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The Five Best New Food Trucks in Houston 2014

Armed with only a truck and a dream (well, and a batch of recipes), these food entrepreneurs continue to fan out across Houston.

The sisters intend to start taking the truck to other spots around the city once the summer heat slows down business at the icehouse. Eventually, Kathryn is going to go back to school to pursue a master's degree in social work, and Karen will have to hire extra people to help out on the truck. Even if they aren't working together as many hours, though, they'll still be partners, and they'll still have the freedom to make their own rules.

"The best thing about owning a business is having your own schedule," Karen says. "Even though we work like dogs, it's for yourself, and nobody's telling you what to do."

Kathryn smiles. "At the end of the night, we turn on our music and we open a beer, and we're like, 'This is ours.'"

Doug Le is seeing gourmet doughnuts outside his new truck, Doughmaker Doughnuts.
Photo by Yuri Peña
Doug Le is seeing gourmet doughnuts outside his new truck, Doughmaker Doughnuts.
Garrett Blinn of Buttz Gourmet Food Truck is just as wild about his pulled pork sandwiches as the rest of Houston is.
Photo by Yuri Peña
Garrett Blinn of Buttz Gourmet Food Truck is just as wild about his pulled pork sandwiches as the rest of Houston is.

kaitlin.steinberg@houstonpress.com

Doughmaker Doughnuts

@DoughmakerHTX

www.facebook.com/doughmakerdoughnuts

Buttz Gourmet Food Truck

@Buttzfoodtruck

www.facebook.com/Buttzfoodtruck

www.buttzfoodtruck.com

The Modular

@modularjoshua

@GoroNGun

Taco Nuts

@TacoNuts

Way Good Food Truck

@WayGoodFood

www.facebook.com/WayGoodFoodTruck

waygoodfoodtruck.com

LOST AND FOUND
How to locate your favorite food trucks.

True food-truck devotees have been there. You go online, find out where your favorite truck will be, drive to said location and then...it's not there. You get out and circle the block. You know you have the right address. You check online again. The truck is still there, and you should be standing right on top of it. Yet it's nowhere to be found.

Locating food trucks can be tricky, but there are a few different ways to avoid getting all hangry (that's hungry + angry) while trying to track one down.

First check the food truck's Twitter account. Twitter is the most used and most reliable way to find out where a food truck will be for the day, because many of them are in a new spot every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Many food trucks also make use of Facebook to announce weekly schedules or post photos of the day's menu.

Some food trucks that have been around awhile or have good marketing teams have their own websites, but the sites usually aren't updated as frequently as social media pages. Still, if you're looking for information about how to book a truck for a private event, start by checking for a website.

Since food trucks have become so popular, techies have developed a number of apps to track them. The most comprehensive and reliable is Roaming Hunger, and it can be used on a computer, tablet or phone. It uses software to scrub the Twitter accounts of food trucks that have signed up for the service, then uses location information in the tweets to pinpoint where trucks are at that moment and where they'll be later in the day.

The Food Network TV show Eat St. has an accompanying app that tracks some of the trucks featured on the show, but it's not as inclusive as Roaming Hunger. It's also not always reliable, so use it only if you have an issue with Roaming Hunger.

Finally, some food trucks are creating their own apps to allow for easy tracking. So far, the only Houston truck to do that is Detox Truck, a mobile eatery featuring juice, salads and healthy snacks. You can download the app free on iTunes.

Happy hunting!

IMMOBILE LITCHENS
Some food trucks fall victim not to problems, but to their own success.

When a food truck becomes popular enough to build up a loyal fan base that can prove to investors it's a worthwhile project, the next logical step is to park the truck and build some permanent digs. Among the first food trucks in town to go bricks-and-mortar were the Modular, which became Goro & Gun, and Eatsie Boys, which opened as Eatsie Boys Cafe in a quaint building in Montrose.

This year, a whole new crop of food trucks have become restaurants, partly due to a notion that the food-truck fad is just that — a fad — and partly because for many operators, opening a restaurant was the goal all along. Unfortunately for food-truck devotees, opening the doors of a restaurant usually means closing the window on the truck. Most of the time, though, the food just gets better and better.

In July 2013, Fusion Taco opened a storefront facing Market Square Park downtown, which has allowed owners Julia Sharaby and David Grossman to expand the menu. With a full kitchen rather than a few burners on a truck, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

The Juice Girl van also opened a shop late last year in the bio­science building at Rice University to provide healthy food to students often too busy to get in a good meal. On the other end of the spectrum is Good Dog Houston, the delicious but not super-healthy hot-dog truck that now resides behind the restaurant of the same name in the Heights and comes out only for special events. Heights staple Mam's House of Ice also went bricks-and-mortar late last year, turning the popular snoball company into a snoball empire and expanding the menu to include even more unique flavors.

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4 comments
Julie T Vu
Julie T Vu

Too many words.. No pictures of food.

JJTexans
JJTexans

"There's been talk of more restaurants or more trucks, but for now, Houston is happy just to have the trusty Modular and its hustle sprouts back."


The people of Houston should not be happy with $9 "hustle" sprouts at Goro & Gun.  What the hell do they cook it with, truffle oil?  The only "hustling" going on is hard earned money from our pockets.  I love the restaurant concept and what it means to downtown, but there's definitely a disconnect between the product they offer and the prices they charge.  Go to a real "izakaya" in other cities with a Japanese community and see how much food $50 gets you and compare to what you can get at a place like Goro & Gun.  Granted, the Modular truck's prices are much more reasonable and it's not fair for me to put all this on just one establishment.  This disturbing trend of "hipster" pricing at restaurants (aka overpriced) is starting to take over this city by storm.


The shift to the chef driven restaurant concept in Houston, as well as other cities is both a gift and a curse.  It's definitely a good thing to raise the bar on food quality which causes the competition to do the same, even with the expected increase in pricing.  However, this does not give them carte blanche to charge extortionate prices on their food.  Sorry Underbelly, but at your prices I would much rather spend it at a Thomas Keller restaurant or get your "inspired Creole" items at a spot on Bellaire Blvd. or Long Point Rd. for a fraction of the price (albeit at a lesser quality but with more authenticity).  

rasclot123
rasclot123

When will this food truck fad end?  Food trucks used to be cheap and pulled up to construction sites.  Now they are serving 8$ smoothies and 6$ tacos at some lame art show.

 
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