Gourmet meals featuring exotic flavor combinations and the freshest ingredients have escaped the confines of high-end restaurants and taken to the streets. Now, people who don’t have a hundred bucks to blow on dinner can enjoy a fine dining meal for about the same price as fast food at Chef Tai’s Mobile Gourmet Bistro.
If you haven’t heard of Chef Tai Lee and his famous food trucks, you have either been subterranean for the past couple years or you just moved to Aggieland. The truck started as an offshoot of the Lee’s popular upscale restaurant, Veritas Wine & Bistro, but quickly built up it’s own base of loyal customers and ravings fans. With the help of those devoted fans and the Aggie Network, the former student Lee’s truck was voted the #1 Food Truck in America on the Food Network’s Great American Food Truck race.
Being voted the top food truck in America is quite an honor, but it also sets expectations very high for the mobile eatery. Fortunately, Lee and his team of mobile chefs rise to the occasion delivering what you may quite possibly come to believe is the best meal you’ve ever eaten in a parking lot, or anywhere for that matter.
Our most recent Chef Tai experience, as usual, did not disappoint. The first thing I tasted was a few bites of the Sea Bass Cake Sandwich ($8) that my friend ordered. The cake was bigger than we expected and topped with a flavorful combination of corn salad, chipotle mayo, herb aioli and bacon cabbage slaw on a garlic butter ciabatta roll.
After my friend pried his fish sandwich back out of my hands, I gave my Korean BBQ Short Rib Tacos ($8) a taste. The beef short rib taco meat, prepared Korean style and cut into fajita sized strips, was very tender and moist with just a hint of sweetness from the fruit juices used in the marinade. The tacos came wrapped in 2 corn tortillas and topped with kimchee slaw and chipotle mayo. The artfully made tacos looked and tasted like a dish composed in a high end eatery. The overall flavor combination was spectacular.
We shared an order of Truffle Parmesan Fries ($4) which are potatoes fried in truffle oil. They were hot, perfectly crisped and oh so delicious with just the right amount of Parmesan cheese and seasoning sprinkled on top.
While some favorites stay one the menu every day, the trucks rotate new menu items on a frequent basis so there’s always something new for adventurous eaters. Tai also recently acquired a second food truck featuring lower priced menu items that still meet Chef Tai’s high standards for quality and culinary innovation.
When you see one of Chef Tai’s trucks set up on campus and around town town, view it as fate and go on and grab a bite. There’s always going to be something on the menu worth pulling a u turn for. If you’re more of the “planner” type, check out www.cheftai.com for a menu and schedule that’s always up to date.
Featured food image by Chef Tai’s Mobile Gourmet.