Austin-Based Chi'Lantro Food Truck Abandons Houston; May Return As a Brick-and-Mortar

Houstonians won't be seeing this food truck again--at least not for a long while.
Houstonians won't be seeing this food truck again--at least not for a long while.
Photo by Minh T Truong

On December 31, Mexican-Korean fusion Chi'Lantro food truck posted to its Twitter feed that it's leaving Houston in favor of running a storefront operation that opens this month in Austin. (The name is a portmanteau of "cilantro" and "kimchi," ingredients associated with Mexican and Korean food, respectively.)

They say they might return to Houston someday. The post reads, "This is not a goodbye but rather a 'see you soon'. We are currently on the prowl for a restaurant space where we an continue to serve the good people of Houston as many tacos and Kimchi Fries as they can handle." Indeed, the Chi'Lantro truck claims to be the "original maker of Kimchi fries."

That brings to mind a question: Does Houston still want kimchi fries, or has the trend of "fries with stuff on them," along with gourmet food trucks, reached a peak that is now subsiding?

Chi'Lantro originated in Austin and expanded to Houston when foodies were in a froth about gourmet food trucks. The hype has since died down, resulting in a glut of trucks amid a shrinking market. City regulations of food trucks have eased and there are now multiple food-truck parks, including a new one downtown. Is it a case of too little, too late, or will there be another resurgence of interest in gourmet food trucks? Only time will tell.


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