“If you have to add any kind of seasoning to my food, then I haven’t done a really good job,” said Robert Stokes, owner of the new Soul Cat Cuisine. Stokes’ family is from New Orleans, and there’s no missing his food truck’s jazz theme.
“Most everything I serve here uses my grandma’s recipes,” he tells customers. His menu is extensive and centers around Creole cuisine as well as other Southern traditions.
Take Stokes’ Hot Sausage Po’Boy, the sausage is from Patton’s in Louisiana. I tried it with a side of terrific yam fries.
Stokes’ Sweet Potato Pie Cheesecake combines rich cheesecake with the smooth sweet potato and a hint of cinnamon to make it a wonderfully sweet ending. The only problem is that it is served in a small, individual pie tin — and one tin simply will not suffice.
“If you thought the Sweet Potato Pie Cheesecake was the cat’s whiskers, wait till you try my grandma’s bread pudding,” Stokes told me one day. The next week I noted one of his many Facebook posts: “Today is Bread Pudding Day.”
I made it over to his truck in record time.
For lunch, I tried the Turkey Dirty Rice and Collard and Mustard Greens.
“I recommend that with my catfish,” Stokes said, a smile covering his face.
Stokes’ cornmeal-crusted catfish is among the crispiest I have tried.
Made with turkey, the dirty rice is Stokes’ only nod to healthier food. It lacks the pungent flavor of chicken livers, which are normally associated with this dish, but otherwise, it’s the real deal.
The Bread Pudding is almost a meal in itself. The dense pudding created with Italian and French breads is covered in pecan halves. The sauce is a heavenly mix of bourbon and sugar that runs down the side of the pudding, forming a puddle of unbelievably good dipping sauce. I seriously doubt that there is a better one this side of New Orleans.
Find Stokes’ next stop by going to soulcatcuisine.com.
Paul Galvani is the author of the upcoming guide Houston's Top 100 Food Trucks.