Consider a Food Truck for Your Holiday Party Catering

As soon as Halloween’s over, the mad dash toward the holiday season begins, complete with resplendent decorations, oodles of tasty treats, and a succession of festive events.

However, somewhere in the midst of all this holly jolly good cheer comes the realization that magically re-creating the winter wonderland of the North Pole requires a heck of a lot more planning than you anticipated — without any extra elf help.

Fortunately, as Santa’s special helpers, we have got you covered with our gourmet catering menu and ultra-fresh food. You might think that hiring a food truck for your holiday party catering is an unconventional choice, but when you stop to consider the many benefits that come with this mobile eatery, you’ll wonder how your party ever survived without us. Consider the following points when you’re thinking about catering your holiday party.

Fresh, Made-to-Order Food

How many holiday parties have you been to where the food was the part everyone was raving about? More often than not, sad, limp celery stalks sit next to a tub of warm dip while a Crock-Pot bubbles in the background collecting dust. Guests might take a few bites of food to be polite, but it’s clear that the food at the holiday gathering was more of an afterthought than the main attraction.

Imagine a holiday party that’s brought up several times a year because people are reminiscing about the great food they ate.

“Do you remember that homemade chimichurri sauce on the lamb? Soooo tasty!”

“I dream about that brioche bun.”

“I would take that crispy chicken sandwich over boring ham dinner any day!”

Parties catered by us will make your holiday gathering an event that guests will remember throughout the year because of our fresh flavors, made-to-order items, and unique taste combinations. You want guests talking about your holiday gathering all year long for the right reasons, not because Sandy from accounting got sick from lukewarm shrimp at the buffet table.

Easy Service

Between decorating, organizing and coordinating a holiday party, you also need to find space for a service staff to set up catering stations to serve your guests. Just when you thought your conference room was going to be used for holiday karaoke, you need to reserve that space for food service. Or do you? Since we are a mobile eating establishment, we are able to provide everything you need without taking up valuable space with service staff and equipment.

We can easily handle all the party’s food needs within the truck — and without encroaching on your party’s space. You get freshly made food created on site and served quickly and efficiently from our mobile eatery.

Memorable Moments

Time is perhaps the most precious gift of all during the holidays — it seems as if we never have enough of it to go around. However, by hiring Fork and Truck to holiday party catering, you’re freeing up time to spend mingling with co-workers and guests, rather than fussing over refilling chip bowls and running food from the oven.  You and your guest should enjoy your holiday party.  We’ll make sure you enjoy the food!

Hollywood to Houston: The Origin of Fried Green Tomatoes

Before the movie Fried Green Tomatoes hit the theaters in 1992, most Americans had never heard of, much less tasted, an actual fried green tomato. The success of the movie brought fame for the actors involved, including an Oscar nomination for Jessica Tandy.

It also threw a huge spotlight on the frying of green tomatoes. Why would anyone want to fry slices of an unripe vegetable? How long have people been eating tomatoes this way?

The First Fried Green Tomatoes

If you were to take a poll among chefs and cooks around the country, most would probably tell you that fried green tomatoes are a traditional Southern dish common to Southern tables since before the American Revolution. So, it would surprise most people to find that before the 1970s, you could rarely find fried green tomatoes offered on any restaurant menus or mentioned in recipe sections of newspapers and magazines.

According to food historian Robert F. Moss, fried green tomatoes were not originally a Southern dish. In his article “The Fried Green Tomato Swindle,” Moss relates that fried green tomatoes came to the Americas with Jewish immigrants to the Northeast and Midwest.

The 1919 publication of the International Jewish Cookbook offered fried green tomatoes as a breakfast dish. Before this publication, recipes for fried green tomatoes appeared in locally published favorite recipe collections from 1873 and 1877 put out by Dayton, Ohio’s First Presbyterian Church.

The one Southern reference Moss could find in his extensive research was a recipe mentioned in a 1944 Alabama newspaper. The recipe appeared in an article mocking the wartime dietary recommendations of the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA.)

Get the Grease Hot

Ask any person who is truly “Southern born and bred,” and they’ll tell you that when it comes to food in the South, frying is king. Hunters and fishermen are often sent off on their hunter-gatherer outings with the assurance that those left at home will “get the grease hot.”

In the local vernacular, this means that whatever the stalwart hunter/fisherman brings back for the family table will get fried up and served for the evening meal. That’s the traditional Southern way of doing things.

Fried green tomatoes, unfortunately, are not.

From a popularity standpoint, fried green tomatoes as a common dish served in a wartime household or low-end eatery began to decline in popularity by the mid-20th century. By the 1970s, they were more likely to appear in a Midwest menu at a local mom-and-pop eatery.

In the 1980s, fried green tomatoes were rarely prepared by anyone who wasn’t also a backyard gardener. With the decline of home gardens in the second half of the 20th century, the likelihood of fried green tomatoes appearing on the supper menu declined.

Enter Jessica Tandy’s portrayal of Ninny Threadgoode in 1992, and fried green tomatoes were back on the menu.

Fried Green Tomatoes in the 21st Century

Multiple recipe variations abound for the fried green tomatoes of the modern century. Whether you’re coating yours with a flower and breadcrumb mixture, seasoned to taste, or you’re battering them in a cornmeal and egg dip, this yummy dish is now firmly engrained in American culture as a Southern culinary delight.

Many espouse the importance of an appropriate dipping sauce to complete the dish. That is a personal preference that may or may not sit on the side for most generational Southerners. But personalization and experimenting with new variations is always encouraged.

If you’re looking for something truly unique, and you find yourself in the Houston, TX, area, try the Fried Green Tomato BLT at Houston’s Fork & Truck.

Need the services of a truly original, eclectic food truck or local catering? Fork & Truck has the grease hot and is ready to get a-cookin.’

Why Do Food Trucks Make the Best Sandwiches?

Imagine you’re at your city’s food truck court or gathering and you have dozens of options to choose from. If you’re looking for Korean, sweets, BBQ, tacos, Italian, Portuguese or a myriad of other cuisines, chances are you’ll find it in that location. You hone in on your target, let’s say Fork and Truck’s diverse offerings, and decide that a sandwich is the best way to satisfy your hunger.

You give your order to the window, where they pass along your request to the staff inside the truck, a few feet behind them. You step to the delivery window and wait patiently, mouth watering, for your name to be called. The same person who made your sandwich hands it to you, a personal touch in our often impersonal society. Quickly you grab some napkins and head to a nearby table to tuck into your meal. You greedily take your first delicious bite and wonder, “Damn, why do food trucks make the best sandwiches?” Want to know why food truck sammies are king? Here’s why:

Different Flavors, Familiar Concept

Food trucks have the ability to experiment with different flavor profiles and ingredients on a more regular basis that brick-and-mortar restaurants. A restaurant may not be able to sell its core customer base on a new ingredient, such as kimchi, if it varies wildly from the main menu. However, food trucks can present a wide variety of cuisines and flavors, especially when done through the vehicle of a sandwich. For people who are unsure about trying new foods, pairing the new ingredient in a familiar way, such as a sandwich, is often a home run. For example, Fork and Truck’s sandwich menu includes a duck slider sandwich, which is a protein that may surprise some customers. However, when it’s paired with a familiar concept such as a slider roll, someone who’s never tried duck might be willing to take a chance on something new.

Food trucks can also play with old recipes and present then in new and eye-opening ways. Fork and Truck’s fried green tomato BLT is a variation on the classic American diner sandwich. Balsamic bacon and a fried green tomato makes customers rethink a traditional BLT’s flavors while still providing the same tang, crunch and creaminess that makes the sandwich an icon.

Sandwiches With a Personal Touch

Food truck owners are passionate about the products they produce. The smaller menus reflect the smaller space that the trucks have to utilize for line prep, so every item has been carefully and lovingly chosen by the owner. Also, when you order and receive your sandwich from a food truck, you are seeing the process of creating your meal from start to finish. All of this translates into a very personal experience when ordering from a food truck. When your sandwich is handed down to you, you can be sure that hours of thoughtful dialogue and experimentation went into creating just the right ratio of ingredients to make every bite as satisfying as the last.

Being Outside Means You’re Not in the Office!

The environment where you eat your meal also contributes to the overall feeling you get from the food. Sure, a salad at your desk is fine in a pinch. But, if you can dive into Fork and Truck’s eggplant Parmesan sandwich with homemade marinara under a shady tree, this relaxed environment takes your already outstanding sammie to the next level.

There’s a reason why food truck sandwiches are the bomb: Their diverse menus, personal service and relaxed atmosphere combine to make the perfect bite on your perfect sandwich.

We may be on your side of town soon and you can try one of the best sandwiches you’ve ever had.  Find us in Houston!

Hurricane Harvey Relief: Challenge Accepted!

It was on day 4 of Hurricane Harvey that I realized my home was going to make it through without flooding.  Despite my relief, I felt terrible about what was happening in my city so I reached out on Facebook to find other chefs who could plug me in to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.  I didn’t have a boat so the only possible thing to do was cook. On Tuesday, I dropped off 40 lbs of frozen chicken to Chef Richard Knight who was cooking at Les Begat, but he had enough chefs in the kitchen. Chef Rogers William Closson III contacted me about helping with a huge prep effort over at Grand Prize bar so off I went. When I arrived at Grand Prize around noon, I found Chef Closson and his co-worker Rusty in a postage stamp-sized kitchen with 1,000 lbs of donated beef. What started out as chili soon became a deconstructed shepherd’s pie as we had to be out of the kitchen by 10:00 p.m.  At 9:55, we loaded the last of the food into a delivery vehicle and I felt a great sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction in being able to assist in the effort.

Chef Tony contacted me about cooking the next morning early (7:30 a.m.) at the only available kitchen, Saint Danes on Elgin.  The challenge was to prepare a meal for 300 people in a tiny kitchen meant to prepare bar food within 2.5 hours at which time the bar staff would arrive to open the kitchen for business.  Challenge accepted!

Wednesday morning, I met up with Chef Tony and Chaise Dykes at Saint Danes and went in to check out the facilities.  The kitchen was only big enough for 2 people at a time and the tiny stove had 4 burners, but we fired it up and started water boiling for pasta Bolognese.  Have you ever tried to cook in someone else’s kitchen and you don’t know where anything is?  Well, it was like that—we had to do a little McGyvering to make it work.  Luckily, we found a large chinois to strain the pasta water and utilized large spatulas to move the ground meat around in large pots so it would brown but we pulled it off!

We loaded up 7 large aluminum pans with penne pasta and meat sauce, covered them in foil and drove it over to Reef, which was the designated drop-off for food to be picked up and delivered to shelters and first responders.  Once we had unloaded not only the pasta but the 200 lbs of frozen fish that Cat Nguyen had found and boxes of vegetables that other chefs had collected from their sources to help feed rescuers and rescuees affected by Harvey that I took a moment to let what was going down wash over me and I felt what I can only describe as a sense of community flooded through me.  I am very thankful to have been a part of a huge effort—it was the most humbling and gratifying experience of my life.

Snack Trends Throughout the Decades

Fork & Truck takes a look at some of the most popular snack food trends from previous decades.

There’s no doubt about it– Americans love their snack foods. In 2014, we spent over $300 billion on snack foods alone. From ice cream, to potato chips, to cupcakes, to elote fritters, we’re a nation of enthusiastic eaters. Snack food trends evolve and grow throughout the years as our tastes change and we are exposed to new flavors. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular snack food trends from previous decades.

1900s

The St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 was a powerhouse of snack food exhibition, introducing crowds to now legendary soft drink Dr. Pepper, cotton candy, hot dogs and waffle cones for ice cream. For the first time, these foods were introduced to visiting fairgoers, and the landscape of American snack foods was forever changed.

1920s

Although alcohol was still prohibited, Americans indulged in candy and chocolate bars for their sweet snacks. Baby Ruth (named for President Grover Cleveland’s daughter), Mounds, Mike and Ike, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Heath Bars and Butterfingers were all the rage during the roaring 20s.

1940s

The second World War created several snack icons out of wartime necessity. Classic sponge cake snack Twinkies originally had a banana-filled center in the 1930s. However,  a shortage of bananas during the war led to the vanilla-filled center that we still enjoy today. Even the classic chocolate M & M’s have a wartime origin; their hard candy shell was created to send chocolate snacks overseas to soldiers without melting.

1950s

After the war is when fast food exploded in our nation, propelled by the new interstate highway system and Americans’ love of automobiles. French fries and hamburgers were not new snack inventions, but suddenly became all the rage as franchises such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Jack-in-the-Box gained popularity and made these foods accessible to more hungry Americans.

1960s and 1970s

The decades of space exploration, political unrest, and working moms led snacks to take on bold new risks while also comforting consumers with quick snack solutions. Pringles chips in their new stay-fresh tube were a runaway success, as were individual snack puddings– perfect for lunches packed with juice boxes and Fluffernutter sandwiches.

1980s

The American snacker became increasingly concerned with their waistline during the 1980s, so many companies came out with “diet” or “light” versions of their traditional snacks. Crystal Light, Diet Coke and Lean Cuisine meals all courted the diet trend of the 80s. On the other the end of spectrum, this was also deemed the “decade of excess,” so snackers were treated to wild creations such as cool ranch Doritos, Fruit Roll-ups, and movie themed products like Ecto-Cooler juice boxes.

1990s

Everything became more “extreme” in the 1990s, from 3-D Doritos to purple and green ketchup, to soft drinks with orbiting tapioca parts. This decade pushed snackers’ taste buds to the limit!

2000s to Today

Fusion foods, a mixing of different cultures such as Mexican/Japanese or Italian/Jewish hit American taste buds in the 2000s. This was combined with a major shift in how we snack due to the proliferation of food trucks. In Houston, food trucks started to gain steam in 2014 when the city allowed food trucks to park together into a mobile food court setting.

Put this all together, and you have food trucks like Fork and Truck who play with different cuisines, flavors and snack ideas on their menu. Can you imagine a hybrid French-Creole-Chinese snack? Fork and Truck did with their Foie Gras Boudin Eggrolls, mixing French delicacy foie gras with pork and rice, wrapped like an egg roll and dipped in Creole mustard dipping sauce. A perfect example of a 2000s fusion snack from the food truck trend.

Even though our country’s tastes have changed over the past 100 years, one thing is for sure — America’s appetite for snacks is insatiable!

The Most Decadent Food Truck Meals In Existence

The past decade has certainly seen no shortage of incredibly intriguing and completely unmissable food trucks pop up throughout the country. From Mexican-inspired chili dogs to triple-fried Mars bars, you can find whatever flavor your heart desires on a truck these days. So, what are some of the most indulgent meals you can find on four wheels? Here are our top picks:

Fork & Truck – Houston

Fork & Truck’s menu bridges the gap between traditional classics and modern fare. Martin Lowe, founder of Fork & Truck, is the mastermind behind the creative, diverse menu, which is influenced by Chef Martin’s varied past as a line cook for some of Houston’s most unimaginative kitchens. Test out the totally mouthwatering Chicken Beignets, which lend a certain Cajun flair to classic chicken and waffles grub.

Kogi BBQ – Los Angeles

Roy Choi’s Kogi rules the streets of L.A. with its mashing of Korean and Mexican ingredients – try the kimchi quesadilla if you’re feeling adventurous. There are vegetarian options, caramelized Korean BBQ menu items and cilantro-inspired salsa toppings galore. Arriving on the scene in 2008, Kogi was one of the first to make a splash on the food truck scene, and it is one not to be missed.

Grilled Cheeserie – Nashville

A list of decadent meals surely has to include this ageless comfort-food staple – grilled cheese. Since 2010, The Grilled Cheeserie has been a Nashville legend, where it’s been serving happy customers gourmet grilled masterpieces with gooey cheeses and seasonal flavors. Created by Joseph Bogan and Crystal De Lune-Bogan (a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef), the Grilled Cheeserie’s food is perfect for a night at the drive-in or a picnic in the park.

The Cow & The Curd Philadelphia

Battered cheese curds? Yes, please! The Cow & The Curd gained their mass following by combining the Philadelphia cheesesteak with the relatively foreign cheese curd. These little gems are made through separation from the liquid during the cheese-making process, so they start out 100-percent natural and unprocessed – but they are delightfully battered and fried when ordered from The Cow & The Curd!

The Lobos Truck – Los Angeles

Dive into some seriously indulgent calories at The Lobos Truck. If you’re not afraid to tackle something incredulous, go for the OG Wachos, nacho-style waffle-cut fries. You’ll find yourself with a pleasing mess of guacamole, bacon, scallions and blue cheese piled on top with a number of other sauces. This feel-good food is the kind of hearty American meal that fills you up for days.

Mac Mart – Philadelphia

Drexel University’s campus got a new treat in 2013 when Marti Lieberman decided to tackle the street truck version of the Mac ‘n Cheese – everyone’s favorite comfort food. First, she perfected her trademark cheese sauce and then added the most delicious, tender macaroni in existence. Smoky, cheesy and golden on top – what more could you ask for?

Coolhaus – NYC, Los Angeles, Dallas

What’s better than a melding of traditional ice cream truck offerings and decadent five-star desserts? Coolhaus dishes out on-the-go ice cream treats that are in high demand at each of its three locations throughout the country. Think chewy cookies, and classic and intuitive flavors combined with the creamiest ice cream you could wish for from a truck. Even the wrappers are edible. So, if you’re not already full from chowing down on one of the savory options above, check out Coolhaus for a quick dessert on the run.

Gourmet Food From a Truck in Houston

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States and is second only to San Diego in food trucks per capita. Houston’s diverse residents love their food trucks, and the city, starting in 2014, began making the life for food truck operators easier. They lifted bans on food trucks downtown and allow the establishment of “food truck parks,” where multiple food vendors park and sell their foods.

Food trucks are not new and have a history dating back to the early 1900s, when street food was often available from push carts in immigrant communities as a way to get cheap food. Today, food trucks rival gourmet restaurants and offer foodies an almost inexhaustible number of alternatives in food styles and types. Folks who enjoy food truck fare are drawn to food trucks by a sense of adventure, the feeling of food authenticity and the mystery involved in trying dishes with ingredients you never had before.

Joining the ranks of top Houston food trucks is Fork & Truck, maker of international sandwiches under its owner and operator Chef Martin.

Chef Martin has years of experience in the restaurant industry where he was a line cook. He remembers his career as one of being in an interminable number of uninspired kitchens. Finally, Chef Martin reached his limit and worked to open Fork & Truck, a food truck that shows off his extraordinary culinary talents and excellent training.

Houston Food Trucks Are Big Business

According to a study by researchers in management and organizational behavior at Rice University, despite truck owners being highly competitive when it comes to menus and preparation styles, they are very cooperative in meeting the “central tendencies” of food truck operations, such as:

  • Tasty food
  • Good ingredients
  • Best practices for food truck operations
  • Legal matters
  • Location

Fork & Truck joins this community with an emphasis on fresh ingredients served in imaginative recipes.

Menu Highlights for Fork & Truck

Diversity is an undeniable aspect of Houston’s population. Chef Martin celebrates that diversity with a menu that is as varied as the city’s residents. In addition to his own creations, Chef Martin has partnered with Darling French Confections so that your meal ends on a sweet note. Following are some of the offerings from Food & Truck exceptional menu.

Sandwiches

Chimichurri Lamb

Freshly grilled lamb and a classic chimichurri sauce are a match made in heaven on this unique sandwich where South America meets the Mediterranean.

  • Grilled marinated lamb
  • Chimichurri mayo
  • Greek salad
  • Served on pita bread

Cuban Sandwich

The classic medianoche.

  • Seasoned pork tenderloin
  • Ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • Pickles
  • Banana peppers
  • Mustard
  • Served on a French roll

Fried Green Tomato BLT

South your mouth with this update on a childhood favorite. It won’t disappoint!

  • Balsamic bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Fried green tomato
  • Mayo
  • Served on Texas toast

Signature not Sandwiches

Chicken Beignets

A Cajun-inspired spin on chicken and waffles.

  • Brined & fried chicken strips
  • Encased in beignet dough
  • Served with honey maple bourbon dipping sauce

Foie Gras Boudin Eggrolls

Boudin (pork and rice, using fois gras for a gourmet twist) and it is wrapped in a pastry wrapper for extra crunchiness.

  • Pork
  • Rice
  • Foie gras
  • Encased in a pastry wrapper
  • Served with Creole mustard dipping sauce

Chef Martin is active on social media and updates his truck whereabouts daily. Find Fork & Truck on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. For an unmatched culinary experience, give Fork & Truck a try. Once you do, think of Fork & Truck for catering your next business or pleasure event. Call Chef Martin at 346-316-0129 for further information.

Fork and Truck Featured Sandwich: Fried Green Tomato BLT

Think you can’t get a creative, top-notch culinary experience in a hurry? Think again. The food truck scene in Houston is booming, and you’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to grabbing a bite on the go. For a hearty sandwich that goes way beyond a brown bag ham-and-cheese, look no further than Fork and Truck.
Fork and Truck is the outlet of culinary creativity that founder Chef Martin was never able to find in his work as a line cook at a series of adequate — but dull — brick-and-mortar restaurants. To let his real colors shine through, Chef Martin opened up his own shop on wheels.
As for the creative menu, Chef Martin points out the Houston is an incredibly diverse city with a wide range of flavor traditions in its many cultures. As of 2015, over a quarter of the population of Harris County were immigrants, and they bring with them recipes and ingredients to spice up Houston’s food scene.
And Chef Martin loves it all. His sandwiches draw from global favorites and combine ingredients in new ways. There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to his menu, so it’s best to take a look at the choices on sandwich at a time.

Southern Fried Hospitality

Despite the rich tapestry of cultures in the city, a major part of Houston’s heritage lies in its classically Southern roots. Think glasses of cold sweet tea on shady verandas or Sunday picnic baskets packed with fried chicken. Chef Martin is more than happy to mine this rich food tradition for his Fried Green Tomato BLT. “Every great idea is born from someone else’s great idea. We got the idea for the Fried Green BLT from watching a movie,” he says.

If it’s been a while since you’ve watched the 1991 film “Fried Green Tomatoes,” you might have only a fuzzy recollection of the story of strong Southern women who ran a small diner during the Great Depression. But it’s hard to forget the delicious dish in the title. Fried green tomatoes are a Southern specialty, and seeing them on the screen inspired Chef Martin to riff off of a classic BLT for his truck. “T.S. Eliot once said: ‘good writers borrow, great writers steal.’ I think that applies to the culinary world as well,” he explains.

The Sandwich That Puts the South in Your Mouth

It’s hard to beat an ordinary BLT when a vine-ripened garden tomato is involved, but the Fried Green Tomato BLT is a whole new animal. Every perfectly fresh ingredient is elevated to add a level of sophistication to the sandwich. The green tomatoes are seasoned and fried to perfection, and they’re accompanied by crisp lettuce and balsamic bacon. It turns out it’s possible to improve on bacon, and Chef Martin has found a way by adding the acidic richness of balsamic vinegar.
The three ingredients are assembled on thick, soft Texas toast, a Houston kick to the Southern goodness of this sandwich. Add a swipe of mayonnaise for the finishing touch, and you’ve got an unbeatable twist on an American classic.
For more gourmet sandwiches on the go, contact Fork and Truck about their current locations or to have them cater your next event.

5 Reasons Food Trucks Are Better Than Restaurants

A quick Google search returns dozens of restaurants in your local community, if not more. Choosing between these can sometimes take longer than the actual meal, but as it turns out, there are a variety of options you likely didn’t see. If you’ve ever walked by a food truck, for instance, you’ve witnessed the current revolution in the food industry. And in many ways, food trucks are actually better than restaurants.

1. Faster Service

When you walk into a brick-and-mortar restaurant, there’s often a wait to even be seated. Once you’re at the booth, you have to wait for a waiter to take your order. Then comes the waiting related to cook time. Once you have your food and finish it, you’re not even free to leave until someone shows up to take your money.

This isn’t an issue with food trucks. You hand over your money as soon as you order, and these mobile culinary concepts are streamlined to get your food to you as quickly as possible. The owner of a food truck doesn’t want you to have to wait any more than you do.

2. Cleaner and Safer Food

If you saw a restaurant with a health inspection rating of “A” and another with a “C,” you’d likely opt for the eatery that outperformed the other. If that’s the case, food trucks are the choice for you.

The Institute for Justice did a study on food trucks and restaurants to see which were cleaner and safer. They found that restaurants receive more safety and health violations than food trucks, on average. That’s right: Street food is often cleaner than fine dining.

3. Lower Prices

Even if you ignore the massive property taxes brick-and-mortar restaurants have to pay, they still are far more expensive to run than a food truck. Hiring a kitchen full of employees, maintaining front-of-house staff and paying the utilities to keep a building running can get expensive.

Why does this matter to you? Because it’s not the restaurant that’s paying these bills — it’s you. Higher overhead costs mean they have to charge more for food. You’ve likely noticed great prices at food trucks, and that’s because they’re less expensive to operate. Want a low-cost and tasty meal? A food truck has you covered.

4. Avoid Restaurant Hassles

While food trucks provide faster service than restaurants, there are also several other hassles you avoid by getting your meal from a street corner. Ever been in an eatery where children were running amok? What about other guests speaking far too loudly? Has your server ever forgotten to refill your drink?

The truth of the matter is that you avoid all of these issues — and many more — by eating at food trucks. You get in, place your order, maybe toss around some friendly banter with the owner and others waiting for their food, get your food and leave. It’s just that simple.

5. Variety of Foods

Someone who has never eaten from a food truck might think their only options are hamburgers and hot dogs. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most food trucks are nothing like the fast-food eateries we frequent far too often. In fact, many of them are downright exotic.

In Houston, for instance, Fork and Truck offers a menu that includes chimichurri lamb, Cuban sandwiches, chicken beignets and even duck banh mi. In New York, the Luke’s Lobster truck offers crab rolls, New England clam chowder and lobster bisque. The lesson here? Don’t judge a truck by its corner.

If you’ve never eaten at a food truck before, you’re doing yourself a disservice. The atmosphere, selection, health ratings and food all put brick-and-mortar establishments to shame. Next time you see a food truck, stop on by. It might be the best meal you’ll have all week.

From Bánh Mì to Cubanos: A History of Classic Sandwiches

Where do we even get the idea, and name, for a sandwich? The idea of eating meat piled between two slices of bread is credited to a man named John Montagu, otherwise known as the Earl of Sandwich. The story goes that in the 1700s, Montagu, who was a minister of state in London, was so wrapped up in a gambling session that he refused to leave the table and had his dinner beef piled between two slices of thick bread for ease of eating while at the gaming table. The birth of the term “sandwich” is credited to Montagu’s gambling binge, where the popularity of this portable, handheld meal caught on.

The first recipe for a sandwich appeared in an American cookbook in 1816 and revealed the dish was no longer limited to just a meat filling like Montagu’s creation. Fruit, cheeses, and vegetables were now included in the items that could be put between two slices of bread. The sandwich would gain ground over the next 100 years all over the world much in the same way Montagu’s first experience was created — people wanting a handheld, portable way to eat a variety of tastes and textures in one bite.

A Vietnamese bánh mì sandwich encapsulates the history of Vietnam. Meaning “all kinds of bread,” the sandwich was created in the 1950s after the end of French colonization. However, there are hallmarks of French cuisine littered throughout the sandwich and its creation. The French baguette is the shell of this savory sandwich, a remnant of the French colonization that Vietnamese eaters quickly embraced. In the communist north of Vietnam, the sandwich was quite simple: bread, meat, salt and pepper. However, in the democratic south, you’d see a mix of Vietnamese influences such as basil, jalapeños and pickled vegetables to provide several contrasts: chewy and crisp, sweet and sour, spicy and cooling. Another French influence sometimes included in this sandwich is the traditional French pâté, which adds another layer of texture and a rich, mineral-like taste. At Fork & Truck, our protein of choice is duck, with the addition of cooling cucumbers to offset the fiery jalapeños — it’s our modern take on a Vietnamese classic.

The Cuban, or Cubano, sandwich is a pork lover’s delight. The Cubano first made its appearance in Cuban sugar mills and cigar factories as a quick, handheld meal for workers. As these workers left Cuba for southern Florida, they brought their favorite lunchtime sandwich with them, where its popularity made it a signature dish in Tampa and Miami. The key to this sandwich’s popularity in such a hot climate is its play on contrasts. The layers of ham and slow-roasted pork are salty, fatty and savory. This is juxtaposed with pungent Swiss cheese, vinegary pickles and tangy mustard to cut through the salty pork flavors. The combination of flavors is amplified at Fork & Truck by the addition of banana peppers to add another briny, spicy kick to complement the rich pork products.

A classic American diner staple, the BLT sandwich has remained popular for over 60 years because of its simplistic beauty. The sandwich’s popularity skyrocketed after World War II, when shoppers were able to source tomatoes year-round instead of just seasonally. Toasted bread slathered in mayonnaise houses warm, crispy bacon that is nestled between crunchy iceberg lettuce and acidic tomatoes. The combination of flavors at Fork & Truck is cleverly re-imagined with fried green tomatoes in place of standard red tomatoes and thick slabs of Texas toast used for the bread.

As our tastes evolve to include more experience with food from around the world, sandwiches will surely be on the list of foods that will continue to change. At Fork & Truck, we’re already putting our own twist on classic sandwiches that could have easily extended the Earl’s winning streak at his gambling table.