Monday, November 26, 2012
Food truck review: Three Lions dispels the “bland” British food myth
The Bonfield brothers started out with South African tacos, but as they added more traditional British fare, Three Lions has garnered a cult following.
Starting a food truck is hard. Transforming a food truck into something totally different is harder. And making the transition successfully is really, really hard. But for brothers Cameron and Scott Bonfield, it’s really about being true to their heritage. So that makes it all a labor of love and worth it all.
The transition from taco truck to English cuisine began when they started offering more traditional English fare along with the South African spiced tacos and the response was positive. So about eight months ago, they decided to start over completely. A few months later, the Three Men and a Taco truck has fully morphed into Three Lions. A big part of the mission is educating the colonies on what constitutes proper English fare.
The cuisine confusion from early menus wasn’t really helped by the Carolina BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders, but people loved them and bought them like crazy. I mean, an American BBQ slider held over from the taco truck — how is that English? I may have been confused by their spot on the menu, but I’m really happy they made it possible for the rest of the menu to develop and mature. Scott Bonfield explains that they were very popular and their sales kept Three Lions afloat long enough to develop the rest of the menu. The Carolina Sliders have now taken their place in the past.
During the sweltering Dallas summer, they introduced gazpacho, a chilled vegetable soup. Bursting with flavor and tantalizing with a variety of textures, I wasn’t fully convinced this was English fare, but it went down really, really nice on a hot summer day. Besides, Spain is a lot closer to England than the Carolinas!
Another cool option during the hot summer months is the shrimp salad roll: chilled tiny brine shrimp in abundance mixed with sliced cucumbers in a spicy cream sauce resting on a toasted bun.
But if you’ve visited Three Lions more recently, the menu continues to evolve and mature into the vision pursued by the Bonfield brothers. The first truly English item on the menu is the meat pie. Meat Ppies are a British basic, pretty much the equivalent of the burger in America. They're made of sandwich ground beef and a really savory gravy between a shortcake pastry crust (a little thicker and denser) and a puff pastry "lid" (light and fluffy). They're a perfect no utensils required dish.
If you’re looking for a way to dip your toe in the water, then the Bacon Butty is the perfect little morsel to try. Bacon and ham with all kinds of deliciousness is sandwiched between a flour roll. It looks like a breakfast sandwich, but it’s a great little treat anytime!
Everybody knows that fish & chips is English, and this traditional dish landed on the menu as soon as they could figure out how to get the prep time for the gigantic wild Atlantic Cod filet battered in Heineken Beer batter down to an acceptable ticket time. The fish is served with tartar sauce and paired up with chips (that’s fries to us Americans). It still takes longer than other choices but is worth the wait.
Three Lions keeps raising the bar and introducing new English options. If you haven’t tried the chicken bacon pie, you have no idea what you are missing. Kissin’ cousin to the meat pie, but even more stuffed, you get the same shortcake pastry crust that’s a full 2-1/2 inches deep filled with roasted chicken, peas, carrots, and BACON all in a cream sauce. Apparently, even the British know that everything is better with BACON!
At the opening of Klyde Warren Park, Three Lions introduced their bangers & mash. A fat, savory sausage rests atop a bed of seasoned creamy mashed potatoes smothered in spicy gravy. If your idea of British food is all hearty but bland, you’re gonna want to sink your teeth into this bangers & mash. It’s royal!
In a food culture where global food is the norm, Three Lions brings yet another cultural cuisine experience to food truck dining. Scott says there’s a surprisingly large group of British ex-pats living in Dallas and they’ve embraced Three Lions as a bit of home. But don’t be fooled, there’s a bit of Texas in the hearts of Cameron and Scott Bonfield, and we should all embrace the British cuisine experience of Three Lions.
If you want to give some British food a go, then look up Three Lions on Facebook or Twitter to see where they’re setting up today.
Pegasus News Content partner - Food Truck Connection