Food Truck Mania
There is no shortage of delicious new food in Shreveport-Bossier City, including the atmosphere in which it is presented. Over the last few years, our food scene has grown to encompass several unique food trucks to provide a fun environment, community aspect and mouth-watering menus.
Social: Instagram – @onoshawaiitruck | Facebook – @onoshawaiitruck
When Sione Malanga moved to Shreveport, he came with a dream to bring the tastes of his childhood to the residents of northwest Louisiana.
Malanga was born in Oahu, Hawaii and was raised by his grandparents in the Polynesian state of Tonga. As a teenager, he discovered his passion for food while working at a Hawaiian bakery, but he took a short reprieve from the food industry when he found his way onto the music scene. A musical career took Malanga to the continental U.S. and a few years later his marriage landed him in Shreveport. His desire to spend time with his family reignited his passion to work in the food industry, and Ono’s Hawaiian food truck was born.
“I’ve always wanted to open up my own Hawaiian restaurant or bakery, but I didn’t have the guts to do it,” said Malanga. “I figured having a food truck was the best way to learn, so I decided to open a truck and just go for it.”
Because the majority of Shreveport-Bossier City residents have never tried Hawaiian food, Malanga spent his first few months advertising on social media. Although awareness took effort, Malanga said once someone tastes his food, they are hooked.
“Word of mouth really got people to come and try our food, and once we got the first-timers to try it, they wanted to come back,” said Malanga.
Malanga and his Ono’s team prepare all their food from scratch, presenting a unique flavor to represent his upbringing. Among the variety of menu options, popular Ono’s dishes include the Kalua pig (Hawaiian-style pulled pork sautéed with thinly sliced cabbage, soy sauce and Hawaiian salt), teriyaki chicken (fresh chicken thighs marinated overnight in homemade teriyaki sauce, grilled and topped with teriyaki sauce), and the teriyaki burger (a burger patty served on a sweet Hawaiian bun topped with lettuce, mayonnaise, provolone cheese and teriyaki glaze).
Ono’s food truck plans on serving Shreveport-Bossier City for many years to come and is working on further ideas for expansion in the future.
“I’ve learned to take more pride in my food truck than anything I’ve ever done in my life,” said Malanga. “This is the one thing I’ve fully stuck to, and I give everything I have.”
Social: Facebook – @beauxjaxmobilecajuneatery
An unexpected heart attack and a few beers led Beau Hays and Chef Aaron “Peanut” Hanning to lay the groundwork for Beauxjax Cajun Eatery.
Hays and Hanning said they knew they wanted to bring a food truck to Shreveport-Bossier City after attending the Austin City Limits Music Festival years ago. Yet, marriage, babies and jobs delayed their plans.
In 2014, Hanning and Hays found themselves reunited at a hospital after Hays’s father collapsed from a heart attack. Hays’s father made a full recovery, but the event reminded Hanning and Hays that life is too short to not follow their dreams.
The same night, Hays and Hanning began remapping plans for a food truck.
“I was 32, Beau was 30, and we thought if we’re ever actually going to do this, now is the time,” said Hanning.
In May 2015, Beauxjax began serving Cajun masterpieces throughout northwest Louisiana at local farmers markets, festivals and neighborhoods. Beauxjax’s menu focuses on the two primary concepts of poboys — such as the gator Andouille and blackened shrimp — and bowls — “gumbeaux,” jambalaya and Andouille and red beans.
“We pride ourselves on the fact that we cook everything from scratch,” said Hanning. “We cook the flavor into our food for a natural ‘south of I-10 flavor.’”
Keep an eye out for new developments both in the Beauxjax menu and schedule, including alcohol sales and neighborhood movie nights and for weekly updates by liking them on Facebook.
Social: Facebook – @themissinglinkfoodservices
Brady Crenshaw and Cade Horn have been through it all together — middle school, high school, college, marriages — and after Crenshaw visited New Orleans and spotted a local restaurant serving gourmet sausages, inspiration erupted.
Shortly after, Crenshaw and Horn were rolling out the Missing Link food truck, filled with specialty hotdogs and sausages such as the special Louisiana hot link cooked in Jack Daniels barbeque sauce with bell peppers, jalapeno relish and coleslaw; the Cajun dog — alligator sausage with sautéed bell peppers, onions and creole mustard; and the bacon cheddar dog — pork injected with crab boil served with cheddar cheese, bacon, sautéed onions and ranch.
“We wanted to be different — we focused on the flavor profile and being aesthetically pleasing,” said Crenshaw. “After all, you taste with your eyes before you taste with your mouth.”
The Missing Link caters lunches for a local school in north Bossier City during the school year, and each Friday the truck sets up at 504 Texas St. in downtown Shreveport for lunch hour.
For Crenshaw and Horn, managing a food truck presents a challenge in the lack of atmosphere. The owners said it’s difficult to create an environment with just a truck, and they hope to forge unforgettable food with an unforgettable experience in their brick and mortar restaurant, opening in the upcoming months.
“We want to offer something outside of just food and beverage,” said Horn. “We want to offer a real experience to people. We want to give them something Shreveport flavored.”
The Missing Link restaurant is set to open in October, complete with a bar area, live music and enhanced menu. Like the Missing Link on Facebook for current updates and information.
Social: Facebook – @sweetporttreats
Drawing inspiration from the age-old neighborhood ice cream truck concept, Nicole Spikes and her family began serving homemade ice cream treats to Shreveport-Bossier City in August 2016.
Spikes said after she had children she realized neighborhood ice cream trucks needed significant improvements. With her love for baking desserts and her father’s dream of opening a snoball stand, Sweetport’s tires hit the road.
“It’s evolved into more homemade ice cream than the prepackaged treats you see in a typical ice cream truck,” said Spikes. “We’ve become so busy it’s evolved into something so much more than we anticipated.”
Along with homemade ice cream, Sweetport’s menu includes snoballs, root beer and Coke floats and the “Chill Hill” — a mixture of ice cream and snoball. Each flavor of ice cream is named after an iconic Shreveport-Bossier City location, such as Elvis Has Left the Building (a peanut butter and banana flavored ice cream named for Elvis’s debut at the Louisiana Hayride) and Bistineau Campfire Nights (ice cream blended with toasted marshmallow, drizzled in chocolate sauce and topped with crushed graham crackers).
As a full-time physician assistant, Spikes said she could not do it without the support of her family. Despite the challenges she faces in working both a full-time and part-time job, Spikes said Sweetport not only brings the community together but also brings her
family together. “I love getting the kids involved,” said Spikes. “Whenever they smell the ice cream they come running to help, so it’s a family affair.” Spikes said she has several goals for Sweetport in the upcoming years, including an airstream for catering birthday parties and even a local brick and mortar shop. Sweetport makes regular routes in Shreveport-Bossier City neighborhoods and caters at birthday parties and events.
Social: Facebook – @wannagetsauced
Since July 2016, Brandon and Julie Price have been making Shreveport-Bossier City’s food scene a little saucier.
After eight years of work in the construction business, Brandon decided it was time for a new adventure and found himself spending a majority of his time in the couple’s kitchen.
“When I came home from work, I realized my way to detox was playing around in the kitchen,” said Brandon. “I loved cooking.”
Brandon said he always dreamed of owning his own restaurant, but decided to begin the journey by operating a food truck. With the help of his wife, Julie, as well as the staff at Time Out Sports Bar, Brandon began serving quick, fresh ingredients to hungry customers.
The menu consists of nine homemade sauces created by Brandon including sweet barbecue, mango habanero, Thai chili and spicy mayo. Customers choose to add their choice of sauce and toppings to a poboy, hotdog, order of tater tots or their classic burgers.
“There’s nothing more American than a burger and fries,” said Brandon. “It’s usually our number one bestseller.”
In an area where food trucks are still fairly new to residents, Brandon said the most rewarding part of operating Get Sauced is the reaction from new customers after trying his food.
“I love the instant gratification you get from people when they first try our food,” said Brandon. “It creates a memorable time for everyone.”
Get Sauced regularly visits local breweries and bars such as Flying Heart, Strange Brew and Great Raft. Follow them on Facebook to see where they are heading this week near you.