(1 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
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Flip ‘n Patties
Houston Food Truck
Keeping with the same theme as the last post which featured a burger from Peru where my brother is living as a missionary, my most recent burger experience was motivated by my love of all things Philippines, where I lived for two years also as a missionary. When I heard that there was a Filipino Burger Truck driving around Houston, I had to try it. Some people may ask themselves “Do they even have burgers in the Philippines?”, the answer is YES! <historylesson>After the influx of GIs leading up to and after WWII, burgers became a common and delicious staple that has remained for decades. </historylesson>
Back to the point, Filipino burgers in Houston, gotta go. So after some convincing, my wife joined me and we headed to the local drinkery where Flip ‘n Patties was set up for the evening. Upon our arrival I noticed immediately the crowd of people speaking Tagalog gathered around the truck eating some pretty good looking food. I knew I had scored a jackpot. In true Philippine fashion, they have a karaoke machine built in to the truck. Sadly, no one was singing. I apporached the window and when greeted, I asked if anyone spoke Visayan (cebuano) which is the language I learned while living there. Yet again, no one outside of the few islands I lived on speaks it. Oh well, we all speak the Universal language of food.
I place my order for the Flip ‘n Patties burger which is served on a steamed bun and has cheese, bacon, and a fried portabello patty along with the beef patty. The menu also has several Filipino items such as siopao, lumpia, garlic rice, and halo-halo along with other dishes that are more Philippine inspired. I couldn’t resist so, along with the burger I ordered a sampling of the Chicken PuPu, the Mayo fries, the garlic rice, and lumpia…. My mouth is watering as I type this. We went inside, grabbed a table and some soft drinks, and anxiously waited. After about 10 minutes my name was called and the feast was handed through the small window.
The spread looked great, the smells were amazing, and I exclaimed “Ka-on ta!”. The burger on a steam bun concept seemed to me strange in concept but after taking a bite, it works. The steam bun texture makes the burger a very cohesive unit. It combined with the crunchy, earthy, meatiness of the portabello, the cheesy, meatiness of the patty, and the salty, chew of the bacon to make a very tasty burger. Would I say the flavors invoked memories of Island and coconut trees? Well, no, but so what. There were vegetables on this burger but I honestly didn’t notice. Now, to the mayo fries…. Mayonnaise? on Fries? these fries were thick cut and appeared to be cooked a little too long. BUT, once I tried them. They were perfect! Each larger than usual fry covered in their sweet house made mayo was like a mini meal unto itself. I loved them. Everything else was great too. The chicken PuPu ( I like to think it is pronounce fu-fu) was a unique twist on fried chicken bits. The lumpia was probably the most authentic thing I sampled. Unfortunately they ran out of Halo Halo before I was done, so I didn’t get to relive that sweet, icy treat.
I think it is pretty clear that i really like this food truck. This is Burgertyme, however, so let me say that the burger at Flip ‘n Patties is really good and unique. Please take my advice and try the other items. They are every bit as good and creative as the burger. I love what these guys are doing and I hope Philippine cuisine can make the crossover, because there is so much to offer. As they say in Cebu “Pwerting Lami-a!”
(1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
Food trucks are nothing new in Austin, Texas. Food truck culture has long been embraced and pioneered here. After recently having several successful Burger Tymes dining at food trucks that specialize in burgers, I was excited when I received a work assignment that would bring me back to this fun city. A quick search turned up Yumé Burger, a ‘Japanese Style’ burger truck. Not sure what that means, I went to the website and whoa! These have to be the best looking burgers I have ever seen. I mean, check them out here! I had to try one so we tracked them down parked outside of a local bar that evening. Austin food trucks seem a little more advanced than others I’ve been to with built-in ice chests, shelves for chips, multiple windows for ordering and picking up on both sides… The lack of congestion was hopefully a sign of tremendous efficiency
After seeing the menu online I walked up to the window with my mind made up. I couldn’t resist the Japajam burger; Japanese tomato jam, jalapeno jack cheese, fried egg, Japanese BBQ sauce, and crispy onion strings. I added some hand cut fries and bottled Mexican Coke to ensure maximum Burger Tyme. The weather was nice and this being Austin, there were a lot of people hanging out after work-outs or group runs or some other kind of fit activity. I was able to squeeze in at a table next to some guys talking about craft beers like it was fine art and wait for my name to be called. The wait was surprisingly short. I hadn’t sat down for two minutes and my burger was done, but my fries were going to be a few minutes. That’s fine, I can wait for hot fries. They came out shortly and included a side of Japanese BBQ sauce.
I unwrapped the burger package and, well, it didn’t look exactly like the picture on the website. That’s fine, as long as it was good. The first bite was good. Beefy patty, onions, egg, and BBQ sauce was a good combination. The patty was very dry and overcooked. I really could not taste the tomato jam as being any different that a regular tomato. In fact, texturally it was almost as if there was no tomato on the burger at all.The Japanese BBQ sauce on the burger and for the fries tasted very similar to Hoisin sauce. That’s not a bad thing per se, but the flavor was a bit overpowering after a few bites. The bun, again, was nice at first but quickly got soggy after a few bites. The fries were not great. They were limp and pretty greasy, probably cooked in oil that was not hot enough to get a good crisp.
Burger trucks to date have been a big hit on Burger Tyme. Yumé Burger seemed definitely had a unique twist on regular burger. Unfortunately the experience at fell short on execution. Perhaps expectations were a little too high given the amazing online photos of these burgers, or maybe it was an anomaly from what are usually excellent burgers. Either way, food trucks are fun, especially in Austin. So if you are set on eating at a food truck AND you want a burger, Yumé will do. However, if you are in Austin AND you want a burger, you might want to pass this up.
(2 votes, average: 7.50 out of 10)Register to vote.
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Perhaps it is the elusive nature of foodtrucks, or perhaps it is only my semi-recent awareness of great burgers, but somehow Curbside has just now popped up on my burger radar. After my recent visit to Baton Rouge and reviewing the high end burger offerings at Fat Cow, a friend recommended I try Curbside next time I was in town. This was same way I learned about what is currently one of my favorite burgers, and coincidentally also a burger truck (bus). Thanks to spring break schedules, I had a free week and would be back in town so my first goal was to try the Curb out.
On a particularly nice south Louisiana evening we decided to give it a try. Typical of food trucks, Curbside serves burgers at a different place every day and utilizes social media to keep the tech savvy crowd up to speed. There was a food truck “round up” going on that night where Curbside and several other trucks with differing cuisines were gathered. We made our way out and found the round up. Without a doubt, Curbside was the most popular. While other trucks had between 5-10 people lined up, Curbside easily had 30 people just waiting to place an order. This was a good sign and I was kicking myself for seemingly being the last person to know about this.
The line was moving surprisingly fast. The only thing really slowing it down was when they had to pass orders through the same window that they were taking them in. The menu was also surprisingly high end for burgers. This being only the second burger truck Burger Tyme, I was noticing a trend. Not having a fixed location apparently frees you to have gourmet, local ingredients like; fresh ground beef, house made pickles, praline (prah-leen for those who say it wrong) bacon, and their signature condiment – pork belly preserves. They explain it as pork belly cooked down with garlic, shallots, and some other things until it has a texture of marmalade (see photo below)…
Our turn to order came as I attempted to stop drooling. I ordered the K.G.B. burger which combined the praline bacon, pickles, cheddar cheese, and a fried egg (my weakness). “We’re out of eggs but we still have the bacon”, I was told… What a dilemma! Still thinking of candied meat I told her that was fine. My wife ordered the Brian burger which had the preserves on it. I was secretly very happy because I was going to have a bite of hers, although she did not know it yet. We rounded out the order with some fresh cut fries. We were given a number and the waiting began.As with all food truck dining, seating was at a premium, meaning there was none. Fortunately there was plenty of ground to sit on, so we grabbed a premium spot under an oak tree and watched as the line never seemed to get shorter. With impressive speed our number came closer and was finally called.
The first thing I noticed was the presence of an EGG! Either they were messing with me or they could see how sad I was and found one. Either way I was already happy. I was also impressed with the quality of the lettuce. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more vibrantly green and appetizing leaf, be it on a burger, salad, or anywhere! Visual inspections over I took a bite. WOW! This was a flavorful burger. While difficult to put in to words,the praline bacon added a tasty sweetness with an almost vanilla or coconut note. It was crunchier than regular bacon, almost to the point of being too hard, but very good. The patty had a weaker sear on it than I prefer but was seasoned well and added a nice beefy foundation to the overall flavor. I’m usually not a fan of cheddar on burgers merely because it doesn’t melt well but the rich nuttiness was a good match with everything else going on in the burger. I took a bite of my wife’s burger to try the preserves and it was as good as I was led to believe. When I think of preserves I think of sweet jam but this was savory and smoky. It was a nice condiment and I can see why they would put it on everything they sell. The fries were very good too, thin cut and cooked perfectly.
What is it about food trucks? Specifically burger trucks?! The food has been consistently better than most of their brick and mortar counterparts. Curbside was no exception. The scavenger hunt aspect of tracking down your meal combined with the payoff at the end of delicious burger is what will keep me coming back. While there were few elements that I think could use a little refinement, a lot more about Curbside leads me to say that this is without a doubt one of my new favorite burgers in Baton Rouge! I just wish I had known sooner!
(3 votes, average: 9.33 out of 10)Register to vote.
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“Bernie’s is legit”! That is the text I received from a friend about a year ago. This new burger place restaurant thing was happening. You could call it a food truck but its actually a food school bus. If only I was this excited as a kid to see an actual school bus. This is the story, supposedly Houston Rockets player, Shane Battier, had a personal chef. Shane leaves to play for Memphis, the chef stays and starts dishing out gourmet burgers from the back of a school bus…. And everyone was going crazy for it! Is it true? I hope so because I was getting excited too. So how does one track down a moving burger target? You’ve got to be connected dude! Bernie’s is all over social media. Locations and times to find the bus are announced daily on the bird noise website and the book of faces along with supplemental updates and promotions. The bus has also been getting good reviews from some respected friends of Burger Tyme, specifically Alison Cook’s Burger Friday.
A few nights after receiving that initial text, I decided to try it for myself. Now where to go? This particular Friday night, Bernie’s was going to be parked outside of Lizzards Pub, a laid back bar inside a house, inside of a neighborhood. (Disclaimer: Most of these photos are from a Burger Tyme lunch at Bernie’s parked in front of Inversion Coffee House). So I rounded up the Burger Tyme wife, invited a Burger Tyme buddy to come along, and we made our way on this mini-treasure hunt. When we arrived we saw it. There it was. A bus in the parking lot with people lined up placing orders and large brown paper bags being passed passed through the same tiny window. Keeping with the school bus theme, the changing menu is written in chalk on boards hung like shutters on the window. So we got in line, and waited for Burger Tyme to begin.
Home made ketchup, BBQ sauce, and pickles, “tipsy” caramelized onions, fresh ground black angus beef, and burger buns baked daily! Bernie’s definitely leans gourmet. A quick scan of the menu would tell you that every burger combination has been meticulously planned by someone who knows burgers and knows flavors. It did not take long for me to decide on what to order. The Homeroom had my name written all over it. Bacon, Texas cheddar, “tipsy” onions, chipotle aoili, aaaannnnd a fried egg (asked for over medium)! The sides are equally inspiring however I would opt for an order of fresh cut fries. The line slowly shortened in front of us but never seemed to get any shorter behind us. We placed our order through the tiny window, gave our name, and waited at a table on the pub’s porch to hear our name be called over the distorted, cop style loudspeaker.
I don’t know how they all fit, but the four guys I saw inside that bus were whipping out large paper bags full of burgers at an impressive rate… given the circumstance. Our name was called in about 10 minutes. I proceeded to the window and was handed a grocery bag size paper bag. I hurried back to the table, opened the bag, and started divvying up the orders. The burger was much bigger than I expected, like two hands minimum big. This was not the prettiest burger, but man, it looked juicy. Between the patty, the onions, and the fried egg I instinctively reached for a pile of napkins. The first bite was wonderful. Every texture and flavor seemed to complement each other and tricked my senses into singular experience. The patty was perfectly ground, salted, and cooked. The onions added an excellent sweetness to the salty bacon and nutty cheddar, while the spicy creaminess of the aoili and the buttery yolk of the egg kept all flavors in line. Before I knew it the burger was gone. It was that good. The fries were great as well. My single order seemed like two whole potatoes fresh cut, fried to a nice dark golden brown and sprinkled with sea salt They were a wonderful match to the homemade ketchup that had a strong note of worcestershire. So good.
If you can’t tell by now, I loved the bus. Bernie’s combines everything I love about gourmet burgers with everything I love about scavenger hunts with everything I loved about school…. well, maybe not the last one, but if the buses I rode served burgers like this, I would still be in school. I have yet to mention price. I have mentioned the “G” word but don’t let that scare you. Most burgers are around $8 and fries are a mere $2. You can get as fancy as you like. I’ve been to Bernie’s several times, at several locations, and tried several burgers. All were unique and enjoyable. This is gourmet burgers in a non-gourmet setting but Bernie’s arrangements with the places they park their bus makes me wonder why anyone would not have a school bus.