Pur-Fek-Cat-Ch hit Houston’s streets three weeks ago and already the fire engine-red truck has been spotted at food truck meet-ups across Houston. Last Saturday, the Cajun cookers were at Houston Food Truck Park serving two specials alongside their usual menu: boiled crab legs and shrimp and a two-piece chicken meal.
The food lineup at Pur-Fek-Cat-Ch—pronouanced "perfect catch"—is like a Southern grandma’s Sunday dinner. Next to the classic duo of a crunchy chicken wing and thigh was a steaming helping of collard greens cooked with bacon strips, baked macaroni and cheese with plenty of Cheddar, and soft cornbread. Jumbo crab legs swam in a buttery brew of seasonings, red potatoes, and corn. A surprise addition to the menu such as these can happen any day at Pur-Fek-Cat-Ch.
The truck offers daily exclusives nearly every time it parks. The exclusives Saturday were evidence of the truck’s motto: Creole cooking with a Texas twist. Among the few Creole-influented dishes I sampled was a seafood pie in a pastry shell. The pie was about as wide as a palm but the flaky biscuit island surrounded by crawfish, shrimp, crab, carrots, and peas in a creamy ocean of sauce was so fulfilling.
The rock star of the menu—fried catfish—is a perfect example of Per-Fek-Cat-Ch's Creole-Texan blend, and is available every day. Light, crispy, and seasoned to provide just enough zest, the catfish is the epitome of Creole blended with soul food. It’s hard to put down once you get started. Luckily, the meal comes with a second strip of fish, as well as fries and a huge slice of fluffy Texas toast bearing the outline of our state. The customers were raving about the catfish and the fried corn. If the catfish is the rocking lead singer, the fried corn on the cob is the animated bass player: spicy and sweet, the corn is crunchy on top and juicy underneath.
The Creole-Texas blend featured in nearly every dish on the menu is the work of chef/owner Theresa Perkins. Perkins says she simply took her home-cooked meals and put them on wheels, a process that started eight years ago when she began catering.
“Most people walk up to the truck and see Cajun, they say, ‘Y'all from Louisiana?’ Not exactly,” Perkins says, laughing.
She’s from Cleveland, Ohio, but she’s spent the last 20 years in Texas. I can’t say there’s a touch of Cleveland in many of the dishes, but she says she's thrown in her soulful roots when it comes to mixing spices for her seasonings and sauces—which, like her food, is all made from scratch.