First Bite: Happy Eating Food Truck



Happy Eating
  • Happy Eating
Local curio shop Happy Japan recently relocated from Inglewood/Madison to Berry Hill. (I still haven't been to the new location, but from what I hear it's bigger than the old one.) Even more recently, they've added another vehicle to Nashville's growing food truck fleet: Happy Eating. Today the truck, which I think wins the award for most eye-popping paint job, was parked out in food-truck hotbed MetroCenter, and I got to sample their take on Japanese street food for the first time. Funnily enough, I drove around for 15 minutes trying to find an ATM — since every food truck in Nashville seems incapable of accepting anything other than cash, which I never have on me, not that that drives me nuts or anything, but I digress — only to discover that Happy Eating, happily, accepts debit cards. A MIRACLE OF MODERN COMMERCE.

Anyway, as I perused the menu — check it out here if you like — owner Laura Myers informed me that today's special was "rice burgers," which are not burgers made of rice, but rather, two slider-sized beef patties, each garnished with some pickled daikon and wasabi sauce, and set between a set of rice wheels to form a sticky, meaty treat. That's definitely thinking outside the bun. I and everyone who sampled loved these little beauties, and they came with a nice serving of sweet potato fries, which were lightly dusted with a curry powder of some sort, plus some wasabi mayo for dipping. Several thumbs up.

I think the rice burgers were $8 — I hadn't planned to blog this when I was ordering, so I didn't follow my usual Strict Rules of Blogging, which consist mainly of "trying to remember stuff." In case you haven't been outside today, it is ridiculously hot, so I can only imagine what it's like to be cooking over an open flame in the back of this thing:


I also ordered the curry ($6) and added breaded pork cutlet for an additional $2. (Again, I didn't know I'd be blogging this, so I didn't think to take pictures of the food.) Breaded-and-fried food always suffers most from time spent in a to-go container, so by the time I drove back to The Gulch, the pork was a little on the droopy side. I'm blaming that on the travel, not the preparation. The curry itself was good, if a little less intensely flavored than I was expecting. A colleague who sampled the curry said he found it "bland," though I don't know that I'd go that far. I washed it all down with a strawberry ramune soda, which involves pushing a clear glass marble down into the neck of the bottle to activate the carbonation. If you want to feel old and clumsy, order one of these. Pretty tasty, too.

All in all, Happy Eating lived up to its name — did I mention they're a mobile food truck in Nashville, yet are not cash-only? — and I'm looking forward to trying some of the other items on the menu: udon, onigiri and crepes in particular. They're setting up at Yazoo as I type this, and will be in 5 Points late tonight. To keep up with their appearances you can follow them on Twitter, and if you get a chance to try it, report back on Bites. Dozo!

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