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food trucks

can anybody tell me how popular food trucks are in houston

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  1. Right now there aren't a lot of food trucks, unless you want to add taco trucks, and there are a lot of them. I think that in the future there will be more. Several months ago there was a seminar about starting a food truck business that a lot of "foodies" seemed interested in. Never heard anything after it was over though. There are a few around already. Here is one that I remember:

    http://www.ohmypocketpies.com/

    I know there are more but I am drawing a blank. If I remember, or can find it on a web search, I will let you know. Houston is ready for these, as long as you can the proper permits from the city. Street food would be great, too, but not so sure how that will work.

    1 Reply
    1. re: danhole

      I really like the Pocket Pies truck. Also another good one is Melange Creperie in the Montrose area.

      http://www.facebook.com/people/Melang...

    2. There are taco trucks everywhere, a few mobile bbq vendors, and the pre-made sandwich type trucks that go around to construction sites, etc., but few other than that. By taco trucks I mean places that dispense Mexican food and they can be very popular.

      I've read about the upscale trucks of NYC, LA and even Austin but we don't have them here that I know of. I wonder if they'd do well? Houstonians eat out more than the national average supposedly but it's already a very inexpensive city to eat out in so maybe lots of people never would support that kind of eatery no matter what is served - not true Chowhounds, of course!

      Maybe there's not enough street life because of the weather?

      I tried to find the pocket pies people the other day and saw no trace of them but I may have been there too late for the day, I didn't check the time and just remembered the street, not the block number. That sounds interesting.

      Anybody heard of any others yet?

      6 Replies
      1. re: dexmat

        I have tried many of the taco trucks some great some so so, but I came across this truck that I eat at 2-3 times a week serves Indian food its in the NW side exact address is 12672 Veterans Memorial Dr, Houston Tx 77014. Some of the best Tandoori chicken I ever Had, very authentic Indian food. The truck is parked in a Valero gas station only opens 6pm to midnight. The chef /owner has been at that spot for 4 years, I highly recommend it.

        1. re: foodie281

          That sounds real good but I am hardly ever out that far on the north side. Bansuri Indian food cart on south Wilcrest at West Bellfort is good - it's vegetarian street foods of Mumbai and only open for a few hours in the evening. There can be quite a wait just to order.

          I went by Ashka in the Heights, 1502 Durham in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware. I thought a blogger had said it was Indian but it was mostly American and Mexican (hamburgers, tacos, burritos, quesadillas) and one Indian Plate entree, which is what I got. I had a choice of 2 from the options of Butter Chicken, Daal and Saag Paneer. I got the first and last; this came with rice and some naan wedges. I hadn't had saag paneer in a long time and forgot I don't really care for it so I should have gotten the other. Butter chicken was very mild and oily, of course. I was disappointed in the menu and the food and would have thought the clientele for a food cart in the Heights would support a more adventurous menu but what do I know?

          I'd patronize food carts more if there were more options besides the ubiquitous tacos, tortas, quesadilas, burritos, etc.

          1. re: dexmat

            Ashka's went out of business. They've blamed restrictive regulations but from what I know it was the family's first food venture and the food just wasn't that good. They got in trouble over providing a seating area (the trailer was parked on the grounds of the family's hardware store) and that is against city regulations - you cannot provide a place to eat unless you have a bathroom, I think.

            1. re: dexmat

              I went over there for lunch one day, excited that there was some Indian food in the area at long last. Unfortunately, the food was not very good and it took much, much too long to get it. I was the only one there at 11:45, and still the only one there at 12:15 when I was still waiting for the food. I think that a truck serving Indian street food (Bombay Sweet style??) would do a terrific business around here. I would be there a couple times a week..

              1. re: LCherry

                There are apparently 3 other Indian trucks but none near the Heights if that's what you're looking for.

                Desi Grill way out on Veterans Memorial, Tandoori Nite on Hwy 6 in Sugar Land and Bansuri on S. Wilcrest at W. Bellfort. The latter two are only open in the evenings and the latter is Mumbai street food vegetarian and is very good. It's the only one I've been to. I was really surprised by the menu at Ashka and disappointed in the food.

                1. re: dexmat

                  I was hoping for one somewhere near the Heights. The closest Indian food is Khyber Grill down at Richmond/Kirby. With Washington Street exploding like it is, we have been hoping that something might go in down there. For awhile, there was a rumor going around that Taj Mahal might be reborn there, but I haven't heard anything more about that, and neither has anyone at Allison Cook's blog.

      2. I'l be spending some quality time at city hall this week, trying to figure out if it's at all possible to have a "cart" in Houston. I've always wanted to start a foodie-friendly "hot dog cart" in Our Beloved Malarial Swamp. Slightly bigger than a tamale bike, but not so big as a truck.

        Wish me luck.

        I'll report back my findings.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Ribalding

          Ha - sounds good! It is definitely possible but apparently they don't make it easy and from what I've read no food carts are allowed in a specified area around downtown and the Medical Center. I will be looking forward to hearing more.

          1. re: dexmat

            And of course, downtown and in the Medical Center are exactly where food carts would work so well. I originally came here from Berkeley, where food carts absolutely filled the south side of the campus. You could walk out of your building and get 30 different kinds of food, all hot, cheap, and delicious.

            1. re: LCherry

              You would think downtown there would be a lot of foot traffic and all those surface parking lots in which to set up, not so sure about the Med Ctr. And downtown doesn't do me any good at all so I don't really care. Where they seem to be more concentrated are in areas where there is more foot traffic which means ethnic neighborhoods. I think there is a hot dog stand operating downtown but maybe only in the evenings? There's a category of license for non-mobile but non-permanent set-ups like that. I think that's what Melange Creperie operates under.

              Edit: here's the hot dog stand I had heard about but it looks like it's relocated out by the VA hospital?

              http://www.myspace.com/demdamndoggs

          2. re: Ribalding

            Any luck? I am also interested in starting a food truck business-don't worry it will be very different from hotdogs! lol I really feel the Houston should encourge the nouveau food trucks but everything i've read seems to imply that it is not easy.

            1. re: selfinspire

              For Ribalding and selfinspire here's an article I found with links to more good information. Good luck and keep us posted.

              http://houstonfoodtrucks.com/blog/tru...

            2. My favorites are Rey for 'Pollo Asado' at I-10 East and Wayside (in front of the Emilianos club) and they seem to always be open (lunch time till late, 7 days a week).
              I also am addicted to El Taconazo taco truck on Fulton not too far from Patterson (next to a tire shop). I love the 'barbacoa' tacos, but will go for the 'lengua' tacos too. Oh and you can buy these by the pound as well.

              1. Bump
                Hubcap Grill has just started his truck. I believe it's at Gray and Montrose. I know he posts info about it on twitter.

                -----
                Hubcap Grill
                1111 Prairie St, Houston, TX 77002

                1 Reply
                1. re: Brazos

                  Looks like they've relocated to Liberty Station on Washington?

                  http://twitter.com/hubcap_grill

                2. Buffalo Sean of Melange Creperie will be on Great Day Houston on Channel 11 Friday morning (9am hour, 8/20/10) presumably demonstrating his crepe making skills. It's fascinating to watch how a 'pro' does it; he has all the equipment the sidewalk creperies in Paris use and he's got it down pat. Should be interesting even for those with no interest in street food.

                  1. We just tried a cupcake from MMMcupcake truck downtown....very good! I love the truck concept.

                    1. Not as popular as they should be, considering that the powers that be want to get rid of them.