The South is well-known for its comfort food, barbecues and butter-laden sweets. Recently, Southern-style cooking has garnered sizable attention in the culinary world. It seems Southern food with a twist — or gourmet Southern, as they call it — is the new cuisine du jour. So, it’s no surprise that during the food truck craze, Southern grub became ubiquitous. Luckily for foodies and Southerners everywhere, barbecue food trucks haven’t died out yet. There are plenty of food trucks across the South that continue to serve homestyle favorites with a twist.
Here are seven BBQ food trucks you need to try this summer. (Listed in no particular order.)
1. Sweet Auburn BBQ – Atlanta, Georgia: The menu here reads like that of a full-blown restaurant. With starters, plates and desserts, there are plenty of choices. There are actually two different menus for the truck’s most-frequented locations: Downtown Edgewood and North Highland. Both menus offer creative twists on barbecue, like the King of Memphis Melt with your choice of pulled pork, brisket or chicken, melted jack cheese, fried egg, and pear slaw, or the Carolina pulled pork bowl with stone-ground cheddar grits, scallions and house sauce. The North Highland location also offers a full bar. Check out the full menus here>>
2. Hello, My Name is BBQ – Charleston, South Carolina: Located at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge, this truck offers 18 different barbecue sandwiches and an award-winning brunch. All of the sandwiches build on the signature creation, The Holy City, made of beer-braised barbecue served on a brioche bun. From there, any combination of jalapeños, Sriracha mayo, fried egg, pimento cheese, etc. could top your sammy. If you prefer a melted sandwich, they serve those too, and don’t forget about Saturday brunch! Enjoy local music and $10 bottomless Mimosas with any entrée, like the Hog Heaven with BBQ pork, BBQ’d bacon, Canadian bacon, and American cheese on a biscuit, and your choice of a side. Check out the full menus here>>
3. Smoke Et Al – Nashville, Tennessee: One of the most buzzed-about food trucks in Nashville’s growing food scene, Smoke Et Al offers everything from biscuits to tacos and authentic Southern fixins’. The Noble Brisket Taco boasts smoked beef brisket in a flour or corn tortilla topped with smoked corn, red pepper salsa, cilantro lime crema and field greens. Sides of fried pickled okra with ‘bama white sauce or potato salad with sour cream, cheddar and scallions would pair nicely. Just as cool as the barbecue is Smoke Et Al’s commitment to using locally sourced products, compostable serve ware, and recycling fry oil, generator oil and even transmission fluid. Find out where they’re stopping next>>
4. KoKyu BBQ – Durham, North Carolina: For a truly unique spin on barbecue, try KoKyu. David Filippini and his wife Sarah started the Korean inspired food truck three years ago. It’s easy to spot, as the trailer is covered in street-style graffiti art. Now, about the food. If you’re looking for a regular ol’ barbecue joint, this isn’t your place. Here, short-rib sliders with pickled veggies, coconut curry brisket Takos and a lovely little side called “duck fat tater tots with rosemary” rule the menu. (Word on the street is the tots are just as good as the barbecue.) And instead of taking a number or straining to hear your name called for food, KoKyu gives you a playing card. Fun, right? Find out where KoKyu will be next>>
5. Slow Food Truck – Dania Beach, Florida: There are a variety of ways to enjoy meat at the Slow Food Truck. From the Beef Shortrib Sandwich (braised beef au jus, crispy shallots, live watercress, cheese) to the Cuban Cowboy (slow-roasted pulled pork, Swiss cheese, coleslaw served on Martin’s potato bun), there are plenty of menu items to tickle your taste buds. Chefs Oren Bass and Zachary Schwartz pride themselves on serving locally sourced and seasonal foods. Oh, and their Truffle Fries and Warm Fresh Florida Lobster Roll deserve mentioning, even though this post is really about BBQ, because, come on, lobster and fries are always a good choice. Check out the full menu here>>
6. Blanchard’s BBQ – Lafayette, Louisiana: Blanchard may be relatively new to the barbecue food truck scene, but they seem to have the hang of the whole smoked pork thing. Their modest menu features some pretty spectacular flavor combinations. Memphis pulled pork with chipotle coleslaw comes as a sandwich or two tacos. For vegetarians, there is a mixed greens salad with jalapeño and garlic vinaigrette or chipotle ranch. Barbecued nachos with jalapeños, cheese and sour cream make for a nice alternative to a pork sandwich. Follow on Twitter for updates on their location>>
7. Southern Salt Food Company – Little Rock, Arkansas: True to its name, this food truck offers Southern dishes with an eclectic, modern spin along with a variety of fusion dishes. Just about anything goes here, from curry short ribs to a Philly “cheesesteak” with pulled pork instead of beef. Not a big fan of meat? The vegetarian barbecue sandwich — a fried tofu patty topped with grilled vegetables and a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce — should satisfy vegetarians and, rumor has it, meat lovers alike. Find out daily specials and the truck’s next location here>>
Honorable Mention: Off the Grill in El Paso, Texas: Some consider Texas part of the South, and some consider it a Western state. So as not to cause a ruckus, we’re keeping this Texas-based truck off the main list. However, it’s worth noting that Off the Grill won Best BBQ Food Truck of 2014. So, this is a not so subtle hint to go check it out.