If you’ve been to the McAllen Food Park lately, it is obvious locals have embraced the food truck culture. The downtown mobile eatery has grown from six trucks, to more than 10 on special event nights, and its caravan of cars are dishing out some serious street eats. To help your roaming hunger navigate through the crowd, I’ve put together a list of the 5 food trucks in McAllen you must try today.
Asian-inspired flavors take the spotlight at this eatery on wheels, and it’s upped the taco game with menu items like Korean Carnitas and the popular Nuri Taco. If you’re a first-timer, go straight for the truck’s namesake, the Nuri Taco. Its homemade tortilla is filled with chunks of juicy pork belly and a fresh made slaw of pickled onions, cilantro and carrots. Nuri’s ever-evolving menu puts inventive twists on traditional dishes like its Lamb Burger, Yard Bird and another fan favorite, the Q-Dilla, a must eat if you’re a quesadilla lover. You can find Nuri posted up at the Food Park on most evenings, and at McAllen’s Farmers Market on Saturdays, but stalk its whereabouts on Facebook to make sure.
La Cabaña De Peralez
A mobile version of its brick and mortar restaurant, La Cabaña De Peralez dishes out delicious made-to-order Mexican food with a street fare flare. The restaurant on wheels is famous for its Monster Burrito. The mammoth-sized burrito is filled with your choice of angus beef, trompo, bistek, chicken or any combination of the four, and topped off with lettuce, tomato, queso fresco, avocado, rice, beans and a generous slather of sour cream to meld the flavors together. After trying this forearm-length, three-pound burrito, I was convinced the truck should be named after it. Not in the mood for eating a kilo of meat? Go with the Torta Cubana. This Mexican sandwich is layered with a fajita-trompo meat mixture, sliced hot dog, ham, cheese, and avocado. La Cabaña de Peralez might not help regulate your cholesterol, but it will definitely keep your hunger in check. You can find the red truck throwing down some serious street food at the Food Park on most nights.
Tamales Beba is another restaurant spin-off, and it’s taken the tamale game to new heights. Whether you prefer traditional Norteno tamales, to the Veracruzano variety or the Chilango type, Tamales Beba has upped the ante when it comes to wrapped and steamed cuisine. I opted for the Tamales Veracruzanos stuffed with chicken, and paired it up with homemade watermelon agua fresca to wash it down. Feeling adventurous? Its Chilango-style tamales are native to Mexico City, and have sweet and savory guisado fillers, including chicken mole, pork in salsa verde and, for your sweet tooth fix, strawberry filling.
Stop by the McAllen Food Park on the 4th Friday of the month for karaoke, or the 3rd Friday for Food Park Unplugged with live acoustic music.
Espetinho’s Brazilian Style
There are few things I love more in the world than meat on a stick. Espetinho’s rolls in like a chariot descending from heaven, coming to bless carnivores with high-quality meats served on skewers. Its recipe is simple; serve up prime cuts of meat, throw in a side of roasted red potatoes on a bed of fresh greens and drizzle it with house made, Brazilian-style chimichurri sauce. Espetinho’s mouth-watering cuts of meats include steakhouse staples like sirloin, lobster and pork tenderloin. I opted for the Medhalhao de Filet Mignon de Frango which is grilled chicken tenderloin wrapped with thick cut bacon, marinated in fresh herbs and charbroiled to meaty perfection. Its occasionally featured menu items like ahi tuna, lobster, salmon and trout are featured while they last, and assuring food truck enthusiasts only the freshest seafood fare is being served.
Los Chilangos is a Food Park regular, serving up Mexican comfort foods like abuela used to make. You can find it dishing out made-to-order classics like flautas, tostadas, tacos, and sopes. The move here is to go for the fan favorite Piraton, which is a 13-inch, fresh made flour tortilla, stuffed with fajita, grilled onion, and loads of melted mozzarella cheese, served with a side order of fries and a chargrilled jalapeno. Pair it with a bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola and homemade salsa verde, and you’ve got yourself a traditional South-of-the-border meal that will leave you sweaty but satisfied.
McAllen’s booming food truck scene is showing no signs of slowing down, and these mobile meals on wheels are more than ready to feed loyal food truck enthusiasts. With newcomers taking street food to unseen heights, it’s worth your while to see what’s cooking.