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Food truck review: First Bite Gourmet has an impressive mission

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Posted 1:45pm on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013

When I meet new truck owners, one of the first questions I ask is how they decided on their concept and the name of their truck. Everyone has an interesting story but none more interesting or meaningful than First Bite. First Bite is a Fort Worth-based truck, serving all over the Metroplex. It was created as a means for the Jackson family to feed the homeless, a calling that every member of the family seems to have. As the back of the truck proclaims: "If everyone gave a little, no one would go hungry. Your first bite can make a difference … Kamarie Jackson.”

True to their calling, several times a month, the Jackson family takes the truck out to feed the homeless, using the profits (the equivalent value of the first bite of a meal) from the prior week’s sales.

First Bite's menu reflects many "firsts.” The "First Impression" is a carne asada sandwich on sourdough bread with carne asada meat, Monterrey Jack cheese, avocado and bell peppers. The meat is very tender with a mild spiciness. This sandwich is very filling, which you might’ve guessed from the menu, which uses descriptions such as “generous” and "loaded with.” There is a strong feeling among the Jacksons that their sandwiches should be loaded; so much so that when I posted a picture of my sandwich on Instagram, they emailed me and said, "We apologize, that sandwich is not up to our standards. We were training a new employee and we can tell by the picture that wasn't made by our regular sandwich maker, who would have been much more generous.”

To be honest, the email surprised me; I thought there was plenty of meat on the sandwich and was very satisfied with my lunch. Later in the week I sent a friend to get their "First Impression.” Even though this is not a well-lit picture it shows how much meat First Bite normally places on their sandwiches.

If a chicken sandwich is more to your liking, I was impressed with the "First Rate,” which was very flavorful, and the meat was very fresh and tender. Like the First Impression, the bread holds together nicely but is not so thick that it overpowers the sandwich.

If vegetable sandwiches are your favorite, the "First Act," with avocado, bell peppers, spinach and tomato is available All sandwiches come with a side of black bean salsa or cilantro lime rice.

First Bite also has starter items including "First Love” -- rice balls made with the cilantro lime rice and a piece of carne asada inside. The rice balls are large and lightly fried; the star of the show is the avocado sauce on top.

The food on First Bite is delicious, and normally that would be enough to keep me returning to a truck. But First Bite takes things to a whole new level and has touched not only me but many associated with the food truck scene with their generosity and mission to make sure the homeless are fed a hot meal.

Last week, the Jacksons took their truck out to serve the homeless, and Cruising Kitchens owner Cameron Davis -- who built the First Bite truck -- went along for the experience. Early the next morning, I received a text from Cameron that said: "I can honestly say that after watching the First Bite crew feed the homeless, I am floored. It was an amazing experience.” He also tweeted pictures and said that the truck had fed 300 hundred people that night. To put that in to context, many trucks in DFW don't serve 200 paying customers in a full day; this truck gave away food to 100 more than that. I have seen tweets from First Bite that said after going out to serve, they had been disappointed that they had to turn people away when they’d run out of food. It is my hope that as this truck becomes more established in the DFW community, their profits will increase and they will be able to feed more and more of those who are in need. If my eating good food can help someone else, at the same time, that is absolutely a win-win.

First Bite serves in both Fort Worth and Dallas. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter to find their location and learn more about their mission to give up their "first bite" so everyone can be fed.

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