Credit Little Rock’s food trucks for contributing quite a lot to the city’s culinary scene. Whether it’s the unique trucks themselves, like Waffle Wagon or Southern Salt Food Co., or those that have gone on to create permanent restaurants, like The Southern Gourmasian and The Pizzeria at Terry’s Finer Foods, Little Rock’s food trucks have brought unique food and a necessarily casual vibe that fits the city well. So while you might not always think about a food truck for your lunch break, perhaps it’s time you should start. And perhaps you should start with Little Rock’s newest truck, The WunderBus, which I think already is one of the finest food trucks you can find in Central Arkansas.
The WunderBus is the creation of Jacqueline Forester, a former employee of the now-shuttered Natchez Restaurant. Forester has taken that experience and used it to fuel a new German street food concept. The WunderBus is most like The Pantry in that regard, though one bite shows that Forester is more strictly focused on German cuisine than The Pantry’s more widespread influence. That is to say, bratwursts and pork shoulder carry the day here.
There are hints of The WunderBus’s quality before you ever place your order. Forester has adopted Natchez’s passion for local food, sourcing her pork from the well-known Falling Sky Farm and making her sausage by hand in the truck. Forester is also working with local produce growers to keep fresh greens, potatoes and other vegetables a staple on her menu.
The menu is broken up into two categories: On a Bun, and On a Plate. On my visit, the bun dishes were kielbasas and bratwursts, each prepared two ways. I sampled the Joni Mitchell kielbasa, topped with a bright lavender coleslaw and garlic aioli. This was a wonderful bite, with a crisp freshness that accented the flavor of the sausage. And I found the Charlie Daniels kielbasa even better. The smoked sausage gets a heaping topping of hot pepper relish, bacon and spicy mayo. The heat from this plate was perfect, pushing you right to the edge without ever getting too hot. And the flavor of the sausage never got lost, making for an immensely enjoyable lunch.
I also sampled the Smith of Kochel, a plate of braised pork shoulder topped with caramelized onions and apples. This is the plate that will take you directly back to Natchez. The shoulder is cooked as nicely as you could ask, and the combination of sweet pork and the natural sugars found in the caramelized produce is a match your taste buds won’t soon forget. It’s outstanding, a plate that would be right at home in an upscale restaurant. Enjoying it as street fare was a real treat.
As most food trucks do, The WunderBus updates its location regularly on Facebook. So far, Forester and her crew have hit The Food Truck Court @ Station 801 and Flyway Brewing, as well as stops in Conway. Food this good is worth seeking out, and I encourage you to pay a visit on your next lunch break.