Walter Mencken 8:27 a.m., April 18
Mobile Cuisine: Tabe BBQ
I've never eaten at a food truck before. Correction, I've never eaten at a food truck that had a name other than "the roach coach." It was a long time ago, when I spent a dismal summer temping between real jobs. Even with the current popularity, variety, and improved quality of food trucks, that traumatic season made me wary.
But times change, and so does "mobile cuisine", as it's now called. So when I heard that there was a good Korean/Mexican fusion truck in my neighborhood on Wednesdays, I threw caution to the wind and walked up Towne Center Drive in University City to find it.
There it was, Tabe BBQ, in the 8000 block of Towne Center Drive, and a line was forming even as the guys were setting up the awning and putting out signs.
Tabe's has a small, but devilishly intriguing menu; the usual tacos, burritos and asada fries are stuffed with Korean bbq beef, slow roasted pork, teriyaki chicken or spiced portobello mushrooms. Sliders, rice bowls and salads are also available. Prices range from $3.25 for a taco to $13 for a monster burrito, with most around $6-$7.
I chose the Tabe Asada Fries ($6.50). It's a big mound of crisp shoestring fries, dusted with five spice powder and topped with a generous helping of spicy shredded pork, melted cheese, sour cream and roja salsa.
Wow, it's just plain yummy. The fries are perfectly cooked, hot and fragrant, with juicy tender pork shredded just right. The pork is deliciously spicy, and the cheese has been browned a bit, adding a nice caramelized flavor. A decadent calorie bomb, but who cares? Sometimes you have to stop and smell the french fries.
Various locations during lunch and evenings from Tuesday - Saturday, check their website for details.
Credit cards accepted.