Wining & Dining
SWLA Food Trucks Part Deaux
2/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Food Trucks

In 2016, we published an award-winning story on the emerging food truck community in the Lake Area. Many of those early pioneers still thrive, such as Sloppy Taco, Paul’s Rib Shack, and Hi-Licious Street Kitchen. They paved the way for other entrepreneurs to enter the food truck fray and since then, numerous mobile eateries can be found along the Lakefront, at festivals and other events; so many that we felt the need for a sequel story. The trucks featured here are not an exhaustive list but rather a sampling of all our SWLA food truck culture has to offer.

Freestyle Munchies opened for business in June 2018 and has been wowing customers since then. Chef Don Gillett earned a culinary degree from New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont in 1990 and has worked as a chef in various restaurants including the Hyatt Regency of New Orleans, City Club of Lake Charles, Harrah’s Casino Lake Charles, and L’Auberge Casino Resort, to name a few. After 34 years in the food service business, Chef Don sought out something with more work schedule flexibility. He bought and redesigned a food truck. "I really enjoy meeting new people and love the interaction with my customers that operating a food truck allows,” he says

Freestyle Munchies participates in most local events and festivals in the Lake Area. They serve upscale-infused street food consisting of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and entrees. Chef Don says he takes pride in using high quality, fresh, local ingredients and makes all his own sauces.

Evolution opened last November in Westlake and stemmed from owner/cook Greg Carpenter’s love of cooking and serving people. He says the community response has been "incredible.” Carpenter chose the name Evolution because he wanted to have the opportunity to be creative with his menu now and then. He first learned to cook from his Mom and Mammaw, and later at Sowela Community College’s culinary program. Currently his menu consists of gourmet homemade burgers, hotdogs, and chili dogs with homemade chili. He’ll be expanding the burger options soon to include multiple toppings. 

Carpenter appreciates the freedom of a food truck to move and change based on the desires of his clients. He says food and music are integral to our Louisiana culture and he strives to tap into these emotions when customers eat his food. "Our motto is, 'We want our food to be music to your appetite.'"

Casanova Fradieu started planning Burger Therapy over a year before he actually opened his trailer. "I wrote out plans and recipes and tested everything for months. My dad came up with the concept of Burger Therapy. He told me to let people design their own burgers.” When Fradieu finally opened, he was in a "rough patch in life” so he put his soul into it. He asked other food truck owners for advice, and they were generous with guidance. His wife, a local artist, helps Fradieu when she can. They serve custom burgers meaning the customer choses everything from the bread to the cheese and the patty (turkey, beef, or veggie). All burgers come with Creole fries. 

Jammin Jelly’s burst on the scene as a maker of hot sauces one season when Jelly found himself with too many habaneros, a couple of pears, and a desire to create something unique. Their clever line of sauces includes Peach, Pear, Mango, Cucumber, Blackberry, Dark Cherry, Habanereaux Ranch, "Cher-acha” Ranch, Cajun Brees made with the Cajun Holy Trinity, as is the Turbeaux with Worcestershire. Jelly’s personal favorite is the Garlic. He touts his sauce as having "flavor in the front and a touch of heat on the back.” Now he and his wife Tamera operate a food truck. They serve a variety of specialty sandwiches, all of course topped with their signature hot sauces.

For days, times, locations, and menu items, you can find these food trucks on Facebook and other social media outlets.

Other trucks you’ll find in and around town:

ShaMy Empanadas is a purveyor of Colombian and Venezuelan food. In addition to empanadas, you’ll also find arepas, kebabs, cheese balls, and more.

Cajun Ambrosia pays homage to both Greek and Louisiana cuisine with a Cajun flair.

The Potato Hut serves, you guessed it . . . potatoes. Loaded baked potatoes, loaded fries, with toppings like boiled shrimp and fried chicken. They also serve chicken wings and fried ribs.

Casa Sabroso offers authentic Mexican fare, such as street tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and loaded nachos. Casa Sabroso means "tasty house” in Spanish.

DK’s Soulfood whips up plate lunches with smothered oxtail, meatballs, fried chicken and pork chops, white beans, and smothered okra.

Senegals Bar-B-Q fills the air with the smokey aroma of ribs, brisket, chicken, hot links, and pork steak.

TaD’s offers classic Louisiana cuisine – gumbo, poboys, fried shrimp and catfish.

Big Thicket Barbeque caters to the northern communities – Rosepine, DeRidder, Leesville – and tempts customers with Tex-Mex/Cajun influences and unique items like loaded totchos (Texas tot casserole).

Posted by: Angie Kay Dilmore | Submit comment | Tell a friend




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