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First Look at Espresso Rescue

Houston's first coffee truck.

Caffeine

With the influx of food trucks to the Houston mobile dining scene, we seem to be missing one type of truck. The city is blessed with numerous wagons that will satisfy the late-night munchies, the sugar cravings in the afternoon and everything else in between, but we don't have enough trucks to jump-start our mornings. I'm talking coffee trucks.

A little more than a month ago, Houston's first coffee truck, Espresso Rescue, rolled into the area, and since then it has been offering up caffeinated drinks throughout the day at various food parks. We decided to check out this espresso ambulance and see if its drinks and snacks were up to par with those at other local coffee establishments. Hint: It surpasses all expectations.

Espresso Rescue, a.k.a. ER, is a camper-van turned into an ambulance coffee truck complete with emergency lights and sirens. From a distance, one would mistake it for a real ambulance, especially when the truck is at Houston Food Park, which is near St. ­Joseph Medical Center. But at closer glance, the graphic on the side of the truck of a giant cup with coffee spilling out of its top reveals that this is no medical ambulance; instead, it's a coffee ambulance, but the servers do wear scrubs and surgical hats.

The truck's owner, James Weaver, provides Houstonians with a selection of drinks made with Katz Coffee. Do you enjoy a creamy latte in the morning? What about a simple drip coffee to pick you up in the afternoon? Or do you prefer an Americano with two shots of espresso? Whatever your coffee preferences, the coffee truck will hook you up. Inside the ambulance, Weaver has several espresso machines, milk frothers and coffeemakers set up to create just about anything you can find at a local shop. Add a pump (or two) of peppermint, hazelnut or vanilla syrup to your coffee for a hint of sweetness, or keep it plain Jane with milk and sugar.

Espresso Rescue not only serves a variety of coffee drinks, but also sells those giant cinnamon rolls from Sinfull Bakery. We recommend you ask for your cinnamon roll to be heated in the microwave. There seriously isn't anything better than a warm, sticky cinnamon roll and a cup of coffee in the morning. There really isn't.

Oh, yeah, and a cinnamon roll and small cappuccino is just $7. Not too bad.

Most mornings you'll find Espresso Rescue at Houston Food Park, either by itself or with another morning food truck favorite, such as Katmania Crepes. The coffee truck then heads to Mangum Food Park or My Food Park HTX for the afternoons and evenings.

With a little bit more than a month of experience under its belt, Espresso Rescue is proving to be an excellent addition to the Houston food truck scene.
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Food Trucks

Menchie's to Open Frozen-Yogurt Truck
Houston's first self-serve froyo wagon is on the way.

Kaitlin Steinberg

If you could picture the perfect food truck festival fare for a hot summer day in Houston, what would it be? My ideal warm-weather food is frozen yogurt, but that's not an option at any food truck in town...yet.

The owners of Houston Menchie's Frozen Yogurt franchises, Andrew Martin and Andy Brantner, also noticed the lack of a froyo food truck and decided to do something about it. Toward the end of this month, Houston will welcome its first self-serve frozen yogurt truck, which will also be one of the few of its kind in the country.

"We opened our first location a few years ago, and the No. 1 question we get asked is, 'Do you have a food truck?'" Brantner says. "We've always wanted to, but we've been busy building our operation."

The time is right now, though, and the build-out of the Menchie's food truck is well under way near the Menchie's storefront in the Heights.

The food truck will function pretty much the same way as the Menchie's stores do — self-serve machines and all. According to Brantner, there will be three self-serve yogurt machines built into the truck. Each machine will have two flavors, so the truck will carry six flavors in total.

The machines will be behind panels on the side of the truck that open up to allow visitors to dispense their own yogurt. There will also be a stand for cups and a section with eight toppings, which will rotate on a regular basis, built into the truck.

Unlike the store, which weighs the yogurt and toppings and charges by weight, the truck will have a $5 flat price per bowl of yogurt, no matter how much you dispense and pile on.

"It's the same thing we do on Monday nights at the store," Brantner says. "Recently, we had someone get a 40-ounce cup for $5. It's kind of our way of giving back to our customers."

Brantner says the flavors and toppings will change frequently in order to give diners the most variety, but there will always be a sorbet for people who are lactose-intolerant, and he suspects there will always be a sugar-free flavor for diabetics as well.

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