Sometimes The Substitute is Better than the Original

Houston has finally gotten into the 21st century with food trucks. Not as much as any other major metropolis, but at least we’re getting better. When I am working downtown, though, it seems you cannot just walk to a food truck. You have to get in your car and drive. Why?

My cynical guess is money and pull from Downtown Houston restaurant owners is keeping them out. But for a Mayor who claims to be all about the environment (as much as one can be running a city whose economy and cancer treatment centers both benefit from oil refineries) making Downtown office workers get in their cars to drive to the warehouse district for the Houston Food Park, is more than a bit ridiculous.

The green spot in the middle is downtown Houston. Notice all the food trucks are OUTSIDE downtown Houston. (Map from Roaming
The green spot in the middle is downtown Houston. Notice all the food trucks OUTSIDE downtown Houston. Some as far as 40 miles. Map from

You know how all the super-restrictive wine shipping laws are “to protect the children”? Well, it seems keeping Food Trucks out of the Downtown Business District is all part of the War on Terror. Can I call bullshit? Read this article from the Institute for Justice called “Houston City Council Member Calls Propane Food Trucks a “Bomb Threat” complete with links to the YouTube videos backing up the lunacy on the Houston City Council discussion.

We do have several Food Truck Parks around town. Mainly in the suburbs, unlike the City of Portland, who puts them right where people can find them without having to consult Google Maps. But if you do want to locate all the Food Trucks in Portland, you can do so here.

But I digress…this was just supposed to be a little post about my lunch.

Several days a week down here in the ‘burbs of Clear Lake, we get food trucks. Wait, let me correct myself. We get A Food Truck. One food truck, that parks on the University of Houston Clear Lake campus. Since I am at home today, I decided to drive over to visit one of my favorites, Bernie’s Burger Bus.

Bernie's Burger Bus #2 visits University of Houston Clear Lake campus
Bernie’s Burger Bus #2 visits University of Houston Clear Lake campus

I nearly forgot to post a picture on Facebook before I ate (you know it didn’t happen if you don’t put it on Facebook, or twitter or Google+ or Instagram….etc, etc). But after I posted it, Kim Kolb, who blogs at Winey Women asked me to describe it.

“The Substitute” from Bernie’s Burger Bus

First there is the Applewood smoked bacon. Imagine you’re standing outside the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, California around breakfast time. (follow your nose to Hank’s Creekside) Then there is the main attraction – Black Angus Beef grilled medium, with tangy blue cheese crumbles. Burgundy laced mushrooms and caramelized “tipsy” onions all on an egg bun. Don’t forget to add some Extracurriculars: The sweet potato fries are perfect. Hot, golden crunch on the outside with flaky potato inside. They serve it with a chipotle aioli. I had already finished my aioli and most of my fries when I remembered to record for posterity. They also make their own ketchup, and you can buy a bottle to take home with you.

The Substitute and Sweet Potato Fries from Bernie's Burger Bus
The Substitute and Sweet Potato Fries from Bernie’s Burger Bus

To find Bernie’s Burger Bus, consult their website. They have three buses that roam around town. I hear they’re opening up a brick and mortar. To find other Houston Food Trucks around town, (or many other cities for that matter) consult Roaming Hunger.


The WineWonkette

Posted in Best of AWB, Featured, Posts, Rant, Reviews

Amy Corron Power View posts by Amy Corron Power

A licensed attorney, Amy is a wine-lover, foodie, photographer, political junkie and award-winning author who writes about Wine, Food, Beer & Spirits. As Managing Editor & Tasting Director for Another Wine Blog, she travels all over the world's wine regions to share her experiences with her readers and legions of twitter, Instagram and Facebook friends and fans. Amy holds certifications through the International Sommelier Guild, and is also certified, with honors, as a California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). She is a member of the Guild of Sommeliers, The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas and regularly attends Houston Sommelier Association events. Amy is also a contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books, and was most recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude.
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