look them up on Facebook, Twitter or the schedule posted on the website.
After trying a single entrée from Quiskee’s Kitchen on a recent hot summer Sunday, I thought I’d pair them with Chez Flo, another newcomer where I’d also only had a single entrée and start a new feature, Quick Takes. Things did not turn out as planned.
Faced with a choice, I decided to have lunch from Chez Flo (more to come about this new truck) and order from Quiskee’s ‘to go’ because a Rice Bowl would travel home better than a fresh crepe for supper. After getting descriptions of the menu options from Chef Q, I settled on the Steak Rice Bowl with Cilantro and the Cucumber Cream Dill sauces. To be fair, I tasted the rice bowl fresh and hot right off the truck. The marinated steak was tender, juicy and flavorful with just a moderate bit of heat that will be just right for most folks. The rice was perfectly cooked. But the sauces …. WOW! In response to the question, “Was it good?”, let’s just say none of it was left for Janice to try except the sauces.
Quiskee’s Kitchen Beef Rice Bowl
And that’s where the plan began to fall apart. One taste of the sauces and Janice wanted to know where I got them. And then, she wanted to know when we were going back. And it wasn’t long. And very shortly after arriving, the plan began to evolve again.
Chef Q is really, really proud of his ¾ pound Char Grilled Q’s Burger. Most of the time at a food truck, they holler your name out the serving window and you come to get the food. Not so with Chef Q. When we arrived, he was … there’s no other word for it … PRESENTING a Q’s Burger to the customer at the table. There it sits, a regal 4 inches or more high, with layers of yumminess on display and accompanied by seasoned fries. This looks like a real Man vs. Food Challenge. We had to have one. And once I ratcheted my jaw open wide enough to take that first bite, I knew exactly why Chef Q is proud of this burger.
I don’t know about you, but this is what I want to see when my burger is cooking – flame kissed, char grilled goodness.
Q Burger being flame kissed on the Char Grille
And as I write this, is Janice around to help? Heck no, she’s taking a friend to the Quiskee’s Kitchen Food Truck Experience. They went for the burger but it didn’t stop there. There’s new stuff on the menu today.
On this day the menu includes your choice of Chicken or Steak Pita Nachos. They chose steak (of course!); the same succulent marinated beef bites that you get on the Rice or Salad Bowls blended with melted cheese, onions, and jalapenos over fresh pita chips. With the Nachos, the pita is obviously better fresh & crispy but the steak, cheese, veggies and seasonings continue to meld the longer it sits. The ‘heat’ level seems to rise over time, too. I thought it was pretty killer the next day.
Steak Pita Nachos the Quiskee’s way
Another new item on the menu are Meat Pockets. These smaller treats, about 4” in diameter, use a crisply crust to contain a blend of marinated steak, potatoes and vegetables. Janice, who knows all of the culinary terms for tastes or flavors responded simply “yumminess” when I asked her to describe the taste. These are definitely on my must try list the next time.
Quiskee’s Kitchen Meat Pocket
One of the keys to success in running a food truck is customer interaction. It’s a good thing when long lines keep the chef busy inside but on the hot summer day I was there, traffic was slower. The Brothers Al-Ghaziani, Chef Adbul-Qadir and Chef Azeez, have the customer interaction thing down pat. Chef Q greets every customer with a smile as big as his Q’s Burger! You don’t have to take my word for it. Just read the reviews on their Facebook page.
There’s no letting the customer simply read the menu when Chef Q can come out of the truck to describe the food to you, help you make the best choice for you and make your mouth start watering just from the description.
To borrow a line from Chef Q, passion drives him “to create the food of my imagination.” If you want to have your senses experience the “Food for the Soul” that his imagination dreams up, you can find the current location for Chef Q and the Quiskee’s Kitchen Food Truck on Facebook and Twitter.
Quiskee’s Kitchen – Feeding Souls
My apologies for exceeding my personal 600 word limit but 600 words just weren’t enough to tell you about Quiskee’s Kitchen. Way too much for a Quick Take and I’ve just scratched the surface in what I know will be a long and scrumptious relationship that will leave a smile on my face … every time.
DFW Food Trucks are well represented in the Eat Red. Drink Red. Save Lives. Campaign sponsored by Red.org. This non-profit foundation funds aids research and treatment for AIDS in Africa, where AIDS remains a major threat and treatment, that costs only 40 cents per day, is not commonly available.
This is the first year for a food industry specific campaign. Restaurants, bars, diners and food trucks all across the country have signed up to participate.
Each truck has designed a Red Menu item and donates a portion of the purchase price. You can help #86AIDS by visiting one of these participating truck:
@brunchtruckdfw @eatjodawgs @funkytownfoods @getenticed
@guavatreetruck @pompeiidfw and @sauzysfoodtruck
For more information, view the videos below and visit www.red.org.
It’s all about the biscuit! Anybody can offer you sandwiches on somebody else’s bread but Candace and Grant Lambdin serve up a host of delightful sandwiches served on scratch made biscuits.
When you walk up to the gleaming stainless steel trailer, your first glimpse of the creative spirit inside that came up with all the recipes are the menu boards hanging on the side of the trailer drawing you in to discover what tantalizing treats are to be found. Interesting, ingenious and practical – just take down the mini-blackboard when you run out of an item.
If you fall into the group that follows the mantra, “Life is short, eat dessert first”, then like me, your eyes are gonna naturally fall on the board that says Brandy Biscuit Bread Pudding first.
Brandy Biscuit Bread Pudding – Did I say Brandy? ‘Nuff said!
And that first bite is gonna make you want to order another one! But don’t, there’s lots more good stuff waiting for you on another board.
The wife and I quickly make a sandwich choice and my penchant for all things beefy and spicy make my choice easy -The Spicy Biscuit Burger.
The Spicy Burger Biscuit is a different take on the traditional burger. The biscuit is a little sweet, the patty substantial but fear not – it’s only a little spicy. I was curious about the candied jalapenos and happy to see that restraint is the order of the day. The candied coating is light and nicely contrasts with the ‘heat’ of the freshly sliced jalapeno. It’s obvious the ingredients are high quality and fresh.
The menu offers a number of othersandwich options, including the Fried Chicken Biscuit ATW (All The Way), and the FFL-FGT (a bacon and fried green tomato sandwhich with fresh arugala). I’ll try one of those on a future visit but today is a beef day. The wife being more appreciative of well matched ingredients less commonly found on a sandwich opted for the Chef Biscuit.
The Chef Biscuit ($8) is the most popular sandwich at Bite My Biscuit. It’s no wonder with juicy, tender Hangar Steak, Arugala, Red Onion and the special Balsamic Creme Fraiche sauce.
A meal needs more than a burger – it needs potatoes! And what better proof do you need that they’re incredible than the Sweet Potato Frites selling out just before we ordered ! The frites are shredded, deep fried to a crispy state and drizzled with marshmallow brandy cream sauce. I will be trying the frites on a future trip to Bite My Biscuit!
With the frites sold out, we had to ‘settle’ for the Potato Fries. Sliced super thin, deep fried to a golden color they make you think of potato chips. Ours came out a little less crispy than I expected but if you like your taters prepared this way, these are certain to please.
Here’s the whole meal. Plenty for two for about $22 bucks not counting drinks.
The family (of two) meal made our way!
Bite My Biscuit is a Tarrant County based truck that’s only been operating since March 14, 2014, so don’t feel bad if you haven’t tried them yet. You can find them at Weatherford “trade days” events other locations, mostly on the southwest side of the metroplex. They’re busy booking events so if you want hire them or just order from the window, check them out at Facebook or check for current locations on Twitter.
DFW Food Trucks & Toys for Tots Goal: A Sparkle in Every Eye
The 90th Annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree is this week. As dazzling as this spectacle will be, it pales in comparison to the sparkle in a child’s eye as they open a present on Christmas morning. Every year, the U. S. Marine Corp Toys for Tots Program strives to assure that all children experience the wide-eyed wonderment that Christmas morning brings. This year our Dallas-Forth Worth food trucks are partnering with local businesses and the Marines to support the Toys for Tots Program and help put a sparkle in the eye of every child in DFW.
Cash Donations will not be accepted (to the best of my knowledge) at the Toy Drives. If you’d like to make a cash donation, you can do so by credit card at the Toys for Tots website. Mail in donation forms are also available along with several ‘special’ donation types including In Memory or Tribute, Native American Program, by e-Bay sales, as a business gift or by donating your car.
If you can’t make the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, then you might want to plan to attend the Trucks for Tots Toy Drive on Saturday, December 8th. This event is being held at 2505 Elm Street (corner of Elm and Gaston) in Deep Ellum from 11 AM – 7 PM. There are confirmed commitments from more than 20 Dallas and Forth Worth Food Trucks to support this massive toy drive for the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of Toys for Tots. Students from Lincoln High School and W. E. Greiner Exploratory Academy are sponsoring a drive to collect toys and bring them to the event with their family. The United States Marines on hand to accept your toy donation will be joined by the Lincoln High School Marching Band plus pictures with Santa, bounce houses and more than 50 local vendors for holiday shopping. A huge crowd is expected for this event. You can leave the car and ride Dart right to the event (get off at the Deep Ellum Dart Station right across the street) and avoid any parking hassles!
Bring a smile to a child’s face and a treat to your belly on December 16th by ringing an unwrapped toy to Fort Worth Food Park from 11 AM to 9 PM on December 16th. Santa will be at the park from 1PM to 3PM for photo opportunities (bring your own camera).
There is nothing like the thought of a child’s smile to get into the Christmas spirit. We encourage everyone to bring a new, unwrapped toy (or more!) so no child in Dallas – Fort Worth goes without on Christmas morning. The sparkle in a child’s eye is priceless and precious. Join us at one of these events or any of the other Toys for Tots Christmas Toy Drive events and help to make a child’s wish come true.
Food Truck Connection is proud to promote these worthy events. If you are partnering with a DFW food truck to sponsor a Toys for Tots Toy Drive and you’d like to be featured here, email a copy of your flyer and information to firstname.lastname@example.org (not .com) and I’ll be happy to add your information.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and recognize the things for which we are thankful. I’m thankful for the same things that many of you are – family and friends, good health, a (good) job and the freedoms allowed by living in the United States. At the risk of sounding superficial, I’m also thankful that food trucks became a part of my life this year. Read on and I think you’ll agree that there are many reasons it’s not superficial at all.
I’m thankful for the new friends I’ve made, both near and far. I never go to a food truck and not come away feeling better than when I arrived. The long, grueling hours required of anyone working on a food truck doesn’t stop them from greeting me with a smile, a friendly greeting and always a ‘Thank You for coming!” These entrepreneurs share a common characteristic with all small business owners – it is a labor of love and the enthusiasm is infectious. And that enthusiasm and friendliness is mirrored by the patrons who reach out to people they’ve never met before to ask questions and share opinions.
I’m thankful for the exposure to new foodsand the chance to enjoy old favorites re-imagined and reinvented by the creative chefs. The options cross cultural lines that circle the globe and creatively re-imagine American classics closer to home. I’ve learned that Vegan/Vegetarian can be so good you don’t miss the meat, that tacos come in as many varieties as there are countries, that gourmet is not restricted to fancy restaurants and that even hot dogs and burgers can go really upscale with creative toppings. And speaking of upscale, who would ever believe you could get sushi, escargot and steamed dumplings or pizza cooked fresh, in creative and classic styles, from a truck. Desserts range from Whoopie Pies to classic cream & fruit pies (sometimes with a surprising hot pepper kick) to fried pies (including an unbelievable Guacamole pie!), shaved ice (even in an adult versions), cupcakes galore and more flavors of Cool Haus ice cream than I can name. But it’s true, I had all this and more! Who wouldn’t be thankful?
I’m thankful for the generosity and community support demonstrated by the food truck community. It reminds me of the importance of giving and helping those less fortunate than ourselves. I’ve seen food trucks become the featured attraction at fundraisers for charities and churches, schools and youth sports leagues. In addition to contributing time and a generous percentage of their sales (not profits), truck owners often donate 100% of their tips (and sometimes 100% of their sales!) to the sponsoring organization. Some local trucks always donate their tips to a cause near and dear to them. And when sales are not as good as anticipated, the excess food is taken to local food banks to share with those less fortunate.
Reaching out beyond local communities, DFW food trucks generously donated tips and/or a percentage of sales to support aid for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. Local governments in the Northeast embraced the offer to help extended by food trucks in the hard hit areas that resulted in thousands of meals being delivered to victims of Sandy. Many of our own food trucks filled the need for meals and bottled drinks following the 2012 tornadoes in the DFW metroplex. And sadly, some trucks who tried to help were prohibited by local government who hid behind archaic regulations and would not make an exception, even in such an exceptional situation. I pray these cities will see the bigger picture should (or given Texas weather, when) catastrophe strikes our community again.
I’m thankful for all of the new trucks that came to Dallas/Fort Worth. At the same time, I’m saddened by the retiring of other trucks. I’m thankful for the trucks I found before they were gone. They’ll be missed but I wish them all success and happiness wherever life takes them.
I’m thankful for the regulations faced by food truck owners, but not all of them. I’m confused by regulations that give preferential protection to brick and mortar restaurants and relegate food trucks to second-class status. I wonder how this can be considering the history of America, and the American Dream, that reveres the entrepreneur who sees a niche and fills it. At the same time, I embrace the regulations that recognize a gourmet food truck is truly a restaurant on wheels. I want food trucks to be inspected for health and safety like any other restaurant. These regulations not only put everyone on a level playing field, it gives credibility to the truck and removes any fear about safety in their product. I’m constantly amazed at how obstacles are met with creative solutions by food truck operators who fight traffic, bias, regulation, breakdown and the weather to bring their food to the people.
I’m thankful for living in a country where people who have a dream can actually make that dream come true. This country was built by the blood, sweat and tears of people willing to take risks to achieve their dreams. These food truck entrepreneurs remind me of how we became a great country and, despite the interference of politics and politicians, how we can once again return to the prosperity we enjoyed when small, local business was the core strength on which this country was built.
Finally, I’m thankful for the chance to give something back to the food truck community. This website is a labor of love for me. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my experience and to spread the word. I’m thankful for each and every person who visits Food Truck Connection and even more thankful when they pass the articles on to their friends and followers. I’m thankful for the opportunity to encourage my readers to try the food truck experience. I’m thankful when I convince someone that’s staring at a menu, a little hesitant to try something new, and my encouragement gives them the courage to give it a go.
I’m thankful that I can be a part of the food truck community. It’s a really nice place to live.
DFW Food Truck Events Both Near and Far For Great Causes
It’s time to plan the weekend. Whether you’re up for a road trip or want to stay closer to home, there are two big special events featuring food trucks this weekend. Both events are being held to benefit great cause!
Dallas/Fort Worth INVADES San Antonio
There’s going to be a caravan of DFW food trucks travelling down I-35 for the first annual DFW Invades San Antonio. They’re headed for Boardwalk on Bulverde, a food park in San Antonio where they will set up with local SA favorites for a weekend devoted to raising money to conquer Chiari, a devastating neurological disorder.
Yours truly will be making the trip with the DFW Trucks and I’ll bring back the full report. Besides, somebody’s gotta go and make sure San Antonio doesn’t try to hi-jack one (or more) of our great trucks.
This is a family (and dog!) friendly event with multiple playgrounds, a full arcade, moon bounce house and live music. You’ll find more than 10 choices of beer for purchase in addition to soft drinks, Gatorade and water. Admission and parking are FREE! You can find more information about the food park, including directions and maps, at this website.
White Rock Lake Tunes & Trucks Festival
If you need to stay closer to home, there’s lots of good trucks staying in DFW and many of them are going to be hanging our at this great festival to benefit the White Rock Lake Foundation. This year’s Festival Theme is “Tunes & Trucks” with two full days of activities planned featuring hot bands and great food trucks:
There’ll be plenty of hot licks and toe-tappin’ music to enjoy with your gourmet truck food. Just look at this line-up:
I thought about making some music pairing suggestions with the food but decided it was better to leave that choice to you!
There is a $5.00 admission charge (FREE under 5 years old) to the festival but 100% of those proceeds go to help maintain and beautify White Rock Lake, a local natural treasure. Get the kids face painted, take a canoe ride on the lake and find a loving 4-legged friend to adopt and take home with you at the pet adoption!
What great options! Whether you plan to stay home or decide to take a road trip, either one of these events offer a great experience and the chance to support worthy causes.
The Drifting Bistro Takes Dead Aim at Gourmet Cuisine
After today’s lunch at Drifting Bistro, it’s crystal clear. The only complaint I have is that they are a Fort Worth based food truck and it’s a long drive from Wylie, TX! Ohhhh, but it is worth every mile!
Today’s Special: Pad Thai Egg Rolls ($7) and special they are! They are as delightful to the eye as they are delicious to the taste buds. These delicious veggie rolls are served atop a roasted peanut and cilantro salad with sweet and sour vinaigrette.
Shrimp & Grits ($11): Chef out did himself with these Wonton Encrusted Torpedo Shrimp and Grits and then threw in Fuji Apple Pickled Ginger Slaw. This tantalizing creation takes basic southern comfort food to the pinnacle of gourmet cuisine offering generous portions and endless satisfaction that lingers long after the meal is done. And just for the record, we think that Chef makes some of the BEST Grits in DFW!
Last but now least, Pulled Pork Jambalaya ($9): Hickory Smoked Pork Shoulder, Andouille Sausage with Sweet Chili Saffron Risotto. Add some spinach, red & yellow peppers and this jambalaya is as exquisite to the eye as the flavor is enticing! I thought that I liked Jambalaya a lot, but this one is off the charts. It alone was worth a 48 mile drive through construction!
Lady Rabbits Booster Club Sponsor the Forney Food Truck Rally Fundraiser
Hey Food Truck People! Food trucks are coming to Forney, TX, to support a fundraiser sponsored by the Forney High School Lady Rabbits Soccer Booster Club. Make a day of it. The Forney High School Homecoming parade will follow.
Rockin Ricks calls Forney home and he’ll be joined by Easy Slider, Four Seasons, Potato Potahto, Rock & Roll Tacos, Rock Star Bakeshop and Cool Haus. It’s sure to be one Rockin’ party. The Halftime Pizza trailer will be there to make sure there’s something for everyone.
This is the first time there’s been a food truck rally in Forney and they lined up some of the best trucks from Dallas and Fort Worth. The trucks are donating a percentage of their sales to the fundraiser so y’all need to come out and support the trucks so their donation is as big as possible!
Chef Jesse Ayala brings Fort Worth a Unique Food Truck We Didn’t Even Know We Wanted
There’s a food truck in Fort Worth, the Fat Truck, that uses a fork and a spoon that resembles a shovel in their logo. Once you’ve tried the food, you’ll be more than happy to fork over your money for the opportunity to shovel in their food! But don’t (shovel it in, that is), take your time and savor it!
One of the neat things about a food truck is that food truck fans are adventuresome by nature. That willingness to try new things throws the door wide open for a chef to try new things. And Chef Jesse Ayala AKA J. Fresco, who is inspired by the modern cookery movement, Molecular Gastronomy or MoGa as he calls it, to bring a totally unique food experience to adventure seekers on the street with the Fat Truck.
The Latin-Asian fusion was evident in the Special, Pork filled Gorditas with Spicy Asian Slaw, the day I ate at the Fat Truck.
The Gordita is puffier than a standard tortilla and it held up well to the stuffing of pulled pork topped with Asadero cheese and Asian Slaw. The savory pork was perfectly balanced with the tangy Asian Slaw. If anything got missed, it was the Asadero cheese, but careful attention discovered the mild smoothness of this Mexican cheese that is similar to an un-aged Monterey Jack.
The regular menu reflects the combination of Latin standards that reflect an Asian influence and a couple of MoGa items you might not recognize. Unfortunately, there would be no Steamed Buns for me on this day.
Since there were no Steamed Buns to be had, I went to my next choice – Sticky Fingers. These spicy pork riblets were super tender, bursting with flavor and perfectly complemented by the cool, tangy Asian Slaw (an ingredient used in many of menu items). The sesame seeds were visually interesting and added to the overall texture experience nicely. This is the half order with 3-4 riblets. I wanted more after the first bite but duty calls and there were other trucks to visit.
The service was friendly and, as much as I keep reminding myself that this is not fast food, the time taken to deliver the two items might be called leisurely. Maybe that’s because I arrived early and there were no other customers clamoring for their turn to order or pick up. Or maybe it was because I was in no particular hurry and they sensed it. Regardless, it was worth the wait.
Service is always better with a smile like this.
The Fat Truck hit the streets in May 2012 and, so far, has limited their availability mostly to Fort Worth. You can find them much of the time at one of the FW food parks but to be sure, check out their location by following them on Facebook or Twitter.