Eat This

Reminder: A Food Truck Doesn't Need a Kitschy Name or Paint Job to be Delicious

I'd walked past the same food truck for a few weeks but never had the nerve to approach it and order anything. It was one of those big, plain white United Caterer trucks with the blue slanted windows on the top, parked in the same spot at a construction site for lunch every day. (Doesn't matter where; they're all over.) There were always a lot of workers ordering and standing around waiting for their food. But the other day when there wasn't anyone else in line, I hopped over.

I asked the lady through the glass, "What'cha got?"

She pointed to a sign. I pointed back at the sign and, a few minutes later, was handed a hot burrito al pastor. The salsa verde in the icebox on the outside of the truck was almost gone but, after a good shake, I got just enough. I paid three dollars and had what was one of my best lunches in a while. Not too much, not too little, not a greasy lump, certainly affordable and seemingly homemade.

Maria Aguilar is one of the owners of United Caterers. I called her earlier to talk a bit about their food.

"Well, there are a lot of different food trucks out there now, and we like them all," Aguilar explained. "We dispatch our trucks to provide an economical lunch for workers. But, anyone can come and get lunch from us. We would love to have more customers."

And their recipes? What about cooks?

"We always have one driver and one cook," Aguilar explained. "The woman who made your burrito was Maribel. We have a standard menu, but allow everyone to tweak it or serve it how they like.

"We're always testing new items. Right now we're working on beef and chicken fajitas. We make everything. Even the salsa verde you had, we made with tomatillos, cilantro and jalapeños."

Moral: If you happen to come across a plain white food truck, don't be shy about getting in line.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.

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