Monday, August 29, 2011

Healthy Appetites can Enjoy Gluten-Free, Vegetarian Food Truck Alternatives

It can be frustrating trying to navigate the food truck scene with dietary restrictions when the cuisine du jour consists of tacos, hot dogs and fried bites. But for those seeking healthy, vegetarian or even vegan and gluten-free options, you're in luck. Dallas-based Greenhouse Truck offers local, seasonal choices based around lean proteins, fruits and veggies. Gluten-free options on the menu include soups like watermelon gazpacho or spiced pumpkin and leek. Popular rice bowls with brown rice, vegetables, Asian spices and your choice of miso flank steak, chicken or portobellos also make the gluten-free menu. With so many Americans affected by Celiac disease, a common gluten allergy, we are fortunate to have the likes of Greenhouse Truck offering balanced alternatives. The sweetest part about it all, besides their gluten-free sorbets is that there is no evidence of blase health food. Expect bright, substantial dishes abundant in flavor and all at an affordable and guilt-free price. 

In the coming weeks, Greenhouse Truck will be joined by Good Karma Kitchen, a moveable feast of vegetarian and gluten-free gourmet; We'll keep Big D Food Truck fans posted on their happenings! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Brat Truck Coming to Big D.

For a week or so I've been trying to pull details out of new food truck The Butcher's Son, but for whatever reason they are staying mum on specifics like cuisine, locations and launch date. When you have several social media outlets, it doesn't take much sleuthing to figure a few things out. So, here is what I know...Wolken Restaurant Group LLC, the Dallas franchisee behind Gandolfo's NY Deli and Petro's Chili & Chips has something to do with this. I only know this because I saw it in his signature from an e-mail he sent me last week.'s powered by Johnsonville Sausages which leads me to believe that this is another food truck franchise in the making (Both Gandolfo's and Petro's are franchises). I've deduced from Facebook comments that the launch date will be October 5th and that they plan to have two trucks rolling in DFW. Calling their cuisine "mobile gourmet" doesn't give me much besides that I already know encased meat is involved. However, they are letting Facebook and Twitter fans help them decide what the last two menu items are going to be. Either way, we're happy to have another food truck in the mix and we'll let you know what else we come up with in the weeks ahead!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Food Truck Consultant? Yes-they Exist!

Photo from

You've been watching Eat Streets on the Cooking Channel and now you've got it in your head to start a food truck. When you begin to navigate the rules and regulations for a mobile vending permit, you'll quickly realize you may need a support group. 
Herein comes Jessica Smith and Hunter Johnson from City Street Grille. In addition to their established Food Truck, they have a side-business of helping people like you get out on the streets. They've consulted local businesses, including caterer & baker extraordinaire Piecurious, and for a consulting fee they can help you get roving too!
Find them on Twitter @CityStreetGrill or on their website.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Red Jett Sweets is now Rolling!

Making their Ft. Worth premiere this week, mobile cupcakery Red Jett Sweets is hitting the streets with their scrumptious mouthfuls of cupcake goodness! In addition to the signature Vanilla Bean and Milk Chocolate, the girls are crafting cupcakes like the Beloved Bananas Foster, Snickerdoodle and their namesake Red Jett Velvet. 
Note that their fancy scarlet truck is also available for your private parties and their website will give you all the pricing details! Find them tonight at 1800 Montgomery Street in Ft. Worth from 7 until sellout and check back for rotating locations!
Photos: Red Jett Sweets facebook 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Is the City of Dallas Pushing away Food Trucks?

Investigative journalism is not my prowess but I'm noticing a common theme among many food truck operators: Dallas is not an easy place to get a permit.  From the regulations to the specifications, the Big D is forcing many a new food truck to our neighboring cities.

The girls over at Good Karma Kitchen have laid it all out for me. The City of Dallas only permits mobile vending trucks that were originally built as catering vehicles. If you buy a converted vehicle, say an old UPS truck, and you bring it up to meet all specifications to a catering truck, you will still not be permitted. Several new operators are finding out the hard way that their used trucks will not pass inspection in Dallas, so they're moving on to the next place: Ft. Worth.

I don't know the ins and outs of city regulations, but it strikes me as odd that one health department's policies vary so greatly to those of neighboring cities like Ft. Worth, Austin & Houston.  Gina of Crazy Sisters has run into that exact problem; her vehicle is permitted in Tarrant County but Dallas is slamming her with two-bit modifications to her truck. When adding them all up, she doesn't think it's worth it to come to Dallas at this time. Scott of SoCal Tacos is facing the same situation-the used catering truck he bought in New Braunfels won't pass Dallas inspection, but he can take it to Ft. Worth with ease.

Yet another operator, Comfort Food on Wheels was advised by the California manufacturer of his truck not to even bother coming to Dallas because of restrictions. Now Comfy Foods is considering a move to Cowtown. 

Not only are the truck requirements exacting, take a look at the Operational Requirements as outlined by the City:
"An itinerary must be provided for each vehicle prior to the first business day of each month. 
The Health Department must be advised of any changes immediately. Schedules/Stops must 
be accurate to within 30 minutes.  The name, address and telephone number of the owner of 
the premises must be provided.  A description of the food to be sold or served at each premise 
must accompany the itinerary."

I say Dallas needs to come up to speed with the other metropolitan areas, otherwise they will discourage new business...a business that is experiencing a huge tidal wave across the country. Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Step-by-Step Oh My Ganache! Recipe from Trailercakes

If you haven't met Bubbles, the Airstream about town delivering Trailercakes' heavenly cupcake confections, then you are truly missing out! The lovely duo Heather and Leora share a super-secret recipe just for Big D Food Truck fans. See my step-by-step instructions for this rich, glossy frosting: 

What you will need:
  • Stainless steel or any heat tolerant bowl
  • Medium-sized saucepan
  • Mixing spoon
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter 
  • 6 Teaspoons Sugar
  • 1 ½ Cups Chocolate chips or bakers chocolate (Chips are usually easier) Get creative! You can use semi-sweet, dark, white, etc.
  • Break chocolate into small pieces (unless using chips) & place in a heat tolerant bowl.   
  • Boil the cream, butter & sugar in a medium saucepan.  
  • Once the cream/sugar mixture comes to a boil, pour it over the chocolate and let stand 4-5 minutes. Do not let it cool for much longer.
  • Stir the mixture, starting from the center until it appears smooth.  
  • Let cool & enjoy on cakes, fruit, pretzels etc.
Dip pretzel rods & lay on wax paper

Pretzels, frozen bananas & chocolate walnut cookies

Enjoy! And as the gals at Trailercakes say, Happiness is in the Frosting.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Breaking Down the Menu: Dallas' First Friggitoria

Gennarino's Food Truck is launching DFW's first authentic Neapolitan-style friggitoria and you're not alone if you have no idea what that means. A friggitoria is essentially a place where fried food is sold, just one of Italy's great traditions in street food. Before you venture out to place your order at Gennarino's, read our quick guide to these fried delights:

  • Arancini-Balls of rice fried to a golden brown & often stuffed with ingredients like ham, prosciutto, mushrooms, meat sauce, or just cheese.
  • Panzarotti-Smaller version of a calzone with a deep fried soft dough and most often stuffed with tomato and mozzarella. Can also be filled with mushrooms, ham, onions etc.
  • Polentina-A wedge of cornmeal dough fried to a golden crisp
  • Timballo-Typically a pasta baked with other ingredients like cheese, meat or vegetables but staying with the theme, expect theirs to be deep fried.
  • Panuozzi-Stretched raw dough filled with ingredients like soppressata, mozzarella or pepperoni and baked to resemble a stuffed panini. 

Misto Platter
All photos from Gennarino's facebook page

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Truck SoCal Tacos bringing 'Killer Salsa' to the Streets

This week I was the lucky recipient of a salsa house call from Scott Wooley of soon-to-be SoCal Tacos famedom.  Being a native Texan I'm certain that I've done my fair share of salsa slingin, but Scott had me convinced that his 'killer salsa' was gonna be good. 

When I answered the door for my personal salsa delivery, there was Scott-a cooler of salsa over his shoulder and chips at the ready. With his surfer drawl, backwards hat and tattoos, he gave me the evolution of how he went from living in Laguna Niguel to real estate in Dallas and now proud taco truck owner.  His dream of one day owning a restaurant with his wife and 3 (almost 4) kids is coming true via the burgeoning food truck scene he was witnessing in DFW. He saw it as a way in the door and his excitability about the trucking scene is contagious. 

So back to the salsa. I wanted to know what makes it killer and his answer's pretty simple. Good ingredients, juicy Mexican limes and no roasting or pureeing like most Texas salsas. It reads like a chunky pico and the taste is pretty amazing.  Expect it to come with a seasoned chip alongside battered tilapia or honey chipotle glazed salmon tacos. He hopes to be rolling in the next 2 weeks in Tarrant County with plans of coming to Dallas in the future. This southern Californian is practically giddy about hitting the road and I, for one caught the SoCal Taco buzz. The only thing zestier than the salsa may be the truck owner himself! 

Check back for schedule and find Scott on Facebook & Twitter @SOCALTACOS

Monday, August 15, 2011

Food Truck SMACKDOWN for a Cause

How do you top the success of last years Chef Smackdown, an Iron Chef style competition pitting Dallas' premiere chefs against each other for charity's sake? You go bigger. Much bigger. 

Calling in the heavy machinery is Sheryl Coyne-Batson, the woman behind Ten for 10: Water for Africa, a charity doing their part to help solve the world water crisis. She has wrangled the top trucks around Dallas/Fort Worth to compete in a Smackdown for the titles of Best food, Best concept or the coveted Best Overall, voted by you. On the bill are Gandolfo's NY Deli, Tacoheads, Squeals on Wheels, Nammi Truck, SoCaL Tacos & Gennarino's, but we hear that the list is growing by the day.

Besides a sampling from all of the Food Trucks your $60 general admission ticket includes 3 specialty drink tickets, entertainment from The Duo of Domino Effect, a silent auction and the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped provide clean water and sanitation education to over 17,000 people in Kicukiro, Rwanda. This year's event takes place October 21st at Dallas' Sunset Lounge, where cash bar will be available to drown down all of the food truck fare.

If you're a real do-gooder then you should consider the $100 VIP tickets where you'll have access to an exclusive happy hour, food sampling, swag bag and 5 drink tickets before the event's 7:30 start time. Tickets and information can be found here. Don't wait, ticket prices will go up after October 10th.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

All the Cheesy Details on upcoming Ruthie's Rolling Cafe

Top: Ruthie's Classic Grilled Cheese
Bottom: Ruthie's Newly Remodeled Truck
With the bevy of new food trucks on the horizon in Dallas/Ft. Worth, we're excited for all the details coming in on each and every one, starting today with Ruthie's Rolling Cafe.  Coming  to us from the folks over at In Any Event, an established Dallas-based event planning company, Ruthie's hits the road tonight for her big debut at a private party.  It won't be long, however until they'll be making stops all over town and we've got the scoop on the locations they have in the works. I spoke with Lauren Brundage of In Any Event and starting the last week of August, Ruthie's will be rolling to the following locations around Dallas: The Hunt Building downtown, Walgreens at Lemmon/McKinney & Cedar Springs/Oaklawn, Bank of Texas on Hillcrest, Centennial Wines at Preston Center, Shell station at Lemmon/Cole, Polly DuPont on Beltline in Plano and of course the Dallas Arts District.

Manning the griddle will be former chef of Twisted Root's SMU Boulevard location and when it comes to cheese Ruthie's aims to please. Their event planning background makes them a private party specialist where the menu can be customized to fit the client's need. But if it's grilled cheese you want, it's grilled cheese you'll get. They source their cheese from local vendors right here in Dallas. The bread comes from Empire Baking Company and veggies are sourced locally from the Dallas Farmer's Market. 

Your first chance to get a taste of Ruthie's will be on August 20th at the Lemons to Aid event at the Museum of Science and Nature at Fair Park. Let us know in the comment section if you have any questions about Ruthie's and we'll try to get them answered for you. Check back often, we're excited to profile new food trucks on our blog giving you all the details on where to find them and what to eat when you get there!

Empire Bakery Breads for Ruthie's assorted Grilled Sandwiches
All photos from Ruthie's Facebook Page

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hungry? Good. So are we

Starving actually. For innovation, the kind that comes from those new entrepreneurs roaming the streets of Big D right now -- cultivating a food truck scene that is full of potential yet far from being realized.  Need the scoop on all things “meals on wheels” in Dallas?  That’s where we come in.

We’re not journalists or professional food bloggers.  We’re enthusiasts.  We’re absolutely salivating at the thought of a vibrant food truck scene in the city we love, just like those found in San Francisco, Portland, New York and even our Lone Star neighbor Austin.

We’re on Twitter, daily, even hourly, filling you up on what’s going down. Isn’t it time you join the city’s food truck conversation? See you there!