The Dallas patio crowd has a new place to chill. It’s called Truck Yard, the long-awaited food-truck park off Lower Greenville, right across from the new Trader Joe’s. Whereas food truck parks are old news in Fort Worth, they’re still kind of new thing in Big D, so when this one opened last month, foodies and hipsters were all over it like Anthony Bourdain at a smokehouse.
But Truck Yard, the brainchild of Jason Boso, one of the minds behind Twisted Root, is more than just a few random trucks in a parking lot. In addition to the trucks, there’s a permanent building (called “the barn”) where you can order Philly cheesesteak sandwiches (which you can also have with chicken or portabello if you’re not into cow) or get some Carnival Barker’s ice cream from the walk-up window. (For those who don’t know, Carnival Barker’s -- which says it’s Texas’ first independent ice creamery -- specializes in small-batch ice cream in an ever-shifting menu of flavors).
The back of the building then opens into a super-sweet dog-friendly patio/beer garden with a treehouse/cocktail bar, a bar in an Airstream trailer, a large stage (which, on Saturday, was set up with a big-screen TV playing the Texas-OU game, hook ‘em!) facing an expanse of tree-shaded tables, benches, old furniture, and artfully arranged tires, going along with the whole truck theme. (Also, in the Twisted Root tradition, there’s cool signage: “Please keep pets, kids, & unruly adults on leashes.”)
Oh, yeah, and there are food trucks. On Saturday, there were four on hand for lunch -- Salsa Limon, Cajun Tailgators, Little Greek Food Truck, Eat Jo Dawgs. But the selection changes between lunch and dinner so if you go back in the evening, the same trucks won’t necessarily be there. And there will be a different crop there for lunch and dinner the next day. (Check their website for the schedule though, as some others have noted, it might not always match up with the reality once you get there as there are last-minute changes).
Tried Cajun Tailgators’ pistolette ($4) -- a fried French roll stuffed with crawfish and cheese -- and that was pretty much a mouth full of wonderful. The only thing is that these are not big so you’ll probably want to order two. They had a sign up on their truck that they’re opening an actual brick-and-mortar restaurant. Can’t wait for that.
Also went for the more filling Greek Chicken Pita at Little Greek ($7.75). Also tasty but not the discovery that the pistolette proved to be. But that’s the great thing about this place. If you don’t like what you have one day, come back the next and you’ll have different menus to choose from but the casual, laid-back Austin-like vibe remains.
Though that might not be the case for long. On nice nights and coolish sunny days, this place is going to be slammed. It’s already drawing big crowds (ESPN’s Colin Cowherd broadcast from there Friday morning) and one early not-so-great review sparked a not-so laid back hailstorm of angry comments, and I don’t think all of them are friends of Jason’s.
One drawback is parking which, on Saturday at least, was valet-only in the lot next door. And, finding on-street parking near Lower Greenville, that doesn’t involve finding a little love note from DPD stuck under your wiper blade, can be a hassle.
But once inside -- or should I say outside -- you’re golden.