Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: Wicked Whisk Food Truck brings Haute Street Food to the Woodlands

Food trucks are one of the hottest trends in urban dining.  If you're in central Houston or Austin, you have dozens of options for fast, affordable street food that puts fast food chains to shame.  But if you're in the suburbs, your choices are far more limited.

Pioneering the food truck culture in the Woodlands is the Wicked Whisk food truck, a new truck from ninja chef Jay Stone.  Jay's truck is a big, black Mercedes van, decked out with a state-of-the-art mobile kitchen, plasma screen menu, music, and exterior lighting.


But as cool as the truck is, we're here for the food.  Our attention was immediately drawn to the Texas Melt, a hefty burger featuring hand-formed Angus beef, applewood-smoked bacon, a schmeer of peanut butter, and housemade jalapeño jam, all on a fluffy cheddar roll.


Biting into this substantial burger revealed a perfectly prepared medium-rare patty, rocking an aggressive char.  It was juicy without being runny, and comported itself with a bold, beefy swagger.  The crispy applewood-smoked bacon added a nice accent, and we were pleasantly surprised by the creamy peanut butter flavor, which melded beautifully.  The mild jalapeño jam was a wonderful finishing note, with plenty of flavor but only a smidgen of heat.  Even burger purists will enjoy this outstanding burger.

We really enjoyed our first visit to the Wicked Whisk, and are looking forward to returning.  Is it lunchtime yet?

Wicked Whisk Food Truck | 713-897-8272 | @wicked_food

Friday, April 6, 2012

Review: JerryBuilt Burgers

It wouldn't be unfair to say that a great burger is one of my favorite things. There's something essentially American about the hamburger - it's portable, filling, and available in every big city and tiny hamlet from coast to coast. Some burgers are inexpensive, some are very pricey. Many are uninspiring; a few are extraordinary. The search for extraordinary burgers was one of the original motivations for creating this blog, and it's an obsession that continues to this day.

A few weeks ago, we attended a media preview of the brand-spanking-new JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers location on Holcombe. It is the prototype store, and after chatting with the owners, I was thrilled to discover that a second location would follow shortly, this one being in the Woodlands.

When opening day arrived (no pre-opening events for this now seasoned team) we made a trek to the Woodlands Mall parking lot to JerryBuilt's new location. Unlike the standalone Holcombe location (in a converted bank building) the Woodlands store is located in a small strip center on the north side of the Mall's ring road. Parking is ample, and there's even shade; an important consideration around lunchtime in Texas.

The Woodlands store is a larger location, with plenty of seating. The interior has a similar design ethic as the gorgeous Holcomb location; clearly the owners care about proving a pleasant, family-friendly setting. Being a new restaurant in the Woodlands the place was packed; business types, teens out shopping, and plenty of families. The well-trained staff was handling the deluge of hungry diners with ease, we were impressed with the smoothness of the operation on opening day.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Remembering the San Jacinto Inn

One of my first great restaurant experiences was a trip to the legendary San Jacinto Inn.  Located in the shadow of the Battleship Texas, it was an all-you-can-eat extravaganza.  The building we visited was built in 1927, and sadly closed its doors in 1987.

This video fondly recalls the restaurant, the staff, and the food.  I'll never forget those amazing biscuits.