The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 "Fancy" Food Trucks
Talk about an agonizing list to write. Houston food trucks have never been more clever, more inventive or more consistently enjoyable than they are right now. (The most recent sold-out Haute Wheels food truck festival can surely attest to that.) A few years of winnowing out dilettantes since the first "fancy" food trucks started hitting the streets in 2010 has distilled the selection into the best and brightest mobile food units we've ever had to offer.
Photos by Groovehouse The first annual Haute Wheels food truck festival.
Some of the "old-timers" are still around, albeit in different iterations: Oh My! Pocket Pies, for example, concentrates more on catering and direct sales to spots like Inversion Coffee House these days. Zilla Street Eats is defunct, but you can find very similar dishes at chef Jason Kerr's new restaurant, Hollister Grill. The Modular has been transformed into Goro & Gun, a downtown ramen shop drawing lots of local attention. And The Eatsie Boys have gone full brick-and-mortar, opening a full-service restaurant of the same name in Montrose.
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But the big guns like H-Town StrEATs, Phamily Bites and Bernie's Burger Bus have never left the road, and are still trucking today. Bernie's has done so well for itself, in fact, that owner Justin Turner now has a fleet of bright yellow school buses roaming the city.
Meanwhile, promising new faces are cropping up every day: Look for trucks such as Craft Infusion, Miso Yummy and Fraiche to dominate this list next year, if their food stays as fun and fresh as it is right now. And while we have far, far, far more than 10 terrific food trucks in this city, here are the 10 best (give or take a few) on the streets today.
Note: For purposes of this post, we've separated classic food/taco trucks like Tacos Tierra Caliente, El Ultimo and Taconmadre from the fancier fusion-style trucks that are a newer phenomenon. Look for our top 10 classic food trucks post next week.
10. Breakfast Burritos Anonymous
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt Breakfast sandwich from the BBA Mobile.
A breakfast food truck was exactly what we needed. And in a city dominated by breakfast tacos, it's kind of refreshing to see a breakfast burrito place step in to fill that vacuum. The BBA Mobile, as it's often referred to, is usually parked outside Inversion Coffee House bright and early in the mornings. Besides just burritos -- which you can customize with a huge list of ingredients, including healthy options such as turkey sausage and egg whites -- the BBA Mobile offers other breakfast dishes too. Try the Flapstick, which is essentially a breakfast corn dog: a sausage wrapped in pancake, dipped in syrup. Good thing you've got all day to work that off...
9. Muishii Makirritos
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt The Swaggy Dog roll from Muishii Makiritos.
Muishii Makirritos is the newest food truck on this list, debuting late last year. But like the BBA Mobile, it filled a niche no other truck yet had: sushi. This isn't serious sushi, but the sort of fun, silly, Americanized rolls with names like Swaggy Dog and fillings like crunchy fried shrimp, crab meat and spicy mayo. The truck also offers terrific Japanese-style karaage fried chicken and -- wait for it -- egg rolls filled with macaroni and cheese.
These are the two trucks I turn to when I'm in search of a top-notch hot dog, although each truck boasts very distinct offerings. At Good Dog, it's twists on standards like Chicago or Sonoran hot dogs, along with dogs of their own invention. My favorite is the Sunshine Dog, topped with pickled red onions, fresh dill relish, cream cheese and mayonnaise. Happy Endings is run by husband-and-wife team Emily Ng and Ryan Javier. Ng is Chinese and Javier Filipino, and their fusion marriage translates over into fusion cuisine, where the menu careens cheerfully between American, Korean and Japanese ingredients and flavors. Here, hot dogs are topped with bonito, kimchee, cream cheese, scallions and more, such as the Tsunami dog with seaweed and mayonnaise.