With its bright, inviting graphics, the Monster PBJ truck is hard to miss.
Jill Butler and her partner, Will Lidwell, owners of the Monster PBJ truck , are committed to quality and to making a healthy sandwich. They grind their own nuts and their jams and bread have no preservatives in them. All Monster’s bread comes from a small, local Houston bakery called the Best Bread Around Bakery and the jams also are made locally.
Monster PBJ allows for so much customizing that you could eat a PBJ every day for a year and still not eat the same sandwich twice.
How so, you ask?
First, there’s the size of the sandwich. A “junior” is one slice of breaded folded in half. The “classic” is two slices bread and the “monster” is three slices.
Now select your bread type: white, whole wheat and -- a nice touch -- gluten-free bread.
Next decision: the type of nut butter to spread on the bread. Naturally, there’s peanut, but Monster also offers almond and cashew butters.
Time to pick the jelly: jams include apple, blueberry and strawberry.
Now the fresh fruit: choose apple, banana and strawberry.
You’re not done yet. Perhaps you’d like a sweetener, like agave or honey or maybe some Nutella.
Crust on or crust off?
How would you like your sandwich cut? On the diagonal, halved or quartered? Or will you have yours whole.
And finally, do you want your sandwich plain or grilled?
All of these options are printed on on a brown paper bag. You write your name on the bag then indicate your choices by checking the appropriate boxes. Your customized PB&J sandwich is served in the very same bag. Once you get the hang of it you will discover that it’s really quite simple and efficient.
My first PBJ sandwich was a “classic” on whole wheat with cashew butter, blueberry jam, banana slices, and Nutella. Having never tried a grilled PBJ, I asked for a recommendation. “I really like it grilled,” the counter guy offered. I took his advice and was glad that I did.
Since this truck invokes so much fun, my strategy for the second sandwich involved choosing all the ingredients that started with the letter “a.” This just seemed like it was a fun thing to do. So, almond butter, apple slices, apple jam and agave sweetener all went in.
My mistake, if you can call it one, was to choose gluten-free bread. Since I have never eaten gluten-free bread before, I decided to give it a try. My heart goes out to people that cannot digest gluten because the gluten-free bread is dry and really had no redeeming features. The fillings were great but could not quite make up for the insipid bread.
My final selection was outstanding: white bread, peanut butter, strawberry jam, fresh strawberries and honey with the crust on and grilled. It was a gooey mess to eat but the blend of strawberry flavors with peanut butter made me wish I had ordered the “monster” instead of just the “classic.”
“We want to continue to work on our ingredients to ensure the best quality possible, plus make sure we’re delivering our products as speedily as possible. Next we may add some more adult offerings,” Butler said.
Paul Galvani is the author of the upcoming guide Houston's Top 100 Food Trucks .