One of the original members of Houston’s new food truck fleet, the Eatsie Boys first made a blip on my radar after they won the Saint Arnold “One Pot” Challenge last year, and when they started parking next to the newly renovated Agora coffeehouse, I was ecstatic. Agora had always sold little snacks and desserts like baklava, but never full meals. You could go across the street to Brasil or something, but with this truck in the parking lot, there’s really no reason to leave the coffeehouse at all.
The Eatsie Boys offer an array of sandwiches with the likes of slow cooked pork and chicken poblano sausage, but their take on the Vietnamese banh mi is what keeps me coming back. It’s Da Bomb, both literally and figuratively. Savory marinated chicken (or tofu), the de rigueur cilantro, cucumber, carrots, and jalapeños, and a creamy avocado green sauce drizzled on top combine to make a truly addictive sandwich. I usually think altering a chef’s handiwork is like adding notes to a Mozart sonata, but I don’t think anyone would begrudge me a dash of Sriracha.
Another must try are the Pork Snuggies. Soft, steamed Chinese style buns are stuffed with tender pork, cucumber, green onions, and hoisin sauce, and I find them exquisite when punched up with a shot of Sriracha. The snuggies make a great little appetizer before your sandwich comes out, especially if you’re sitting with a companion (they come in pairs). I wish I could take a nap on these glorious meat pillows.
The summer of 2011 was a summer that will go down in infamy. When the heat became too unbearable, the Eatsie Boys switched over to selling ice cream, gelato, and sorbet ranging from traditional to exotic. Along with vanilla and chocolate, the sweet corn ice cream is the stuff of legend, and the black pepper flavor really pushes the bounds of what ice cream can be. And when it became too blisteringly hot even for the intergalactose dairy products, the likes of their yuzu lemon sorbet hit the spot. You might raise an eyebrow at some of these flavors, but in the capable hands of Chef Matt Marcus, once you try it you’ll be as eager as the rest of us to see this stuff sold commercially. Blue Bell won’t be enough for you anymore, it will leave you hanging, leave you with… no, I can’t make that joke.
But when those first cool gusts of autumn blew through town, I had an almost Pavlovian response, salivating over the prospect of the Eatsie Boys’ menu returning to savory fare during what Texas calls winter. When I caught up with them at Agora, a song popped in my head, ♪ The boys are back in town ♫ … but then I remembered they had never really left, so I thought, ♪ Don’t call it a comeback, I been here for years ♫ … But neither Thin Lizzy nor LL Cool J really captures the aesthetic of this Beastie Boys inspired truck.
The Eatsie Boys are firing on all cylinders, and with their 8th Wonder Brewery in the works, there’s no sleep til Brooklyn.
Foot on the pedal, never ever false metal
Engine running hotter than a boiling kettle
Their job ain’t a job, it’s a damn good time
Pretty to gritty, they’re chopping their thyme
On location, touring ’round Liberty Station
Eatsie Boys always on vacation…
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