Mai-O-Mai foodstuff truck fuses Mexican, Asian flavors with San Antonio soul

The story of chef Ivan Torres has been informed in some of San Antonio’s very best kitchens. Just 26, the operator of the Mexican-Asian fusion food stuff trailer Mai-O-Mai previously has labored the stoves with cooks Geronimo Lopez at Botika, Luca Della Casa at Nonna Osteria and Steve McHugh at Landrace.

But like so numerous upwardly mobile chefs, Torres desired anything to contact his have. Drawn to Asian cooking by the Peruvian-Chinese-Japanese menagerie at Botika and motivated by the foods he grew up eating as a San Antonio native, he lit the fires on an concept to fuse Mexican and Asian styles.

That notion took genuine-globe form Aug. 15 when Torres opened Mai-O-Mai outside the house Bruno’s Dive Bar in Southtown. Considering that then, he’s parked the late-night time trailer at bars all-around city, including Tony’s Siesta, Amor Eterno and Espuelas Bar at the Bridge, with hopes of getting a common location.

In the meantime, Torres reported he’s making the most of the ride, a experience that includes warming individuals up to the idea of Mexican-Asian foodstuff.

Spot: Spots fluctuate. Check out the Instagram site @maifoodtruck for updates.

Several hours: 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Wednesday-Sunday

Takeout/supply: Onsite dining and takeout available. No shipping and delivery.


“People are scared at to start with,” he explained. “They’re thinking about Mexican street foodstuff, and it’s all tacos, tacos, tacos. I have to describe it in distinctive conditions to make it operate.”

The menu does some of the perform, with strains like this to describe pork al pastor steamed buns: “Think tacos, pero in a bao.” That works for me.

Best dish: If pork al pastor does not style ideal, it does not make any difference how it is packaged. Torres made guaranteed it was suitable with a spicy, sweet and tangy marinade of achiote, pineapple juice, citrus and vinegar turbocharged with guajillo chiles, chile pasilla and chile de árbol. Finished on the flat-top rated grill, the pork was piled onto a pair of comfortable steamed buns with contemporary pineapple and pickled onions for a street food items expertise that connects two culinary worlds ($9).

Other dishes: For the reason that Mai-O-Mai hangs out at bars, the menu favors meals you can eat with your fingers. That contains a righteous pork carnitas sandwich that merged shoulder, tummy and rib meat on a toasted bolillo roll that took on a Vietnamese banh mi persona with herbs, carrots and spicy sauce ($14).

The trailer also turned out respectable spicy-sweet lemongrass fried chicken wings ($11), no little feat for the confines of a trailer, exactly where fryer area is at a high quality. Torres maximized the fryer’s ability with Catfish y Chips ($13), nuggets of catfish soaked in sambal buttermilk, dredged in cornmeal and fried to a shaggy crunch, served with curly fries, all of it sauced with spicy, complicated miso remoulade.

A fork arrived into perform for bulgogi fries ($14), a stoner’s delight of curly fries, grilled sweet-hot beef, fragrant kimchi, fresh herbs and a fried egg, all intended to be swirled jointly. And while I did not get how a dish of huge noodles with loaded tomato curry, herbs and vegetables was supposed to replicate the vermicelli-twirl of fideo for Fideo Noodz ($10 additionally $5 for shrimp), I liked the result.

[email protected] | Twitter: @fedmanwalking | Instagram: @fedmanwalking

Theresa D. Begay

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