Food trucks get tons of attention, but the simple question remains: 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 one's are worth chasing around town and which ones may be headed for a blow out.
My first encounter with the Easy Slider food truck came after a few too many pickle backs at the Double Wide. The bartenders ushered last call, took final drink orders and forced their patrons out the door while the whiskey was still wet on their lips. Some took home shady, last minute lovers. Others walked down the street in search of Serious Pizza. The smart and hungry drunks stayed put: A truck full of juicy sliders was right in front of them.
Miley Holmes and Caroline Perini knew running a food truck would be a lot of work, but maybe not this much. The duo left gigs at the House of Blues -- trading evening friendly schedules in operations and logistics for a workday that starts at 9 a.m. with prep, and concludes as late as 3 a.m. after slinging sliders to a drunken late-night crowd.
Sliders don't typically invoke great culinary acumen. They're terrible at most brick-and-mortar restaurants, pairing dry, desiccated meat with stale rolls and flat condiments. Holmes and Perini, however, have not only figured out how to create the perfect bite, they've also made it mobile.
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It starts with 80 percent lean, Angus beef they purchase from Friedman Meats. The meat is hand-formed into perfectly irregular patties every day and then grilled to order. The bread is not a small version of a lame hamburger bun, but a dinner roll they buy from Whole Foods by the thousands. And then a tapestry of toppings they offer rounds out a menu of sliders that's innovative and delicious.
The classic cheese is just what you'd expect -- boring but good, with Tillamook cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onions. The Baby Bella is a little sleepy, too, with tomato and mozzarella on top of a dense and meaty mushroom. From there the menu gets more inventive.
The Sweet Lowdown juxtaposes tangy goat cheese with sweet strawberry jam. The Black and Blue pairs bacon with a funky blue cheese slaw. The French Revolution was added to the menu about a month ago and pairs prosciutto with grilled onions, cheese and Dijon mustard. It's by far the best slider. And if you want to get really weird the Nutty Pig piles bacon and peanut butter on a tiny slider bun.
Two sliders and a drink make for a small but filling meal, and at $3.50 a piece, they're pretty affordable considering the quality of the ingredients in play. Just resist the urge to order three, and grab a Twix bar instead. Wrapped in wax paper, the treat pairs dark chocolate and shortbread with caramel that pulls in big soft strings as you bite. The tiny dessert is a must order and rounds out a Food Truck that deserves all four of our Firestone Tires.