The first time I walked into Truck Yard, I had the sense I was entering some magical adult playground whose eating and entertainment options were exciting but ultimately ephemeral. The expansive indoor-outdoor bar and food truck arena had risen suddenly from what so recently was just a desolate empty gravel pit that seemed like the Bayou City’s own version of Brigadoon.
But folks at Truck Yard have reassured me: “Never fear, your first day at Truck Yard was not your last.”
I hope not. If the vehicle-populated booze garden does mysteriously fade into the mist it certainly won’t be for lack of business, as evidenced by the sizable crowds at last Saturday’s merry tropical luau.
The festivities, which began at noon and promised to last “until the last coconut was sold,” included an Ugly Hawaiian Shirt contest, musical act, hula dancers, and, apparently, fire-throwers, though this writer was in bed by that point.
In addition to Truck Yard's regular line-up of food mobiles offering artisan pizzas, grilled cheese, and other fare, pigs (yes, multiple—they were on Hog No. 2 when I arrived in early evening) were roasted on a spit, then sliced and served up on platters ($10) to fuel the fun.
The portions were generous, but more importantly, the porcine flesh was supple, appropriately fatty, and not over-salted. Sides of pickled veggies and grilled pineapple provided refreshing acidity and tropical sweetness, respectively, and a scoop of rice was on hand for those of us not cuckoo for keto.
To partake of the Hawaiian cocktails, some labor was required. Patrons (with assistance from dexterous bartenders) cracked their own coconuts using a scarily efficient tool—that I really hope is reserved only for tough palm fruits and never human skulls—before being filled with a most potent tropical potion.
As twilight faded, the Ferris wheel lights twinkled enticingly, tempting me to go for a ride despite the high risk of retching from rocking and spinning on a belly full of booze and roasted meat. I decided to play it safe as a spectator along with some pooches whose owners were more adventurous than me. Next time.
Now, lest you groan, "Gee, thanks for telling me what I good time I missed," know that the luau will be repeated in the near future and is one of a series of special gatherings to be held throughout the rest of the summer and into the fall. Check Truck Yard's website and social media channels for more details.