Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Trio of Trailers -- Pretty Thai For A White Guy, Sambet's, Taste

I have been to three different food trailers in the past week, so here's the low down! (Spoiler -- all were GOOD!)

Pretty Thai For A White Guy is one of two trailers-in-residence at the Moontower Saloon on Manchaca, just a little south of Slaughter. Moontower is a mostly-outdoor bar on a couple of wooded acres, similar to Contigo off of Airport, but serving drinks only. That's where the trailers come in. Pretty Thai is run by a trio of non-Asian chefs out of a converted school bus. They've got a nice Thai-inspired menu that includes things like curries, pad thai, and sweet potato fries with sriracha.
When I went up to the trailer, I scanned the menu board, and was disappointed to see they were out both pork dishes for the evening. I asked the person working (who I think was Kristen, one of the owners) for a recommendation, and she said they had just made the green curry paste, so she certainly recommended the green curry. I ordered that with the beef sirloin. When she delivered it to our table a few minutes later, it did not disappoint. It's a nice hearty bowl with beef,and fresh veggies -- eggplant, green beans, tomatoes and rice underneath. The curry had good flavors in it -- lemongrass, chile, coconut milk -- it had a bit of a kick, but not overpowering.
My friend ordered the Thai cornbread and nachos which were also quite good. Not sure I got all of the ginger compound butter flavor with the cornbread, but it was a good sized piece. The nachos are with shredded chicken, smoked gouda, caramelized onions, and sriracha, so a bit on the spicy side, but the gouda added a nice creaminess to it, and the tortilla chips were nice thick ones, so they really stood up to the weight and moisture from the toppings. And in a nice touch, Kristen came back by our table after a little bit to see how we liked the food. I thought the curry could have used a touch of salt to bring out the flavors, but I told her I AM partial to salt! (And carry my own. Yup.)
Moontower is a comfortable venue this time of year. They only opened in November, so who knows what it will be like out there in the heat of the summer, though there are a lot of trees. Apparently the parking lot can get filled up quick, especially on nights when they have live music playing, but they have recently bought the adjacent lot and will be expanding the parking. I look forward to going back for beers and more Thai food!

Sambet's Cajun Roadside Cafe at 4801 Burnet Road next to Pinthouse Pizza, is the trailer version of the former restaurant at 183 and Spicewood, that burned in a fried turkey accident two Thanksgivings ago. While trailer owner Doug did ramble on a bit about what the ex-wife got in their divorce in regards to the restaurant, he did say that he's been looking for a place to reopen the restaurant.  For now though, Cajun fans should be pretty happy with the food he's producing.

My friend and I split an original muffaletta sandwich and side of seafood gumbo. The sandwich was ham, salami, and provolone cheese; now while I liked the bread, it seemed more like a po-boy sandwich bread than a muffaletta bread. I am NO Cajun expert, but I thought that muff bread was round, and more focaccia-like. The fillings were good, though it wasn't exactly heaping with them. The gumbo was a nice dark one, and fortunately not made from a burned roux like some are. This had some sausage and crawdads in it, and I could see in his Louisiana-shaped condiment container a jar of "Slap Your Mama's" seasoning, and I wonder if that's the spice mix I tasted in it. Too bad Sambet's isn't doing any desserts, because beignets would have been fantastic!

Taste -- Urban Pub Food, is located in the back of The Local bar on Guadalupe, next door to Kerbey Lane. Not being intimately familiar with the campus area, it took us a little while to figure out how to get to "the back." Tip: go west on 27th and then into the lot past the Taos Co-op, who WILL tow! Next tip: once in the parking lot, inhale at your own risk; we immediately smelled pot when we got out of the car.
Owner Scot works at Central Market at North Lamar, and I have taken a few cooking classes from him over the years. His partner is Alejandro Duran of Malaga downtown. They know what it takes to operate a successful business! Their menu aims to be seasonal and locally sourced when possible. Taste has not quite been open for a month now, but I'd say it's a nice variety of pub-inspired foods at a very affordable price point.
Frito Pie immediately called my friend's name, and as you can see, it's a really fun presentation. Lots of good flavors from the ancho chile, roasted onions and poblano peppers, and it's the perfect comfort food.
I was drawn to the lamb sliders, which come with a oregano and parsley chimichurri sauce. Now looking back at the menu, it also mentions a pimento aioli sauce, which I am not sure I really tasted, but the lamb and the chimichurri were fantastic. If you're a fan of lamb, GO and try these!
We also had a tossed salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, chopped hard-boiled egg,  and a bit of shredded cheese. It was one of the most perfectly dressed and seasoned salads I've had anywhere.
Next time, I am going for the Chaffle -- chicken strips, dipped in waffle batter, and fried! And Scot said the portobello fries are hugely popular too. Don't mind the fact that' it's on the Drag, there seemed to be a variety of clientele at the Local on Saturday.

So go show these trailers some love! They're working in small little tin boxes without A/C and cranking out some great-tasting foods!

1 comment:

  1. I could have the tossed salad...I could eat tomatoes and cheese every day....