Food trucks get tons of attention, but is the food they're peddling any good? While evaluating creativity, curb appeal, value and taste to award Firestone tires, we're ranking Dallas' food trucks to sort out which trucks are worth chasing around town and which may be headed for a blow out.
Tina Nguyen was guarded when I started interviewing her about the ingredients she and her partner Gary Torres choose for Nammi, the sky-blue Vietnamese fusion food truck plastered with a cartoon logo. I was pushing her about the baguettes she stuffs with pork, beef and other items to create her delicious banh mi sandwiches, but she wouldn't cough up the bakery. All she would tell me was that she specified the recipe based on a Vietnamese style baguette that used a little rice flour in the mix.
Wherever the bread comes from, the resultant bahn mi is quite large, and should be for $7. (You could almost split one with a friend for lunch.) The bread is good. Crusty yet soft and pliable, the loaf absorbs condiments without getting soggy and integrates with the rest of the sandwich. The banh mi could use a touch more acid (the pickles could be brighter and more aggressively applied), but otherwise the flavors are good.
Meats include grilled pork, barbecue pork, chicken, tofu and beef, which can also be ordered in tacos and rice bowls that don't shine as brightly as the banh mi. If you go this route be sure to grab some of the hand-made condiments from the front of the truck. Spicy mayo, creamy cilantro and a bottle of store-bought sriracha are available for dousing your food.
While other trucks offer plastic bottles of Coca-Cola products and prepackaged potato chips, Nammi offers an eclectic mix of snacks and beverages. Tube-shaped cookies dipped in frosting, sweet potato-flavored chips and other Asian-inspired snacks join bags of Miss Vicky's chips and there are fun sodas based on fruits you'd have to go to H-Mart to find. It's those last few touches that pushes Nammi to the lead of the pack in Dallas' food truck scene.