May 10th, 2011
H-Town StrEATS: Focused on the Food
It stands to reason that the schlubbiest (most schlubby?) of Houston’s food trucks serve the best food. There is a population of people (which includes a number of friends of mine) that don’t believe in the mobile gourmet trend. The masses already consider your fare unassuming. Why then don’t you create the brightest and shiniest new restaurant on wheels? While in most cases, perception is reality and in all the rest, it contributes heartily. But sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind. Hand-paint some streaky cartoon faces on the side of your truck and roll it out to the public, you’re going to be in very good company. H-Town StrEATS cares nothing for your shiny chrome or Maaco paint jobs, they’ll stick to putting all their effort into their food, thank you very much.
It takes a lot to break people from their routine. Mine has been well-documented. My culinary habits rank up there with William Howard Taft. Fast food is always my “Column ‘A’” choice. Thankfully, the food truck revolution happening in Houston has provided an alternative to the mega-chains. As fate would have it, my girlfriend has also jumped onto the cruising culinary fad, which makes my life eight point three times easier. So, when she was driving down Washington on her way home from work and saw H-Town StrEATS parked proudly at Liberty Station, she gave me a call and I hopped in my car to meet her there.
After grabbing a couple of cold ones from the bar, we stood tentatively at the side of the white food truck, trying not to make eye-contact. We weren’t ready to order, there were too many choices. Catching the eye of the man inside would only produce a false hope.
By far, H-Town StrEATS has the most diverse menu (large size) I’ve seen of any Houston food truck. It’s not just burgers (no offense, Hubcap). It’s not just hot dogs (forgive me, Good Dog). It’s not just tacos (lo siento, Tacos Tierra Caliente). There is a derivative of anything you could imagine listed, and all for reasonable prices. If anything, StrEATS slants a bit toward Asian cuisine, but a quick mention of Risotto Balls anchors them in Western civilization.
Being that the day I visited was Cinco de Mayo, I’m not sure if the slew of taco options were planned to delight the incoming faux-Mexican patriots, but my girlfriend and I couldn’t pass them up. In all, we ordered the Korean Cheesesteak w/ Kim Chi, Fried Avocado Taco w/ Creamy Cilantro Slaw, Beef Fajita Taco w/ Roasted Corn Salsa, and the aforementioned Risotto Balls. Surely, we would be back for more. At prices like $3 for the tacos, they couldn’t be enough to fill us both up. In fact, as prices are concerned, my cheesesteak at $6 was the most expensive item on the menu barring the full Chicken Fried Steak Dinner.
The cheesesteak was salty with a hint spiciness. It never really overwhelmed me. In fact, it was fun to eat something that has been a classic in my ordering repertoire. The national sandwich of Philadelphia was treated well by the StrEATS crew. As for the Risotto Balls, the perfect symmetry packed with dense pasta and stringy cheese were an absolute delight to cut into. The hard, breaded crust gave way to my plastic fork after a little bit of work to reveal the treasure inside.
While I would give you details as to what the tacos tasted like, well… I can’t. They were gobbled up before I got a chance to even ask my girlfriend for a bite. Her only comment was that the fried avocado taco was surprisingly heavy, which wouldn’t be a surprise if you really think about the words “fried” and “avocado” together.
Apparently, H-Town StrEATS is a regular at Liberty Station on Thursday nights. This comes as a bit of a surprise for me since I’ve considered them one of the most elusive of the Houston food trucks. Stephan had told me that they were one of his favorites, but I guess I didn’t know that they were crossing paths with some of my favorite bars, as well.