What to Eat at Houston’s EaDo Food Truck Park
ARTICLE & PHOTOS BY BETHANY SHU-MEI WONG | SUMMER ISSUE
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After years of legal struggles, Houston food trucks are finally getting their time to shine as the city grows into a food truck capital. A couple years ago, food trucks were reporting being targeted by local law enforcement in random paperwork checks and being shut down despite having all proper documentation on file. Last June, however, Houston’s first food truck park opened in EaDo (East Downtown), reflecting an increasingly positive attitude toward the mobile food movement.
Eating at a Houston food truck is a completely unique experience. As Tirzo Ponce, Houston Food Park’s founder, describes it, “The individual freedoms of cooking expressions that the chefs prepare for the public is reason alone to visit food trucks in Houston. Quick, delicious, and good quality food is another. Houston will always be a restaurant town. But in a city as big as ours and with as many people as we have…Well, let’s just say there are a lot of foodie nerds and food truck lovers in this megalopolis. Even though we will always be a restaurant town, we are also now a big food truck town. Finally!”
As a guide to anyone wanting to check out their mobile food options, we’ve reviewed some of the best food trucks in Houston.
Texas Blizzard Shave Ice
When the temperatures start to soar in Houston, everyone’s looking for a way to cool down and Texas Blizzard Shave Ice’s Hawaiian shave ice hits the spot perfectly. While the menu board boasts a dizzying array of classic flavors everyone is familiar with, there are usually two to four “naturals” which go above and beyond. Naturals are well worth the extra dollar since, unlike the regular flavors made using classic bottled syrups, these flavors are made with real fruit and all natural ingredients by the people at Texas Blizzard themselves. The fruit is first blended into a puree and then put through multiple filtration processes to create a homemade syrup. Depending on the fruit, the fruit may be roasted prior to blending in order to extract stronger flavors. The pineapple, strawberry, and mango flavors taste exactly like biting straight into the fruits themselves and the shaved ice is even topped with a little fruit pulp. The helping of syrup is generous enough to warrant using a straw to finish with once all the ice has melted.
Texas Blizzard Shave Ice is usually located on 2706 White Oak Boulevard. For more information, please call (713) 568-7991 or visit texasblizzard.com.
Bernie’s Burger Bus
If you’re looking to have one of the best (if not the best) burgers in Houston, Bernie’s Burger Bus is the place to go. We recommend ordering The Substitute, a burger topped with blue cheese, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and bacon. This is a burger of complementing contrasts. The boozy burgundy-laced mushrooms and “tipsy” caramelized onions, still retaining small traces of liquor, meld perfectly with the blue cheese. Texturally, the smooth onions and mushrooms contrast with the meatiness of the ground beef patty while the bacon walks the sublime but difficult to achieve line between crisp and soft. An airy bun tops off this masterpiece of complements, adding a touch of lightness to otherwise heavy fillings.
Bernie’s Burger Bus’s location can be found on Twitter, @berniesburgers. For more information, please call (281) 386-2447 or visit berniesburgerbus.com. There is also a brick and mortar location at 5407 Bellaire Boulevard.
Koagie Hots serves up Korean fusion falling under three main categories : cheesesteaks (called koagies), hot dogs, and fries. Order the koagies. The kimchi koagie comes packed with bulgogi-marinated ribeye topped with kimchi, sautéed onions, spicy mayonnaise, and a choice of provolone or cheese whiz. The ribeye is pleasantly sweet as Korean barbecue should be, while the kimchi brings a punch of sourness and saltiness and provides crunch. Where the extremely mild kimchi is lacking in heat, the spicy mayonnaise more than makes for it. All this sits atop a toasted baguette –a seemingly unusual bread choice, but one that somehow manages to tie the whole sandwich together, with its mellowness of flavor allowing all the sweet, savory, and sour fillings to shine.
Koagie Hot’s location can be found on Twitter, @koagiehots. For more information, please visit koagiehots.com.
H-Town StrEATS is a food truck serving globally inspired New American food. Their best seller, the Shorty Mac Grilled Cheese is a grilled cheese stuffed with short rib and macaroni and cheese. The short rib packs the strongest flavor in the sandwich, while the mild-flavored mac and cheese—cooked al dente—gives bite. The cheese slice binds the sandwich together. The Shorty Mac Grilled Cheese may sound like carb-overload, but in execution, it’s an ingeniously simple combination.
H-Town StrEATS’s location can be found on Twitter, @Htownstreats. For more information, please call (832) 605-2009.
Tacos Tierra Caliente
No food truck list would be complete without Mexican street tacos and Tacos Tierra Caliente fits the bill perfectly. At this truck run by two Mexican women, the menu is simple, consisting of a choice of five different types of meat in taco, torta, or quesadilla form. For a mere $2 (or just $1.50 for corn tortillas), a taco comes piled high with meat, onions, and cilantro. This truck serves up true street tacos: these women don’t mess around with unnecessary toppings. The barbacoa is slowly braised long enough so that the collagen has melted, leaving behind incredibly tender and juicy meat. The pastor comes in sweet cubes of pork with grilled onion slices and a piece or two of pineapple. For the more adventurous, Tacos Tierra Caliente also offers lengua, or tongue, tacos. With a squeeze of lime on top, crunchy raw onion to cut the richness of the meat, and chopped cilantro, any of the tacos at Tacos Tierra Caliente are sure to cure that taco craving.
Tacos Tierra Caliente is located on 1919 W. Alabama St. For more information, please call (713) 584-9359.