This weekend, say “so long” to tracking down tweets and following food mobiles to clandestine locales. The Haute Wheels Food Truck Festival arrives at Houston Community College West Loop Center Saturday and Sunday, bringing with it over 20 fab food trucks.
That long roster can be overwhelming, so keep this guide in hand for every foodie type.
– Bernie’s Burger Bus is miniaturizing almost its entire menu. Think scaled-down renditions of The Substitute, with bleu cheese, thick sliced crispy bacon, burgundy laced mushrooms and tipsy caramelized onions, or The Homeroom, a concoction of applewood bacon, cheddar, tipsy onions, chipotle aioli and a fried egg.
“This way, visitors won’t fill up on one giant burger and not be able to try other trucks.” owner Justin Turner says.
-The Killer Burger reigns king at Hit N’ Run. Order one, and you’ll be treated to a 1/3 lb. American beef burger topped with applewood smoked bacon, cheese, “cooked up” onions, shaved fresh jalapeños, tomato and chipotle mayo on a jalapeño cheese bun.
“We just thought, let’s do our regular menu because we want people to perceive us as we are out on the street,” says Hit N’ Run’s Kevin Brock.
– Ask for the Ol’ Zapata at Good Dog Hot Dog, and you’ll receive a beefy confection of caramelized onions, bacon and jalapeño relish. “Our Sunshine Dog is also becoming popular,” Daniel Caballero says of girlfriend chef Amalia Pfefer’s wizardry. Cream cheese, fresh-made dill relish and pickled red onion are the condiments of choice for Sunshine fans.
The Citizen of the World
– Mini wraps are to be had at It’s a Wrap. Just for the festival, one rolled-up wonder is $3.50, and $10 gets a trio of such options as the Chicken Tikka, Jerk Chicken and Thai Beef Lettuce Wrap. Single samosas and fried mac and cheese balls make for a sturdy side.
– Phamily Bites is offering its traditional menu of pork and shrimp egg rolls, vegetarian egg rolls, BBQ pork sandwich, lemongrass tofu sandwich and its premier speciality: A beef sandwich with filet mignon tongue.
– Eatsie Boys is everything eclectic, but its number one draw at the fest will be its Pork Snuggie, doled out in a special $3 sample size. “We take slow cooked local pork belly and top it with homemade pickles, green onion, homemade hoisin and serve it on a steamy, fluffy, pillowy Asian bun,” Eastie Boys’ Ryan Soroka says of chef Matt Marcus’ top selling creation.
The Confederate Foodie
– Southern classics are the name of the game at The Lunch Bag, where you can stock up on sweet potato balls, boudin balls and blackened fish tacos. That Cajun chicken slider sounds pretty tempting, too.
– Fans of Bullbutter Bros. Barbecue will find mini versions of their pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, served up with a side of ‘tater salad, vinegar coleslaw or pintos.
“We’re looking forward to meeting all the other truck owners,” George Beaureguard Bullbutter tells CultureMap. “There’s a lot of positivity going into this movement. Possibly some of the old stigmas about food trucks are going away.”
The Veg Head
– Oh My Gogi! has gone viral with its new Kimchi Quesadilla, according to owner Eric Nguyen. Otherwise, the truck will be offering its standard Korean-Mexican menu.
– “We may have one or two little surprises,” says Matti Merrell of Green Seed Vegan. On the list of standbys are the popular Dirty Berkie veggie burger and portobello mushroom-laden Illy Cheesesteak.
– Katfish Kitchen is offering a sample platter for just a few bucks, along with the regular menu. Envision endless combinations of catfish, chicken fingers, fries and hush puppies.
– We know — Sylvia’s is famous for their enchiladas smothered in delicious, chocolatey mole. But consider reaching for fresh-made ceviche at their No Borders truck to cool down while you’re traipsing about the HCC parking lot. But if you’re not into creatures of the deep, indulge in the Texas Torta: a smoked turkey breast sandwich on jalapeño bread, slathered with spicy mayo.
The Sweet Tooth
– It’s strawberry season, as evidenced at MMM Cupcake, which incorporates the red gems into both the batter and frosting of its strawberry mini cake.
“Some guys are talking about raising prices, but we’re keeping ours the same,” says the truck’s Will Gonzales.
– Over at the sustainable Snowdog Ice Cream truck, grab a frozen treat on a stick while frolicking in the fields of bubbles.
Admission to the Haute Wheels festival costs $16 (which includes 5 drink samples or one glass of beer or wine). Kids 12 and under get free admission. You can then purchase food from the individual trucks. There will also be live music on a stage.
Everything is cash only on the festival days — Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.