~Post by Julie W.
Our extensive bookseller experience has proven that there’s really only one way to prepare for a visiting cookbook author, and that’s to EAT. So with John T. Edge coming to the store next Wednesday, June 27, 7p to talk about The Truck Food Cookbook, we took advantage of this quite perfect opportunity to get out there on a hot Texas afternoon and do some eatin’.
The Truck Food Cookbook features recipes from food trucks across the country – Minneaoplis, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Durham, Madison, Portland; the list is long, and of course it would not be complete without our own veritable food truck mecca, Austin.
The book includes some of Austin’s heavy hitters – Torchy’s, East Side King – and also some trucks with which we were less familiar. Yesterday afternoon, we set out to get to know The Texas Cuban on South Lamar.
One of the fine qualities of Edge’s cookbook is its inclusion not only of recipes (make the East Side King brussel sprouts at home!) but also stories of the people who own and operate the food truck. We knew going in that Texas Cuban is owned by musicians, and that one of the owners, Hector Ward, drew from his Cuban heritage in making the Texan/Cuban fare the truck sells. What we learned in person from Hector’s new partner is that the Cuban recipes all come from Hector’s grandmother, that it’s all about their signature Cuban Garlic Bread, and that their hope is to open a brick and mortar restaurant somewhere in the neighborhood to not only expand their menu (grandma had a lot of recipes), but to also have a ready venue to play music with their friends. We also learned that they do a little something called Lone Star Saturday to say thank you to their customers.
Chris ordered the truck’s signature Texas Cuban, grilled pork tenderloin with Provolone, Swiss and pickles on that tasty Cuban Garlic Bread. Grace went for the TXCU Clucker, thinly sliced chicken with the same cheeses, again on that special bread. I (the vegetarian) went with the South Austin Veggie Soul sandwich with a cup of Frijoles Negros.
They warned us the wait would be long (“We are not fast food, please be patient,” their menu states), and it did take a few minutes for our sandwiches to make their way out of the truck, but when they did they were accompanied by these:
Those are seriously tasty, seriously BIG fried plantains. We tried them with the assortment of hot sauces in the center of the table. Those suckers were a meal in themselves.
The folks at The Texas Cuban were good, friendly people, who made three very fine sandwiches for us yesterday afternoon, and we have John T. Edge to thank for sending us their way. The recipes in The Truck Food Cookbook will help you make the traditional Cubano sandwich as well as the “Mojo Sauce” that goes along with it. We recommend getting out there and trying the real thing first, then hitting the stove top with Edge’s cookbook.
Next up: East Side Kings!