The 3rd annual Main Street Food Truck Festival is coming up on October 5, and this is an event that's due a break. The first year saw greater than expected crowds — which was great until the lines stretched hours long and trucks began to run out of food. Last year's event was also well-attended, but hampered by a fall thunderstorm that sent many people (myself included) running for the dry safety of their vehicles. Third time's a charm (hopefully) for this festival — most of our Central Arkansas favorites will be in attendance.
Weather and ingredient shortages are just two of the issues that our food trucks face — the food business is hard even under the best circumstances, and slinging grub from the back of a mobile kitchen can be even harder. Lots of restaurants close every year, and the same holds true for food trucks. Even the University Market at 4 Corners, the food truck court that once occupied the corner of University and Colonel Glenn wasn't able to survive despite gathering up some of the best trucks around. Autumn always makes me nostalgic, so in that vein, here are three food trucks that are no longer with us that I miss dearly.
*The Food Truck: Chef Jeffrey Palsa operated The Food Truck (also known as "Preston") for several years, serving up sandwiches, soups, and hubcap-sized cookies that were among the finest in town. I've not known many folks more giving than Jeffrey — he'd feed anybody that was hungry, even if they couldn't pay. The Food Truck was a staple of the University Market, Main Street Food Truck Fridays, and it was Palsa who founded the popular SoMa Second Thursday food truck even at the Bernice Garden. Known as much for his quick wit as he was for his gazpacho, Palsa's truck was more than just a place to grab lunch, it was a chance to catch up with friends and take a break from a rough day. Fans of Preston should rest assured that even if The Food Truck is gone, the physical truck is not — Loblolly Creamery has purchased and re-purposed the vehicle for an ice cream truck.
*Homegrown: Although better known for Loca Luna and unhinged screeds, Mark Abernathy also founded the Homegrown food truck, a burger, salad, and taco truck that for a long time was the number one draw at the University Market. Under the guidance of truck chef Richea Grant, Homegrown turned out gourmet fare that surprised many food truck first timers — loaded burgers with a fried egg on top and ahi tuna tacos with fried avocado aren't exactly what Arkansas expect from what most still refer to erroneously as "roach coaches." My personal favorite thing from Homegrown were their salads, which were huge affairs with fresh greens, bacon, egg — just great, fresh food.
*Papa's Burgers and Dogs: Fans of fair food could find a lot to love about this truck. Hand-dipped corn dogs, funnel cakes, and burgers all made for a strong menu, but for me, the thing I miss most about Papa's are the onion rings. Big circles of sweet onion, hand-dipped in Papa's signature batter...these were some really transcendent onion rings. More than once, I ordered some rings to take back with me to work, and instead of waiting and eating at a table like a civilized person, I just ate them right in my car — they were willpower destroying. The food coming out of Papa's truck was nothing fancy, but it was prepared well and always fresh — and the folks running the truck were some of the friendliest around.
We still have some pretty stout food trucks in Little Rock: Southern Gourmasian, Green Cart Deli, Banana Leaf, and Green Cuisine all come to mind. New faces like the Waffle Wagon and Pizzeria Santa Lucia show that Little Rock still has a thriving food truck scene, but I'll always remember the trucks we've lost with a touch of hungry sadness.
Twice now, in as many weeks, Twitter has come through for me about new eats. The first time resulted in a trip to the excellent Mugs Cafe in Argenta, and last Friday brought word from long-time Eat Arkansas reader and contributor Joel DiPippa that there was a new food truck in town — and they were doing waffles. Now, waffle trucks aren't a new concept to established food truck cities like Austin, but other than the chicken and waffles on the Hot 'Lanta truck menu, nobody else is doing waffles on the go.
I caught up with the appropriately named Waffle Wagon at my second home in the Bernice Garden Farmers Market, running into Arkansas Mirepoix bloggers Jason and Shelle Stormoe who both informed us that the Brown Sugar Peach Waffle and Bacon and Egg Waffle (made with Hillcrest Artisan Meat smoked bacon and Dunbar Garden eggs) were both fantastic. As my wife Jess and I approached the nondescript white trailer, a wave of delicious smells washed over us: toasting batter, bacon, fried chicken, and maple syrup. Our stomachs were empty, and we were ready to eat.
Jess decided to order the Cornbread Waffle with Peas, a cornmeal-based cake covered in slow-cooked purple hulls and a generous dollop of jalapeno jelly. I've eaten a lot of peas all over this state, and I have to say that the Waffle Wagon's were right up there with best of them. The jelly added the perfect amount of spice and sweetness, and while the cornmeal waffle was just a touch on the dry side, the pot liquor from the peas turned everything into a wonderful pile of deliciousness.
For my own waffle, I went straight to the top of the menu and ordered the Chicken and Waffles. The regular waffle was one of the best I've ever had; slightly crisp on the outside with a moist, tender center that held up well to the syrup and chicken piled on top. The chicken in question consisted of three huge tenders, lightly breaded and fried to a delightful crisp, then tossed in hot sauce. The result was a dish that was, like the peas and jelly, spicy, slightly sweet, and altogether perfect. The varying flavors and textures present in this dish were tasty, balanced, and impressive.
The Waffle Wagon is just getting started, so check them out when you can. Follow them on Twitter or Facebook for locations. I'll be back, because I barely scratched the surface of this menu, and if everything else is as good as what we had today, this is a truck that's going to please a lot of folks.
Now, a lot of folks don't believe me when I tell them that the best poached egg in Little Rock comes from the back of a food truck, but I swear to you all it's the truth. The truck in question is perennial favorite Southern Gourmasian, and while they may be more famous for their steamed buns and spicy dumplings, if you haven't had a chance to check out the breakfast menu, I assure you it's worth waking up for.
The Gourmasian breakfast at the most recent Hillcrest Farmers Market was even better than usual, though, because of one wonderful edition: owner Justin Patterson had just gotten in his first fresh heirloom tomatoes of the season, some Cherokee Purples. Now any of you who have read the Arkansas Times and its associated blogs for more than about five minutes know that we're all pretty crazy about good tomatoes, from publisher Alan Leveritt and senior editor Max Brantley on down to
food-dungeon dwellers like myself. So when I saw the Gourmasian menu listing a BLT made with one of those Cherokee Purples, several slices of Benton's Bacon, basil pesto aioli, and topped with one of Justin's perfect eggs...well, I may or may not have just thrown all the money I had through the truck window with a high-pitched scream of utter and insane joy.
The result? Lightly grilled bread, coated with aioli, upon which two perfect purple slices of tomato rested, each full of the rich, sweet flavor that Cherokee Purples are known for. This is not a flimsy tomato, and it can stand up to a lot in terms of both texture and taste. Atop the tomatoes, crisp fried bacon and that poached egg, the white set into a perfect cocoon that released a flood of creamy yolk when pierced. I wrestled with the need to get all these good things into my face as fast as possible and the desire to stretch out the experience for as long as I could. From ingredients to technique, this was a perfect breakfast dish.
Want to get your hands on this dish? Catch the Gourmasian at the Hillcrest Farmers market every Saturday. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to find out where they're serving lunch daily. And if you want to see Justin in action when he really gets going, he'll be cooking for The Southern Sundown Get Down on July 6, with proceeds to benefit Little Rock Urban Farming.
If the ever-expanding food truck movement over the past few years has taught us one thing, it's that often, food from a mobile kitchen can be as good—or sometimes better—than anything offered by a brick and mortar restaurant. Our small but indefatigable fleet of food trucks and carts in central Arkansas is no exception. You'll find some of the most talented chefs, inventive menus, and skilled artisans cramped within the confines of a rolling restaurant. Indeed, some trucks will offer dishes unlike anything you'll find elsewhere in central Arkansas. It's this ingenuity that often attracts diners to food trucks, and keeps patrons lining up outside their order windows. One of Little Rock's freshest faces in the mobile dining scene is hoping to continue our tradition of eating excellence, and they're doing it through one of America's most beloved dishes, pizza. However, the folks behind Pizzeria Santa Lucia would not be content with throwing together a few half-hearted, grease-soaked, pedestrian pies. Instead, they are bringing to Little Rock something yet to be offered by any other pizzeria in this town, sharing their passion by spreading the gospel of authentic Neapolitan pizza.
Pizzeria Santa Lucia’s head pizzaiolo, Georges Launet is a Little Rock native who has been floating around the restaurant business for fifteen years. After cooking for a number of quality restaurants around town, he describes his latest venture with the fine foods catering company, Palette, to be the most influential and inspiring of his career. Here he met Jeremy and Jacquelyn Pittman, and the two chef/owners took Launet under their culinary wings. As Launet began to develop aspirations of his own, he was reminded of time spent in France with his father, where he would be introduced to Neapolitan pizza for the first time. Launet fell in love with the art of creating authentic Neapolitan pies, claiming that after sampling them, he “would never be the same again.” Drawing upon his experiences in Europe, and after cutting his teeth in the kitchens at Palette Catering, Launet was determined to bring authentic Neapolitan pizza to Little Rock, the first of its kind, something unlike any other pie in central Arkansas.
Food truck fans rejoice, because Chef Jeffrey Palsa is bringing back SoMa Second Thursdays to the Bernice Garden on March 14. The monthly event has some returning favorites, including Palsa's own The Food Truck, Southern Gourmasian, Clyde and Kiddo's Barbecue, and dessert truck Sugar Shack Sweets. If that's not exciting enough, the first event of 2013 will also mark the return of Green Cuisine, the popular vegetarian truck that has been on an extended hiatus.
In addition to those returning greats, two new trucks will be debuting on South Main: Kyle Pounder's Excaliburger, home of the burger-with-grilled-cheese-sandwich-buns (which we told you about here late last year), and a completely new truck concept in the Rock, Santa Lucia Pizzeria. Santa Lucia is owned by Jacquelyn and Jeremy Pittman, who some of you may be familiar with from Palette Catering in the Heights. I have word from Jeffrey that they've been seasoning the stone in their mobile wood-fired pizza oven by firing it up daily for the past month, so it's sure to be a much different pizza experience than anyone expects from a truck.
In addition to the good eats, there will a face-painter and outdoor games for the kids, and Loblolly Creamery will have their soda fountain open late. And as part of the eco-friendly mission of the Bernice Garden and SoMa neighborhood, the event is a low-waste affair, so patrons are asked to bring their own cups, forks, and knives (rinse stations will be available). These events were a lot of fun last year, and it looks like there's even more to be had coming up!
Little Rock food truck favorite Michael Juliano — a.k.a. Hot Dog Mike — announced today on his blog that he's packing up the hot dog cart and heading to his home state of New Jersey in order to run his family business. Fans of Juliano's wiener creations have until the end of January to get their fill, and given the level of popularity Hot Dog Mike has attained in Central Arkansas, I hope he's well stocked for the month — I foresee a run on his product.
In addition to providing a certain level of "cool" to his wares, Juliano has been very active in supporting the local food truck scene as well as charities that help the poor and homeless. Perhaps his most well-known charity event was the creation of the $1501 hot dog, four of which were sold to benefit The One (also known as The Van). Creating the world's most expensive dog is one thing, but giving all but one dollar of the proceeds to charity is quite another, and it's a testament to the sort of guy Mike is.
Mike was a regular winner of Readers' Choice awards from this and other publications. I can't help but be a little jealous that Jersey is going to get all that hot dog goodness, but from all of us at Eat Arkansas: Best of luck, Mike, and may your new adventures lead you to even greater success — you will be missed.
If you spend any time at all reading Eat Arkansas or the Arkansas Times, you may have noticed that we've got a thing for taco trucks. For me, no matter what I'm doing, it's almost impossible for me to pass one of these mobile deliciousness vendors without stopping the car and stuffing my face with grilled meat wrapped in a toasted corn tortilla. The Geyer Springs Road area is the epicenter for excellent trucks, and one of my new favorites is the K-Lienttos Taqueria, a brightly painted truck parked next to the Sonic. For the bargain price of just $1.25 per taco, K-Lienttos serves up beef, pork, chicken, and lengua topped with fresh diced onions and cilantro along with a cup of their tangy salsa verde.
The best taco filling coming from this truck is the pastor, a flavorful marinated pork that is meltingly tender. Running a close second is the barbacoa, a chewy spiced beef that had me craving another bite after everything was gone. Like all good taco trucks, K-Lienttos is quick with your order, making it the perfect spot to stop on a lunch break or for a quick snack. A selection of Jarritos drinks and real-sugar Mexican Cokes round out the menu to provide the perfect taco truck experience. K-Lienttos Taqueria is located near the intersection of Geyer Springs and Forbing Road, right next to the Sonic, and they're a must-try for all you taco truck aficionados.
It was Halloween, and despite the unseasonably warm afternoon, a strange chill came over us as we walked from our car to the shadowy depths of the Bernice Garden. Strange shapes began to emerge from the darkening streets — tiny witches, zombies and Power Rangers came forth with high-pitched cries of hunger, begging for tricks and treats and mouthfuls of candy. The chill deepened. Perhaps it was something supernatural, a force from beyond the grave coming to exact revenge on those of us who still drew breath — or perhaps it was the Peanut Butter Buttermilk ice cream cone from Loblolly Creamery that filled my mouth with a sweet, tangy richness that that made me shiver with delight. For Halloween in SoMa was a festive affair, with crowds of trick-or-treating families heading down to the Bernice Garden to sample some local food truck favorites before heading out to score their sugary loot.
We had originally intended to grab the appropriately-named Mortadella Monster sandwich from The Food Truck, but the long line of pixies, lion cubs, and one light saber-wielding Darth Vader made us re-think our plans. We contemplated a cheese steak from Philly's, but we finally decided to try Wishbone's, a gourmet hot dog truck that we hadn't seen before, despite its having been open for nearly a year. Fortified by grilled meat, we mingled with the crowd of horrors and hilarities and made our way to the Green Corner Store, where the mustachioed soda jerk was offering tastes of blood-colored hot chocolate, goblin green ice cream, and the delightful caramel apples pictured to the right. It was a great scene full of people out enjoying the weather, stuffing their faces with junk food, and generally just being neighborly. We read every year that the traditional Halloween ritual of going door to door has fallen victim to the fears with obsess and possess our increasingly more isolated society, but that's certainly not the case on South Main. In SoMa, any reason is a good one for getting together with folks in the neighborhood, with Halloween just an opportunity to dress up like a crazy on top of the general feeling of community.
More pictures after the jump.
With its body shops, factories, and rim shops, Asher Avenue probably wouldn't strike anybody as a street where a body could find a culinary treasure, but there is a hidden gem to be had: the Hot 'Lanta Wings food truck. In addition to the advertised wings, Hot 'Lanta also offers a menu that reads like a who's who of Southern food, with fried catfish, barbecue, okra, and chicken and waffles in addition to an assortment of burgers, sandwiches, and corn dogs. And while a rickety picnic table in a gravel lot on one of Southwest Little Rock's busiest streets might not be most people's concept of the ideal lunch spot, once I (along fellow foodie travelers Daniel Walker and Kevin Shalin) got a taste of the food coming out of Hot 'Lanta not a one of us cared about the traffic whizzing by.
The immediate thing that caught my eye was the Catfish Sandwich paired with an order of onion rings. The fish was freshly battered and fried while I waited, and the dark, crisp batter had an excellent flavor that gave way to the tender fish. The sandwich was simple — two filets on a couple of pieces of wheat bread — but the lettuce and tomato that came with it were fresh, and I was pleasantly surprised that it came with a couple of packages of Louisiana Hot Sauce — and if you've never had catfish with hot sauce, you're missing out. The onion rings were excellent, with a thin, crisp coating that held snug to the rings of sweet onion, and I'd put them up against any onion rings in town in terms of taste and quality.
Kevin's choice of grub was the Patty Melt, and he rated the burger-and-onion combo somewhere between "not bad" and "just okay." It was with his choice of side, fried okra, where Hot 'Lanta really showed their stuff, though, and we all passed around the crunchy bits of fresh-tasting okra and marveled at how good it was (although I still have to take issue with Mr. Shalin's use of ketchup on that okra). Fried okra is one of those dishes that's either really, really good or incredibly bad, and this okra was most definitely the former. It's available as a stand-alone menu item — and I foresee myself returning to Hot 'Lanta just to get an order.
Of course, if there are Chicken and Waffles on the menu, we all know that Dan's going to order them. We were all very skeptical of how this particular dish would emerge from the depths of the food truck — I was honestly expecting something along the lines of an Eggo-brand frozen waffle with a few frozen chicken strips. There's no way I could have been more wrong. The waffles were fresh made, four perfect little circles of fluffy golden brown batter that were slightly crunchy on the outside and pillow-soft on the interior. Delicately flavored, and with some fresh cut strawberries nestled in the center, these waffles would have been a fine dish on their own. Served to the side was a massive pile of breaded chicken wings, piping hot from the fryer. I watched with no small amount of envy as Dan smeared those luscious waffles with butter, loaded them up with the fried chicken, and covered the lot with a flood of warm syrup. It might sound like hyperbole to call this dish a revelation, but there aren't many places serving up chicken and waffles as well as Hot 'Lanta.
As somebody who pays attention to food possibly more than is normal, I've picked up on a few things that point to a meal that is going well and being enjoyed. Three of those things happened right after our food hit the table: all conversation stopped as first and second bites were taken, a look of pleasant surprise was shared across the table, and then we all started talking over each other about who needed to try a bite of what. Food is the most basic thing over which people bond, and the discovery of an unexpected source for that food makes the experience all the more memorable. I've eaten at a lot of food trucks over the years, and I'd put Hot 'Lanta Wings up against any of them. It's a simple, honest menu executed with skill and style, and a valuable addition to a neighborhood that most people don't think of as a destination for great food.
Hot 'Lanta food truck is set up behind an enclosed fence on Asher Avenue. Coming from University, the trailer is just before the Site station that used to be Uncle Abe's (on the right side). Coming from Roosevelt, it's just past the old J&M Products building on the left — look for the white trailer with the bright yellow and red signage.
The excaliburger was born when a rock climber from Missouri named Johnny was having lunch with Kyle Pounders, a 25-year-old Arkadelphia native, at the Ozark Cafe in Jasper. Johnny couldn't decide between a burger and a grilled cheese, so he asked the chef if he could have a burger between two grilled cheeses. The chef loved the idea. He told Johnny if he could come up with a clever name, the sandwich would earn a permanent spot on the menu.
Ozark Cafe uses Texas toast, so when the sandwich arrived it was about six inches thick. Rather than a toothpick, the chef had plunged a steak knife through the center to hold the thing together. When Johnny saw the sandwich, he was reminded of the long sword, or excalibur, in the legend The Sword and the Stone. He grabbed the knife and yelled, "Excalibur," and from that day on, the excaliburger was added to the Ozark Cafe menu. (Or so the legend goes.)
Meanwhile, Kyle Pounders was all set to enter the medical profession, but he wasn't that engaged by his studies at Baptist Nursing School. While waiting tables at So, a doctor and regular customer asked him what he really wanted to do with his life. Pounders thought about it and realized that he loved cooking for his study group. While the other students were in the living room cramming, he'd be preparing their snacks in the kitchen. In fact, he had enjoyed the near decade that he'd spent washing dishes, serving and cooking at various restaurants in Little Rock and Arkadelphia. Eventually this mysterious doctor would become his financial backer and silent partner in Excaliburger, the soon-to-be food truck.
Pounders took a second job and with all those saved pennies, he purchased cooking equipment and a pop-up tent. He debuted his pop-up excaliburger stand at the El Dorado Music Fest, bought a 14-year-old bread truck, and began considering how to convert it to a food truck. He plans to conquer the task of framing the inside, building a window, mounting a generator, outfitting the thing for running water and painting the exterior in a single weekend, with the help of a volunteer crew.
He hopes to debut Excaliburger in mid-October. In addition to the burger, there will be Excalibird, with a grilled chicken breast rather than a beef patty, Excali-que with pulled pork and Excalibella, with portabella mushroom. And there will be some leaner options — traditional burgers and grilled cheeses made with olive oil, as well as a shish-kabob.
Pounder's excaliburger will be scaled down from the Ozark Cafe beast — he'll use thinner bread and a thinner patty. He also plans to offer handcut potato chips. Excaliburger should be open for lunch every weekday and will rotate its location among a handful of neighborhoods. For dinner, the truck will follow the crowds, making at appearance at special events.
Pounders is also working with Mosaic Church to create a Little Rock Food Truck Association and eventually, a website where all of the city's food trucks can update their location in real time, on a virtual map.
Those of you who work and play downtown may have noticed that Grills on Wheels, the big black food truck that serves hearty soft shelled tacos and a killer bean and cheese burrito for a very reasonable amount of dinero, hasn't been parked at it's usual President Clinton Avenue location at the east side of the Arkansas Studies Institute. According to owner Al Aquino, for the past three weeks the staff has been on vacation, the truck is having a dented bumper repaired, and he's trying to figure out where to move, since a four story mixed-use commercial building is going up where Grills used to park. The Arcade Building, a proposed 80,000 square foot space is being developed by Moses Tucker Real Estate and, according to the firm's website, will include "retail space, office and residential space and an auditorium/theater to be developed in conjunction with the Public Library." Aquino expects Grills on Wheels to be back in business in about two weeks. He's not sure if he'll have to move at that time, but when the time comes, he plans to find another spot downtown.
For most Arkansans, the fall season brings a much-needed relief from the sweltering summer heat. It's finally possible to be outdoors from more than five minutes without feeling like your face is about to melt off. Additionally, for food truck followers, there is no finer time to get outside and experience the cultural phenomenon that continues to blossom in Arkansas. I've spent a good number of summer afternoons eating the offerings of local food trucks on sidewalks, car hoods, and picnic tables, whilst enduring the soul-crushing heat of the summer sun. No matter how wonderful the food in this situation, the settings are often far from ideal and it is sometimes difficult not to yearn for the luxury of the air-conditioning inside a restaurant. We, here at Eat Arkansas, anxiously look forward to the many opportunities in the coming months to comfortably revisit some of Arkansas' leading food trucks as well as sample the craft of some of the newest trucks to hit the asphalt.
This coming Saturday, Sept 22, Hillcrest is hosting their annual HarvestFest celebration. This is a wonderful opportunity to drag your friends and family out of the house and experience the handiwork of some of Little Rock ’s most creative artists and craftsmen. Vendor booths, live music, fashion shows, and children's activities are all on the schedule for this year’s event, and you definitely won't want to miss the cheese dip contest as we reported here previously. A handful of mobile food vendors will be positioned at various locations around the festival grounds as well, and this year's HarvestFest will also see the debut of Little Rock 's first dedicated dessert truck, Sugar Shack Sweets. I was fortunate enough to meet up with the two ladies running this oven on wheels, and I was able to sample a handful of the tantalizing treats this crew will be offering.
It was a festive scene Thursday night at the Bernice Garden on South Main Street for the inaugural Second Thursday Food Truck Night, with folks lining up to sample the wares of The Southern Gourmasian, Philly's To Go, Clyde and Kiddo's Barbecue, and Little Rock Urban Farming. In a part of town that's woefully bereft of after-five dinner choices, the people we talked to seemed very happy to have a chance to get a bite to eat and mingle with other people from around the city in one of Little Rock's most attractive settings. Despite a couple of the planned-for trucks being unable to make it out due to unforeseen circumstances, Thursday's event was a strong start to the new monthly truck night. South Main is really developing into a neighborhood full of people who value community, and they'll be the first ones to tell you how proud they are of the revitalization projects going on all around the area — and how much they enjoy events like this that allow them to show those projects off. More pictures after the jump.
Lovers of Indian food had a reason to rejoice today with the return of Banana Leaf, the popular food truck that's been serving up authentic Indian cuisine in Hillcrest since 2011. The menu at Banana Leaf is a perfect example of a good food truck menu, with simple, quick-to-prepare dishes that are loaded with flavor and served up hot for not a lot of cash. Owner Poorni Muthaian and crew had been on hiatus since late May, and judging by the crowd of people waiting for lunch when I showed up today, they were greatly missed. In fact, by the time I arrived they had already run out of both their vegetarian and non-vegetarian lunch offerings and seemed pleasantly surprised that business was so good.
Lucky for me, they hadn't yet run out of Chicken 65, an extremely spicy marinated chicken dish that had me wiping sweat from my forehead and guzzling water. The flavor of this chicken is incredible, with the complex play of spice, salt, and just the vaguest hint of sweet working together to create something truly special. My favorite kind of spicy dishes are the ones that are capable of matching their heat with bold, assertive flavor, and the Chicken 65 does this well.
To temper the spice of my chicken, I also ordered an Egg Dhosa, a rice crisp stuffed with egg, onions, tomatoes and cilantro. This was my first experience with a dhosa, but it will definitely not be my last, with its light, chewy exterior and warm filling — it was like a happy marriage between an omelet and a crepe. Heartier eaters can order a potato-filled version, but since I'm an egg-lover, I thought this dish was perfection. I'm relatively inexperienced with Indian food, but my trip to Banana Leaf today made me realize that it's a cuisine with which I need to become better acquainted.
Like many of our local food trucks, Banana Leaf is active on Facebook and Twitter, so check them out for daily specials and announcements. Banana Leaf food truck is located at 201 N. Van Buren, and they are open from 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The service is quick and friendly, even when there's a crowd of hungry folks all waiting to get their hands on some tasty food.
Chef Jeffrey Palsa has been operating The Food Truck in Little Rock for a couple of years now, serving up hot gourmet sandwiches and and soups with a cheerful smile and a ready laugh. After a hot, dry summer that proved difficult for many of our local trucks, Palsa wanted to reignite excitement in the food truck scene, deciding to create a monthly truck even in the SoMa neighborhood called Second Thursday Truck Night. The event will be held on September 13 from 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Bernice Garden and will continue throughout the fall every second Thursday of the month. Chef Palsa chose evenings for his event in order to bring people down to a neighborhood that doesn't have many options for dining out past five o'clock, although he stresses that the ladies of Loblolly Creamery will have their soda fountain in the Green Corner Store open for folks in need of ice cream or a fresh-made soda.
For the inaugural event, Palsa has lined up several of Little Rock's best trucks in addition to his own, including The Southern Gourmasian, Clyde & Kiddo's Barbecue, and Taqueria Samantha III. Little Rock Urban Farming will also have a booth set-up with flowers, Arkansas honey, and produce. The trucks are all planning specials for the event, including some kid-friendly dishes. There will be ample covered seating available so that everyone can enjoy their meals comfortably, and parking is located both next door to the garden as well as across the street.
If you haven't had a chance to try these trucks, or would like to get a taste of things to come during the upcoming Main Street Food Truck Festival, this new food truck event is the perfect opportunity to come down to SoMa, enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the sculpture garden, and sample a lot of really great food. Bernice Garden is located at 1401 S. Main in Little Rock.
This is the most insane and hilarious way an old thread has popped back up…
Goof - send me your email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel - better than Cordell's? If so I'd love the recipe.
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