Critics’ choice: Visionary food-truck vendors

Where Y’at, Go Fish, Angel’s Cabana

Where Y’at San Antonio

America’s food-truck revolution shows no signs of slowing, said Edmund Tijerina in the San Antonio Express-News. In San Antonio, veteran chef Pieter Sypesteyn is blending his New Orleans heritage with “the precision of upscale French and Italian cooking” to create amazing street food that’s both “soulful and refined.” His version of rice and beans “has a bit of a molasses overtone,” while his jambalaya “has all the expected flavors and then some,” thanks to the accompanying patty of rice that he sears until crusty in a sauté pan. “The real star dish,” though, is Sypesteyn’s barbecued shrimp—head-on jumbo Gulf shrimp “spiked generously with Creole spices,” bathed in a garlic butter–beer sauce, and topped with minced chives. Pair it with Pwa V’et Salad: chilled haricots verts and new potatoes, red-onion slices, crumbled peanuts, and a creamy Creole mustard vinaigrette “that brings all the textures and tastes together into a beautiful whole.”, (210) 420-0069

Go Fish Washington, D.C.

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Missy Carr is on a mission to bring local seafood to Washington’s vast suburbs, said Rina Rapuano in The Washington Post. Her Go Fish truck, covered in bright-green painted fish scales, has been making the rounds for the past year with a menu so popular that it’s no longer just a way to promote her Web-based home-delivery business. “Crab cakes are the truck’s signature item,” and Carr serves them with an “outstanding” rémoulade or in a “crabby melt” sandwich under steamy cheddar and Monterey Jack. Also popular are her shrimp tacos and mahimahi tacos, spiced with chile powder and cumin and topped with a “wonderfully crunchy” cabbage slaw and a zigzag of chipotle cream. Customers looking to work their own magic with seafood can consult the truck’s schedule and order ahead or simply show up early. “When you order from us,” says Carr, the seafood is “hand-picked, hand-cut, and packed all within 24 hours of coming to your door or getting into your hands.”, (855) 529-3474

Angel’s Cabana Portland, Ore.

Return customers at this humble food cart tend to reach the takeout window in a state of “manic excitement,” said Penelope Bass in the Portland Willamette Week. Maybe it was only days before that they mistook Angel’s for a taco purveyor; now they’re likely to want to proselytize about Angel Villalvir’s traditional Central American and Caribbean dishes. It’s perhaps appropriate to the setting that the cart’s most popular dish, plantanos con carne, resembles “a meaty banana split.” Villalvir grills and halves the plantains; tops them with beans; throws on some ground beef cooked with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and celery; and then finishes the dish with a dollop of fresh crema (no cherry). If you enjoy sipping rice-based Mexican horchata, you may find that Angel’s pumpkin-seed-spiked version is an acquired taste. But be adventurous: Villalvir is happy to describe each item on the menu, nothing tops $7, and you haven’t lived until you’ve sampled his pupusas—masa griddle cakes stuffed with pork, beans, and cheese. SW 10th Ave. and Alder St., (503) 933-1515

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