by Dani Vanderboegh

Fusion food truck creates a craving

Some rice, a fried egg, avocado, meat with an unfamiliar name and salsa are not things I’d usually try on my own volition, much less rave about. But for some reason, the way Urban Street Grill does it “” I’ve been craving it for days.

Urban Street Grill is a Korean and Mexican fusion food truck that operates locally. It’s the brainchild of brothers Eric and Adam James, who run the business with their wives Elizabeth and Abigail. They started the food truck in 2013 after learning the ins-and-outs of the Asian-inspired food and preparation from friend Jim Chang of Sushi Republic.

“My brother and I had been talking about it for a long time, more or less just starting a restaurant, and a food truck was a much more affordable way to get started with that,” Eric James said.

About two months ago, Eric and Elizabeth left their day jobs to run Urban Street Grill full-time with help from Adam and Abigail James, who still work full-time jobs in addition to the truck.

I had the rice bowl with ribeye bulgogi and salsa roja, but they have four other options of rice bowls, plus burritos, tacos and a very popular Bulgogi Cheese Steak sandwich, all for $8 or less. All of their rice bowls are served with pickled onions, avocado, Kimchi fried rice, a fried egg and choice of meat, garnished with cilantro.

Eric James said they prepare their bulgogi meat by marinating it overnight in various Asian elements including soy sauce, ginger, sugar and garlic for use the next day. Then they sear it to perfection. Pickled vegetables are prepared similarly overnight. They pickle their own onions, jalapeños and cucumbers about once a week.

“It’s all very fresh, nothing is ever frozen,” Eric James said. “We don’t want to compromise the quality, that’s why we choose to do it that way.”

The salsa roja is prepared using ingredients such as roasted tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, onions, garlic, lime juice. “We don’t really want the salsa to be the star of the show there; we kind of want the meat to stand out, so it’s a really basic salsa,” Eric James said.

The Kimchi rice is prepared by cooking it in a rice cooker, then frying it up with Kimchi, soy sauce, sesame oil and other ingredients, and it’s the base for all of their scrumptious rice bowls.

But their most popular item is the Bulgogi Cheese Steak sandwich, which is ribeye bulgogi with cheddar cheese, black sesame mayonnaise, sesame lettuce, and it’s garnished with pickled cucumbers and jalapeño. “We won first place at the North Carolina Food Truck State Championship in Randelman this year for that sandwich,” Eric James said.

A man in the line before me had just ordered said award-winning sandwich, and he came back only moments later with a piece of advice. He said, “Don’t forget the extra napkins.” Advice to live by.

Currently the Urban Street Grill is mobile, but the four owners hope to one day have a stationary location. They also hope to expand their menu within the next year. But for now, you can find them at their website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and, of course, on the road.

“For anyone that’s never tried Korean barbecue, they should definitely venture out and give it a shot because I’m sure they won’t be disappointed,” Eric James said. !


Because Urban Street Grill is always on the move, the best way to find out where they will be is to check their website or find them on Facebook.