Many people around the city have either seen Jackie Tran snapping photos of delicious meals (and tasting them afterward), have read his written work, or caught him frolicking around many of the food-themed events happening around Tucson.
Now, he’s got a new project up his sleeve — a food truck by the name of Tran’s Fats, which will offer some of the bites he’s grown to love the most.
The food truck concept has been one of Jackie’s dreams for a while now, and the process, although it can be overwhelming, has been running smoothly with a few alterations.
“The hardest part has been shrinking the menu to a manageable size,” said Tran. “Originally, the menu was more fat-focused with gimmicks like a bacon fat fryer and a duck fat fryer, but then I realized how expensive and logistically nightmarish it would be. I switched the focus to simply food that I love at an approachable price.”
The menu is broken down into different categories and consists of various lettuce wraps, assorted dumplings, and desserts like Fried Bananas. Oh, and what’s a meal without the crisp taste of a Mexican Coke (it’s on the menu, too) to wash it all down?
“Once everything is comfortably up and running,” said Tran, “I’ll incorporate more menu specials and seasonal items.”
Tran’s Fats Food Truck Menu
Fats — fried in canola oil, crunchy
(+$3 to wrap it in local Merchant’s Garden butter lettuce)
- Potatoes (V, GF)($5) – extra-crunchy russet home fries
- +$3 for Indonesian white curry style
- Korean Cauliflower (V)($7) – vodka-battered, sweet and spicy gochujang sauce
- Scallion Rangoons (V)($6) – cashew cream cheese, cranberry sweet and sour
- Lemongrass Popcorn Chicken ($7) – Vietnamese-marinated dark meat, nuoc cham (anchovy chili lime garlic sauce)
- Cajun Steak Fingies ($9) – buttermilk marinade, horseradish honey mustard
Dumplings — steamed with love
- Potato Mochi Dumplings (V, GF)($8) – roasted garlic and mushroom filling, sesame soy sauce
- Pho Soup Dumplings ($10) – fragrant Vietnamese beef stock, brisket, cilantro, jalapeño
Cold sides — the menu stepchildren
- Sichuan Smashed Cucumbers (V, GF)($4) – raw garlic, sesame, black rice vinegar
- Sesame Soba Noodles (V)($5) – tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, scallions
Desserts — made with pure malice
- Fried Bananas (V, GF)($7) – condensed coconut milk drizzle, chopped pecans
- Houlden’s Rise Above Dessert of the Day (V) – check her Instagram @houldens.riseabove for details
Jackie plans to get the truck up and running so it can be parked around town as soon as he can — opening up in the spring would be ideal.
“I still need to legally finalize several aspects such as permits and licensing, so I can’t announce the location or dates quite yet.”
In the future, a brick-and-mortar is a bucket list dream for Jackie as well. His plan is to wait for the perfect moment, or at least until a “highly contagious disease isn’t a prominent factor in our safety and economy.”
“I’m totally going to lurk the comments of this article, so please voice any grievances and constructive criticisms.”