Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Eatsie Feastie

My wish list for Houston includes a prayer for those in charge to catch a clue about the Food Truck Phenom and stop making it so challenging for people (okay and also a comprehensive spay/neuter strategy if I can please have two wishes). Seriously ... I think about this subject a lot after enjoying such wonderful food truck cuisine in Portland and in Austin. Our city - known for it's entreprenurial spirit from the city's inception, for God's sake - can surely support this trend and make it easier on the folks who are really trying so hard to give us wonderful (even amazing) food at resonable prices!

To understand how tough Houston makes it on these folks, check out the recent Houston Press article for an overview. Then you'll appreciate even more the opportunity you have to sample fare from the folks who are trying hard in the face of adversity, for the pure passion (and flavor) of it ... like my new obsession, Eatsie Boys
. I discovered the "boys" at the Eastside Farmer's Market and experienced "Frank the Pretzel" - homemade chicken poblano sausage, chardonnay mustard on a Slow Dough pretzel bun ... hello. 3 Michelin Star-trained Chef Matt Marcus knows his way around the kitchen - whatever the size! The Boys are at the Eastside Farmer's Market on Saturdays, the City Hall Market on Wednesdays once it starts up again in February and will also be a part of the Sunday market at Discovery Green and possibly Highland Village alternatively, according to partner Ryan Soroka. The Farmer's Markets are important to them because they are so into supporting the local farmers and vendors. It's cool.

For now, on weekdays they are "semi-permanently" in the parking lot next to Agora in the 1700 block of Westheimer from early-lunch until early-dinner time and my first stop there today provided me with a heck of a decision ... what to order when everything sounds so great? Unable to decide on just one item, I went with two ...

The Sabotage - $7 Roasted Pork au jus with local braised greens, sharp provolone cheese served on a French baguette, and ...
Pork Snuggies (2) - $6
Fluffy, steamed buns stuffed with Pork belly, green onions, cucumber, hoisin

Wow. The hot sandwich was insanely good with the succulent roasted pork (5 hours, I'm told) but what took it over the top were the garlicky, slightly bitter braised greens on top (the provolone on the bottom, melted into the crispy baguette didn't hurt, either). I don't even like "hot sandwiches" most of the time but this was such a winner. I ate half and forced myself to stop (yes, it reheated quite well for dinner) lest I would not have room for the "Snuggies" and what a shame that would have been, for they were certainly a delight as well! The simple beauty of perfectly prepared pork belly with pickly/crunchy cucumber, green onion and a spot of light hoisin sauce on those little pillows of tender white bun. I was humbled and grateful to know these folks and to know their food.

By the way, I took my "to go" food into Agora as I was advised by the Eatsie Boys, as part of their parking lot partnership, which was just a perfect idea. As I sat with my tea and my food truck gourmet goodies in the funky room (just re-opened after recovering from a fire in October), suddenly I didn't care about the cold or really anything else other than the perfect little moment I was having in one of the coolest spots in one of my favorite parts of town. Life is good. Please Houston, make this easier for everyone to experience in neighborhoods throughout our city!

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