What the Hell Is That?

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
― Albert Einstein, The World as I See It


Trailer in front of us on US 75 – North Central Expressway

As we were transporting one son to the other’s apartment we were forced by cruel geography to drive down US 75 – Central Expressway. I have lived in Dallas a long time and have many memories of traffic jams on this long strip of concrete. Today was no different.


We saw a column of white smoke drifting up miles ahead and I knew it was going to be bad. So we settled in for the wait – about an hour, which is really not as bad as it could be. We chatted, listened to music, and stared at the back of the cargo trailer in front of us. I know it’s not a big deal, but I was forced to look at it for over an hour.


What the hell is that?

Cropped version of the back of the trailer.
What the hell?

It’s obviously the remmnants of a sign or a painted ad of some sort – heavily weathered or purposely mostly removed. You can see the white circles where the rivets are. There are two URLs on the design, I looked them up. One is a manufacturer of trailers, another is a local dealer that sells used trailers. No clue there. But the URLs overlay the design. Does that mean that it is supposed to look like that? Did they sell it that way?

As I stared at it – I wondered… What is that in the upper right? A dancer? Is that a skull in the upper left quarter? A lot of random shit ends up looking like a skull. One the bottom, those look like artistic shapes of some sort – but what?

I stuck my phone out of the window and snapped a photo right as we passed the charred carcass of a big burned out SUV (hope nobody was hurt) and the traffic began to speed up.

What the hell is that?

Airstream 2 – Old and New

“Time goes faster the more hollow it is. Lives with no meaning go straight past you, like trains that don’t stop at your station.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind


“The train bore me away, through the monstrous scenery of slag-heaps, chimneys, piled scrap-iron, foul canals, paths of cindery mud criss-crossed by the prints of clogs. This was March, but the weather had been horribly cold and everywhere there were mounds of blackened snow. As we moved slowly through the outskirts of the town we passed row after row of little grey slum houses running at right angles to the embankment. At the back of one of the houses a young woman was kneeling on the stones, poking a stick up the leaden waste-pipe which ran from the sink inside and which I suppose was blocked. I had time to see everything about her—her sacking apron, her clumsy clogs, her arms reddened by the cold. She looked up as the train passed, and I was almost near enough to catch her eye. She had a round pale face, the usual exhausted face of the slum girl who is twenty-five and looks forty, thanks to miscarriages and drudgery; and it wore, for the second in which I saw it, the most desolate, hopeless expression I have ever-seen. It struck me then that we are mistaken when we say that ‘It isn’t the same for them as it would be for us,’ and that people bred in the slums can imagine nothing but the slums. For what I saw in her face was not the ignorant suffering of an animal. She knew well enough what was happening to her—understood as well as I did how dreadful a destiny it was to be kneeling there in the bitter cold, on the slimy stones of a slum backyard, poking a stick up a foul drain-pipe.”
― George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier

The Bomb Fried Pies

I was talking to Raffealel from Gennarino’s Food Truck Saturday about how often they set up in Dallas. He said, “We come here to Sigel’s about one a month and always set up with The Bomb Fried Pies.”

“Oh,” I said, “That sounds good – I’ll have to get some dessert once I’ve finished my calzone.”

“Do that,” Raffealel said, “She’s a great person.”

Of course, I had already noticed the pink trailer with the blue bomb hanging overhead and already had plans to grab a couple of fried pies. I had heard of The Bomb Fried Pies before but this was my first time to get a chance for a visit.

Two new food trucks at one shot – that’s a good day for me.

So I went back and chatted with Brenda Barnhart, the owner. She said she was going to set up at the Wildflower Festival in Richardson – my family loves that. She is from Mesquite, where I used to live. As a matter of fact, I’ve since found out that she is the next-door neighbor of my sister-in-law.

Her trailer is a pretty pink little thing – a rebuilt 1965 Shasta – and is covered with interesting little details. The bomb is a Navy Practice Bomb and everything is pulled by a restored 1960 classic red Ford Sunliner.

Like everyone that has a food truck business in Dallas, she bemoans the difficulty of finding good places to set up. Hopefully, with time the city and the suburbs will become more used to the idea and realize that a good selection of portable gourmet food trucks is a modern essential to an active street life.

I told her about Anthony Bourdain’s idea that food trucks are really an alternative to fast food rather than competition to quality brick and mortar restaurants.

“Yeah and McDonalds sells their fried pies for a buck and I charge three,” she said.

“But that’s a whole different kettle of fish,” I said.

And it was. I bought a cherry and an apricot pie, and they were much better than McDonalds – I assure you. The crust was thin and crispy, fresh, and the filling was sweet and fruity. The Bomb also had a Fried Guacamole and a Fried Ham and Cheese, but I wasn’t hungry enough for that.

The only downside is I tried to eat my apricot pie while driving to the Mockingbird DART station and got stuff all over everything. Those pies are really too good to waste eating while doing something else. You need to sit still and enjoy the experience.

To find where The Bomb Fried Pies is setting up next:

Go to the Facebook Page

Food truck review: The Bomb Fried Pies & Fried Guacamole

Interview: Brenda Barnhart of The Bomb Fried Pies

The Bomb Fried Pies & Guacamole Trailer Hits the Festival Circuit. Next Stop, Oak Cliff.

Fried Pies and Food Trucks: Bless Us Baby Jesus

If you look quick in this video, you can see The Bomb trailer.


It was a long beautiful afternoon down in the Dallas Arts District. It was the first Saturday in the Art in October thingy and I had been hanging around for a while, visiting the museums, taking some photographs (I have my Nikon back from the shop and it seems to be working better than ever) and scarfing down some food truck food. I was sitting right off the sidewalk finishing off a pair of chipotle bar-b-que tacos when a couple women with children dressed in white t-shirts that said, “Trailercakes,” on them came by passing out menus.

“We’re down another block,” they said, “come on down and try our cupcakes.” Their menu looked impressive – I’ve never been a huge cupcake fan – but my idea of a cupcake was a stale cylinder of dry cake slathered with some oversweet food-colored goop passed to you at some underfunded church luncheon. These Trailercakes looked like treats of an entirely different sort.

I had seen the silvery glint of an Airstream trailer down in front of the Meyerson Symphony Center. At first I thought of getting some dessert for myself, then decided to hoof by there on the way home and get something for Candy.

So once I was ready to head homeward I walked over to the Meyerson. The main thrust of the festivities and the rest of the food trucks were all down Flora Street towards the Nasher. I hope some folks were able to wander down to the other end – it’s a nice spot, actually.

The Trailercakes Airstream “Bubbles” sitting down in a grove of bald cypress trees in front of the Meyerson. From this picture, you would think it was camped out in a rural park somewhere.


Customers looking at the selection of cupcakes while the bubbles float by.

Working on an order.

One of the things I like about the whole food truck thing is the interaction between the chefs and the customers (me). I bought six mini-cupcakes to take home and we talked about what to get. They asked about peanut butter and jelly cupcakes. I hesitated and they said that was their specialty. They gave me one to try and I gobbled it down.

It was pretty darn good. So I had them include one.

Here’s what I walked away with. Clockwise, from the top, ending with the peanut butter one in the center:

  • Hitched (white/white)
  • Slap-Your-Mother Chocolate (chocolate/chocolate)
  • Bananarama (I think) (banana/cream cheese)
  • The King (banana/peanut butter)
  • Happy Days (white/white/sprinkles)
  • PB&J (white/grape jelly center/peanut butter fluff)

I had to ride home on a crowded DART train with this in my lap. It was full of kids coming back from the Texas State Fair. They all eyed that tray of cupcakes the whole way – I’m lucky I wasn’t attacked.