These two guys with the popular food truck Coreanos – motto: Mexican with Korean in between – are waiting to feed you at the second annual Haute Wheels Festival in Houston, along with 33 others interesting trucks. And if I were you, I’d buy my tickets now. Last year, too many hungry people showed up, so this year the organizers are fielding more trucks, trimming their menus and selling fewer tickets. And with chefs like Angel and Luis waiting to cook for you, you won’t want to miss out.
One way never to miss lunch or dinner, I’ve learned over the years, is to show up a few weeks early. That’s what I did yesterday in the parking lot of HEB’s Montrose Market. And since HEB is one of the big sponsors of Haute Wheels, that little placement made all the sense to get this mention, right? Four different truck chefs cooked so we could record a radio show; but the first thing I tasted was The OG from Coreanos (that’s “Koreans” in Spanish, of all things), a super-spicy meat wrap that brings its own French fries inside.
Chef Jerry Jan was also on hand for our Delicious Mischief – which was delicious, by the way, even more than usual. Though long of RA Sushi, first the location in Highland Village and then the one out at City Centre, Jerry served me a dazzling shrimp taco from his food truck, Kurbside Eatz. For anyone afraid that a sushi veteran had somehow “gone Mexican,” the proof was in the taco. It tasted very Asian, and showed up in a bread more similar to Indian roti than to a typical tortilla.
Representing the “local, seasonal” food movement was chef James Ashley of Bare Bowls. At this “bowl concept,” every dish not only arrives in a (biodegradable, oh-so-sustainable) bowl but represents a clear, if multi-ethnic, presentation of protein-vegetable-starch. Pictured here is the Jamaican jerk chicken that Bare Bowls will be serving at Haute Wheels. All the vegetables and even the basmati rice underneath are local. Basmati from Beaumont? I mean, who knew?
Also, who knew that HEB would field a food truck of its own – an extremely colorful affair known as Fork in the Road? We were quick to get our forks into several items whipped up by chef Sheryl Johnson, though she insisted everything was finger food anyway. Not surprisingly, this burger used to be billed as “Over the Top,” but I think it’s now called simply “Deluxe.” And considering the egg fried in duck fat and the truffle salt sprinkled on top, I think that’s a totally appropriate name.
What could be better than mac and cheese? Well, according to Sheryl, maybe mac and cheese with green chiles, formed into a ball, coated with Japanese panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried for dipping in a sweet-creamy sauce. Eating light again, I see? I suspect there will be little eating light at Haute Wheels Houston, May 12-13 at the HCC Southwest West Loop Campus. The $16 admission tickets include $5 worth of sampling and drink. If all this sounds like you, buy your tickets now at www.hautewheelshouston.com.