Here's one more reason to visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, especially on Thursdays: Ladybird food truck. Officially open 6 p.m. to 8.p.m. (though they arrive earlier and will happily take orders), Ladybird fuels art enthusiasts, strolling couples, and passing motorists (those, that is, who decide to stop rather than just rubberneck).
Ladybird does not, in case you were wondering, showcase the beloved fare of the late wife of Lyndon B. Johnson. Unless, of course, the former first lady was a rabid fan of truffle tater tots.
The seasonally rotating menu features a few variation of dishes that have come to be staples on the H-town food truck scene, such as a kimchi dog, a hill country sausage covered in (you guess it) kimchi, chives, and spicy aioli.
More alluring, however, are their fun tweaks on tradition.
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When the weather is 'real hot' (that's a technical term referring to 95-plus degree temps), the menu often include a blue crab gazpacho, whose cool fragrant briney broth demands slurping rather than polite sipping.
It's worth also taking some of their warm offerings to go and consuming them later in your icy over-air-conditioned apartment. The simply named "Ladybird Grilled Cheese" is anything but, comprising layers of green tomato, ricotta, cheddar, and goat cheeses wedged between two buttery toasts. The trifecta of diverse cheeses not only make for a grilled cheese of varying interior textures but also a sandwich that boasts different dairy flavors depending on how you bite.
Another winner is the chicken tikka tacos, a dish I hope sets the stage for more Indian-Mexican fusion fare in Houston. Large chunks of white meat chicken, rendered tender from a yogurt marinade with turmeric and pepper, are dressed in a creamy cilantro mint sauce, sprinkled with green onions and tomatoes, and ladled onto two well-toasted tortillas. The dish's only downfall is a $7.25 price tag for two tacos; bump it to $8 and give me three and we have a much better deal.
Finally, even their kimchi hot dog is not particularly original, give it a try -- it helps you get in the spirit for the MFAH's upcoming exhibition of Korean art from the Joseon dynasty.