It's no secret that Houston has an ample number of food trucks serving lunch and dinner. But lately, the expansion of food trucks seems to lean more toward breakfast options and caffeinated beverages.
Espresso Rescue joined the food truck scene just a few months ago and often sets up shop with Katmania Crepes to satisfy the breakfast needs of Houstonians with crepes and coffee. Doughmaker Doughnuts recently hit the road serving gourmet doughnuts outside coffee shops like Mercantile and Black Hole Coffee House. Now, Houstonians can grab their morning Joe from Cadillac Coffee, a retro mobile eatery serving special caffeinated drinks, kolaches, pastries and pies.
Most of the time a food truck is essentially that -- a truck. The owners drive around town, park outside a community venue or set up shop in the confines of a food park. But, Cadillac Coffee does things a bit differently. Uber-friendly owner Meghan Ackerman pulls a 1963 Shasta camper van with a 1957 Cadillac Series 62 -- it's like a diner on wheels with a kick ass car.
Unfortunately, during my visit to the mobile coffee shop, the Cadillac was parked somewhere else due to lack of room in the parking lot. But, the camper attachment is still pretty cool.
Inside the electric blue camper van decked out with a black-and-white checkerboard floor, Ackerman and her assistant create a variety of specialty coffee drinks, espressos, homemade kolaches and treats.
Every cup of coffee is made with beans from Big Bend Coffee roasters in Marfa, Texas. I decided to try the Americano to analyze the quality of the espresso. What makes these steamed water espresso drinks so good is the ability to enjoy them without any cream -- the process of blending espresso with hot water should create a creamy, smooth beverage. The espresso in Cadillac Coffee's Americano remains strong and sharp after being mixed with the steamed water. My only complaint is that it costs $4; you can get a Venti (20 ounces) Americano at Starbucks for under $3.
In fact, most of the items at Cadillac Coffee are overpriced. Specialty coffee drinks cost $5 and kolaches cost $3. And, there aren't larger sizes for drinks, only 12-ounce cups. Starbucks gives you three (sometimes four) drink size options. For $5, I'd like a little more bang for my buck.
Regardless of the cost, the specialty drinks are delicious. Currently, there are four specialty concoctions available, each with a classic car-themed name describing the drink's ingredients, like the Trailer Queen or The Burnout. Most of the options include hazelnut or vanilla syrup, and caramel or honey, but the Moon Eye Mint is in a league of its own. A co-worker of mine described it as a warm mocha frappuccino. It's an intricate process to make this specialty mint-chocolate drink, and quite a pleasure to watch. Steamed milk is blended with peppermint syrup, espresso and mocha sauce. It is then topped with a swirl of fresh whipped cream plus more mocha sauce and what appears to be crumbled mint chocolate. Stir the whipped cream and syrup with the rest of the drink to enhance the mint and mocha flavors.
The blueberry muffin is the most inexpensive item on the menu at $2, minus a bottle of water, or extra sauce and whipped cream toppings. The treat is topped with a lemon rosemary glaze that crunches in your mouth like sugar crystals. It's moist, crumbly and a scrumptious small sweet baked good for breakfast.
Do yourself a favor, though, and pair your caffeinated beverage of choice with one of the kolaches. In terms of cost, the $3 kolaches at Cadillac Coffee don't compete with stores like Kolache Factory or most doughnut shops around town. But in terms of flavor, they certainly put up a good fight. The flavors rotate daily, and one of the best flavors, according to the owner anyway, is the Bandita. Soft, doughy bread encases fluffy scrambled eggs, melted Cheddar cheese and diced jalapeño peppers. The round kolache dough instantly brought back memories of eating Sister Schubert's rolls at dinner when I was younger -- my brother and I would fight over the roll in the center because it was the softest and melted in your mouth like butter. It's almost as though the kolache dough is half-baked. I just wish it had more filling.
As far as taste and flavor go, Cadillac Coffee is a welcome addition to the city's food truck fleet. But, just like all new establishments, there needs to be some fine tuning. So, Cadillac Coffee, keep dishing out those kolaches, muffins and coffee drinks, just lower the prices, please.