With temperatures rising and icy conditions thawing out, it is time once again to turn our attention towards mobile eateries throughout the area. One that is probably already on your radar, Low Ivy Catering, continues to crank out creative spins on comfort food classics, as I found out on a recent Saturday afternoon at The Rail Yard.
Chef Amanda Ivy’s menu typically consists of four options per shift, all vastly different, thus showing her and the crew’s talents across varying cuisines. Case in point: here’s the menu from my visit: Kung Pao Po Bao, Lobster Steam Buns, Tandoori Meatball Sub, and Pork Tamales with Chili. I ended up ordering the latter three dishes and only regret not tacking on the po bao.
First up, the lobster steam buns: a fun version of a New England staple with steamed buns instead of the classic buttered rolls. Each bun is fairly small – maybe two or three bites – and the lobster is a tad overdressed for my preference, but if you’re craving crustacean in a bad way, this dish will scratch that itch. Would I order again? Probably not, but that is not really a knock, as I would just prefer trying other offerings.
The meatballs in the Tandoori Meatball Sub consisted of house-ground chicken smothered in a tandoori masala sauce. It all rested inside a Leidenheimer roll with a side of the most amazing, warm samosa potato salad. Do not, I repeat, do not, sleep on this potato salad, a side dish that truly showcases Ivy’s creativity. It is a simple, yet brilliant creation, one that tastes exactly like a samosa without the fried outer shell. And as much as I enjoyed this sandwich, it was overshadowed just a bit by the pork tamales and chili.
This is the first time I have eaten tamales that have embraced both the Delta-style and Mexican attributes, thanks in large part to a heaping pour of chili over two moist tamales. The tamales tasted and resembled many of the great ones I ate during my Texas days, but the chili gave the dish a Delta vibe. I was not a fan of the oyster crackers on top, which acted more like a garnish, but that is another personal preference rather than a knock on the dish. I don’t enjoy crackers with tamales but know that people do, especially in this area.
In the end, my visit to the Low Ivy Catering food truck was a huge success and one that will inspire a return in the very near future. Many folks view this as one of the best food trucks in Central Arkansas, and while I am not quite there yet, it would not surprise me if a few more positive trips got me aligned with this way of thinking. We can debate Low Ivy Catering’s greatness all day long, but one thing is for certain: creativity is front and center at everything they do. I applaud any restaurant/food truck stepping outside the box and taking chances. For Low Ivy Catering, it’s a job well done.
Keep an eye on their social media for weekly schedule updates. Here’s the next stop.