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From The Dumpling Bros to Leila’s, Denton food trucks serve up on-the-go grub

From The Dumpling Bros to Leila’s, Denton food trucks serve up on-the-go grub

From The Dumpling Bros to Leila’s, Denton food trucks serve up on-the-go grub
October 17
14:19 2018

Just off the Square, there is a place that has provided the Denton community with top-notch cuisine — all served through a window of a truck.

Austin Street Truck Stop is located on 208 N Austin St. in Denton. Throughout the week, several food trucks will come through to set up shop and serve the city. 

“Austin St. Truck Stop is a great place for trucks,” said Shadan Price, owner of Leila’s, a vegetarian and Middle Eastern fusion truck. “All of us who work on the trucks are friends and we’re always there to help one another. It’s a great community.”

Price was born in Iran and grew up in Texas since she was 2 years old. Her family cooked mostly Middle Eastern food, which is where she got her inspiration to start the business.

“I grew up eating predominantly Middle Eastern food because that’s what my mom made, so it only made sense to incorporate that into my menu when I started my own food establishment,” Price said. “I have been a vegetarian for over 11 years. I wanted all my food to be vegetarian [or] vegan as well because I think Denton needs more vegetarian [or] vegan options and because it kept in line with my personal beliefs when it comes to cooking.”

The Truck Stop holds several trucks throughout the week. One that usually comes out to Denton on Mondays is Saucy Hibachi, a traditional Japanese hibachi food truck.

“I’ll just order fresh food,” Saucy Hibachi owner Adrick Tran said. “I’ll fillet it, cut it all myself. Then I’ll vacuum seal and freeze it myself. That way I just skip that middleman part, skip paying that thirty percent. And then I have that same quality, the same standard every single time, which is one of the things that’s hard to do”

Tran has been cooking since working at his uncle’s restaurant at the age of 16. From his culinary career, he has specialized in Japanese cuisine, perfecting his craft every day.

Chef Adrick Tran cooking wagyu steak. He became head chef at a restaurant for the first time at age 22. Jacob Ostermann

“When you try to make everybody happy, you end up with food that’s [just] OK,” Tran said. “For me, I do Japanese food. People that love Japanese food want really good Japanese [food]. Now if I try to make Japanese food for everybody, it then kinda dilutes what I’m doing. Then it just doesn’t become authentic anymore and it loses what it is.”

Tran uses wagyu beef from the one person legally allowed to sell 100 percent wagyu beef in the United States. Tran says that wagyu, due to the region that the cattle comes from, is a well-marbled cut of meat, bringing out more flavor and becoming a lot more tender. Tran uses the teres major, known as the poor man’s filet minion, which is a small cut, deep in the shoulder blade of the wagyu cattle breed.

Locals and vendors alike say that the truck stop has been a welcoming place for anyone rolling in with a food truck. Many patrons enjoy the aspect that the area promotes business and community through a common connection: food.

“Working food trucks is some of the best fun you can have in the food industry,” said Morgan Murphy, cook for The Dumpling Bros truck. “I’ve always worked in restaurants and kitchens and being on a food truck is its own environment. It’s really fast-paced but super fun. Everyone on the different trucks are super cool people and it’s really chill. It’s a great environment to be a part of.”

The Dumpling Bros bring a traditional Korean dish to the Denton area with a family recipe from the owner’s father. The dumplings are a juicy ground pork on the inside with a crunchy soft dumpling shell to hold it all in. Their Korean tacos have also rewarded them with Best Food Truck in North Texas

Several other trucks have been parking their shop behind East Side Denton bar. Java Rocket, Taco Taxi, Pickled Carrot, Coochies BBQ and Big Knife Tacos, to name a few. All these trucks have different flavors, food and stories to bring, but the Austin St. Truck Stop will always withhold its expectations for an inviting area for people to gather.

Fresh food and outstanding dishes come out of the trucks everyday. All are located behind East Side, just off the square. All the hard work that the owners and cooks put into their food is highly recognized.

“There is way more going on behind the scenes than simply ordering and getting food,” Price said. “A lot of work and time goes into getting supplies and preparing the food before we even open our window. That way, when you order, you can get your food as quickly as possible.”

Featured Image: Chef Adrick Tran in his food truck. He is the owner and chef of The Saucy Hibachi. Jacob Ostermann

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Spencer James Nelson

Spencer James Nelson

Food... I like Food... Like... Alot

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