The alternative restaurant scene in New Orleans has grown from a handful of post-Katrina taco trucks and second line street vendors to a bona fide culture of mobile and itinerant eateries. In case you’ve missed the revolution of food trucks and pop-ups in New Orleans, here’s a current look.
Taceaux throws down the most inventive tacos in town and is one of the most consistent operators. You’ll find this gourmet taqueria on wheels parked outside of bars like 45 Tchoup and Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar and during lunch hours at Tulane Square (200 Broadway) or just outside the Central Business District on Carondelet Street near Howard. Follow on Twitter @tlnola or on Facebook for daily location and menu updates.
MCCLURE’S BARBECUE at Dante’s Kitchen
Neil McClure, longtime manager of Dante’s Kitchen (736 Dante St.) decided to pursue his love of barbecue and share it with all of New Orleans. During weekday lunch, Dante’s serves McClure’s Family Style Meals: sandwiches of pulled pork, barbecued brisket, ribs, or chicken, sweet spicy slaw and pork & pork & beans during lunch. (Dinner on Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 p.m.). @McclureBarbecue
It’s happy news for the proprietors of this pop-up pizzeria and its fans: Pizza Delicious will be moving into its own permanent digs at 617 Piety Street in late 2012. ‘Til then, these intrepid Bywater pizza chefs will be baking delicious specialty pies on Thursdays and Sundays from 5 p.m. ‘til the dough runs out. @PizzaDelicious
THE WANDERING BUDDHA at HI-Ho Lounge
If you’re wandering the four corners of bars and clubs on St. Claude in the Marigny and find yourself a bit peckish, head to Hi-Ho Lounge (2239 St. Claude Ave.) for Korean vegan. Braised tofu, punchykimchi, gimbap (seaweed and rice rolls), and more tasty Korean vegan dishes that will go towards offsetting any alcohol you may have imbibed. Don’t feel like going out? If you live downtown of Canal Street, The Wandering Buddha delivers. @TheWndrngBuddha
BOO KOO BBQ at Finn McCool’s Irish Pub
Lee and Niki Mouton took their passion for pork from award-winning barbecue sauce to mobile meatery to their most recent incarnation in the kitchen at Finn McCool’s Irish Pub. The menu is a fusion of local influences (Cajun, Vietnamese) and down-home barbecue in favorites like the Cajun banh mi (pictured), pulled pork eggrolls and Cajun Cuban sandwich. @BooKooBBQ
HUSH SUPPER CLUB at Stein’s Deli
As elusive as its name, Hush is the latest stopover for Chef Pete Vazquez, who first caught the attention of adventurous diners at Marisol, which closed after Hurricane Katrina. While he scopes new, permanent restaurant digs, Vazquez is pulling off some of the most challenging and far-reaching ethnic menus in New Orleans at Stein’s Deli (2207 Magazine Street) on Sunday nights. Pick-up only. Check Hush Supper Club’s Facebook page for the weekly menu.
FORK IN THE ROAD
You’ll find Stephen Breaux’s red “short bus” at the Freret Street Market and in Tulane Square (200 Broadway) serving a changing menu of salads, soups and sandwiches from Cubans to barbecue chicken. @ForkDat
“Slavic soul food” is what Streats Kukhnya serves at his pop-up eatery – kapusta, pierogi, and blini are mainstays, sharing space with a Polboy (a Polish sausage po-boy) and seasonal eats like Irish Channel Pot Roast. Streats will be moving out of its Mid-City location at Pal’s Lounge (949 N. Rendon St.) to a permanent spot in Siberia (2227 St. Claude Ave.) in April.
THE BIG CHEESY
Catch this “adventure in grilled cheese” at the Freret Street Market and other local markets and festivals serving up combos like gruyere and caramelized onion, three cheese, and apple, bacon, and cheddar. @bigcheesynola
La Cocinita (“Little Kitchen”) serves up Latin American street food in a build-your-own bite format. Customize classic tacos or arepas (stuffed corn cakes) with meats, cheeses, beans and other fillings. Look for La Cocinita parked at the Hollygrove Market (8301 Olive St.) on Saturdays, the Crescent City Farmers Market on Thursdays, The Rendezvous Tavern (3101 Magazine St.), Le Bon Temps (4801 Magazine) and Bacchanal (600 Poland Ave.) @LaCocinita
Seen most frequently at the Arts Market at Palmer Park, the Freret Market, and other festivals and catered events year-round, this fiery food truck specializes in grilled kabobs, garlic bread, and a Brazilian po-boy. @TheBrazilianBBQ
This wee French Quarter storefront also peddles gourmet pops (think: salted caramel, chocolate coconut curry, Vietnamese coffee) from their bright yellow pop-mobile at festivals like the Freret Street Festival and Bayou Boogaloo. @MeltdownPops
Expect a menu of Southern fusion mashups like the Bayou banh mi, jambalaya, and cochon de lait po-boys when Geaux Plates is idling at bars like Bridge Lounge, 45 Tchoup, and Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar, or at the Hollygrove Market. @GeauxPlates
THE YAKAMEIN LADY (a.k.a. Miss Linda’s Catering)
A Jazz Fest fixture and second line staple, Ms. Linda the Yakamein Lady serves hangover-quelling cups of “old sober” — a stew of noodles, beef broth, boiled egg and green onions — from the back of her pick-up truck. @oneofteambreezy
Mobile food doesn’t get more portable than savory hand pies (a.k.a. empanadas). With a mission to service the Bywater “food desert”, Empanada Intifada makes sporadic appearances at St. Coffee (2709 St. Claude) and Hi Ho Lounge (2239 St. Claude) and festivals around town. @EmpanadaIntifad
THE FRY BAR
Another Freret Street Market mainstay, The Fry Bar bundles herb-covered French fries with sauces like Calabrese chili aioli or Green Goddess dressing. The Fry Bar also pops up occasionally at Starlight Racing at the Fair Grounds Race Course and Palmer Park. @TheFryBarNola
GREEN TO GO
Flag this bike down forf Green To Go’s Red, Orange, Yellow, or Blue salads, made with ingredients like roasted beets, dried cherries, shredded rotisserie chicken, and blueberries, topped with house-made vinaigrette. Listings of calorie, carbs, and fat counts at http:/greentogonola.com make it easier for you to “Eat The Rainbow” in a rush. @GreenToGoNola
One of the newest additions to the Crescent City’s food truck fleet, the Slider Shak offers up Creole malted milkshakes, pommes frites, a variety of dipping sauces, and, of course, meat and veggie sliders. Catch ’em most frequently outside the Bridge Lounge on Friday nights or at catered events. @SliderShak