Keep on Truckin: The Modular

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

I woke up Sunday morning with a hankering for the comfort of some food truck sustenance -- it had been a long Saturday night. I drove by the one spot I can always count on for just such an occasion, next door to Agora, the former semi-permanent home of Eatsie Boys.

Instead of the colorful truck, in it's place was far humbler trailer, referred to as the "Tin Can." The Modular Trailer is about a month and a half old and just started setting up shop next to Agora at the beginning of July. Owner, Josh Martinez, formerly of Kata Robata, is at the helm and chef Lyle Bento, former sous chef of Feast was cooking up the goods.

The short menu seemed very Asian; specifically, Japanese influenced. Along side the menu a taped up sign displayed that they proudly served local products.

I decided to sample all four items on the menu and the special, which I had eyed greedily as the patron beside me was eating, but was told they had just run out of grouper cheeks but still had salmon collars left.

The Crispy Tuna Poke Tacos ($6) came out first. The sashimi grade tuna was hand chopped and simply garnished with sesame seeds, daikon sprouts and a wasabi mayo. The "taco" shell was a deep fried wonton skin. The fish was well seasoned with soy and sesame oil. Garnishing it with the mellow daikon sprouts made for a more delicate flavor and the wasabi mayo was not overpowering. The "taco" shell was a tad bland and I kept thinking how great this would be on a shrimp chip.

The Pork Belly Up ($6) consisted of two large slabs of pork belly shining with a glaze atop a bed of nori-seasoned rice. Pickled red onions and thin slices of green apples accompanied it. The pork belly is sou vide for 48 hours rendering it extremely tender. Eating a little bit of each ingredient together formed a union of sweet, sour, spicy and tangy that exploded in my mouth. The only complaint about not just this dish but all the dishes that came with it, was the rice, which was slighty dry and gritty. These dishes could have been over the top served with Korean or Japanese sticky rice.

That Chicken Got Thighs ($5) was the next dish. Like the pork belly, the thigh meat was cooked sou vide and then glazed with a yakitori sauce. It was served with the same nori seasoned rice and whole peanuts were sprinkled on top. Pickled radish cucumbers added some zest to the dish.

The fresh Gulf Shrimp and Grits ($7), made from Way Back When Dairy products, would do any Southerner proud. The grits were perfectly cooked -- they were creamy but still had a wonderful texture and slight crunch to them. I enjoyed that the shrimp were cooked and served head on; I ate them whole and they were flavorful and juicy.

Finally, the special, Copper River Salmon Collars ($7) were a sight to behold. The collars gleamed with a glaze of soy and mirin. They were served with fresh Animal Farm oyster mushrooms and baby bok choy. The collar meat was fatty and unctous and the skin was crisp and caramelized. I couldn't stop eating the mushrooms. The mild flavored mushrooms soaked up the sauce, making the each bite better than the last.

This is going to be one of the most exciting food trucks to follow, as Josh rounds up different chefs and finds new local ingredients, to bring their "food from the restaurant to a parking lot near you."

Find them at Agora on Sundays or follow them on twitter @themodular for other locations.

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.