Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Food truck review part deux: The Butcher’s Son
Despite appearances, The Butcher’s Son is not a Johnsonville promo truck.
One of the problems with coming to the dance after it begins is that you missed out on the beginning. In the beginning of the Dallas gourmet food truck community, or very nearly so, The Butcher’s Son did the unthinkable at the time. Way back in October 2011, they launched not one but two food trucks in Dallas. I wasn’t there on that day, but my wife was actually one of the first 25 in line and captured one of the coveted "Food for Life" bracelets. And she got some pretty darn good food.
The first thing she ordered was the Sergeant Pepper, a bell pepper grilled and stuffed with brown rice, Italian sausage, tomato, onion, garlic, and melted mozzarella cheese. This is not your typical food truck item, a dish that covers the entire food pyramid! Rumored to be co-owner Jonathan Wagner’s favorite menu item, at least at the time they opened, and it turned out to be one of my wife’s favorite items, too. Considering the variety of flavors and textures, it is as entertaining to your tongue as it is satisfying to your tummy.
It would be sacrilege to go to a truck that features Johnsonville products and not include a sausage in the order, and the meal was rounded out with a Sante Fe Sunset. If you are a sausage lover, this is a sandwich you’ll dream about. The toasted hoagie roll cradles a chipotle chicken sausage (and a half!) garnished with black bean salsa, fried jalapenos, and cilantro. This one has a little kick that really pops the fresh flavors of the salsa, onions, and cilantro.
Since that first encounter, we’ve been back (and not just for the free stuff!) so I could have my own experience. The menu has added or changed a few items since that first day, including moving from these sign boards to a permanent location on the side of the truck.
The original menu offered three sliders: The Longhorn, The Southern Bell, and the New Frontier or one of each as The Butcher’s 3-Way. That part of the menu had grown to six different choices (now seven with the addition of the Mama Mia, a meatball slider) still available in your choice of combination of any three sliders as The Butcher’s 3-Way. I’ve sampled a 3-Way but opted to mix new and old.
The Southern Bell, one of the originals, is a chipotle monterey jack chicken sausage topped with fresh onion, cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce. The sweetness of the sauce plays off the tangy chipotle flavor of the sausage and blends with the cheese and onion that all plays really nicely together. This is a great choice if pork is not your favorite meat. No wonder this one is a favorite of co-owner Dain Pool.
The Dead Elvis lays tribute to The King by combining Nutella, peanut butter, and bacon. I have to admit, I’d have preferred more bacon, or at least a thicker country cut of bacon, as it was overpowered by the Nutella and peanut butter. Then again, maybe I was just confused and the bacon was not the main ingredient but a complement to the other items! I confess, I’m a relentless carnivore.
What food truck foodie could pass a slider that adds mac-n-cheese to a braised beef sandwich finished off with BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese? The Mac-n-Beefy adds a big square of baked mac-n-cheese to what would be an excellent sandwich on its own (for example, on the yet-to-be-tried Longhorn that features the same braised beef). The braised beef was tender and juicy, the mac-n-cheese was cheesy the way it’s supposed to be, and the tangy sweet BBQ sauce filled out the taste sensations. Hey, at least the mac-n-cheese wasn’t deep fried!
What really sets these sliders off is the brioche roll they all come on. Buttery and soft, they’re the perfect vehicle to complement each of the sliders no matter how different they may be.
One of the things I do is to try things that are unique and different. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and, to be fair, most everything works for somebody or it would come off the menu. In this spirit, I ordered the Nutter Butter tots. I have to be honest, the peanut butter-chocolate sauce and marshmallow (sauce) drizzled over a salty tot just fought too much to get me excited. It was a disappointment since it sounded like such an intriguing idea. Maybe more sauce would have given the balanced taste sensation I expected.
The review wouldn’t be complete without commenting on The Small Plate, a tribute dish to the heritage of the German brats & sausage that helped make Johnsonville famous. This plate of flash-fried bratwurst, homemade currywurst sauce and tater tots is anything but small. Trust me, you won’t miss the bread! This is the most expensive item on the menu at $8.29.
If you know anything about the Butcher's Son Food Truck, you know that it is a partnership between Jonathan Wagner, son of Johnsonville Sausage founder Ralph Stayer; and Pool, son of Pool’s Restaurant Group CEO Dan Pool. The sons have left the fold and struck out on their own, building on all the experience gained by growing up in the food industry but committed to making their own mark in their own market.
The Butcher’s Son is one of the easiest trucks to find around town, and they’re out a lot, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night. You can find them on Facebook or Twitter and at many events in the DFW area.
Pegasus News Content partner - Food Truck Connection