HOUSTON—If you thought there was only one way to do a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, check out the Monster PBJ food truck. They are putting a gourmet twist on this childhood classic, with unexpected ingredients like hot sauce and honey.
The truck grinds their own nut butters (peanut, almond and cashew) and smears them with locally-procured jellies (blueberry, strawberry or grape). Choose among white, wheat or gluten-free bread options that owner Jill Butler wanted to offer after making some drastic changes to her own diet.
“I went Vegan about six years ago. I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I definitely ate PB&J during that time,” she explained.
After beating cancer, Jill made it her mission to make her favorite comfort food accessible to anyone, even on a restricted diet. All of the sandwiches the truck serves are vegan, egg-free, dairy-free and virtually preservative-free. But if you think that means low on flavor, check out the staff favorite called “The Mariela.” The sandwich combines pickles, peanut butter and sriracha sauce on white.
Jake Thorn, the truck’s main operator, came up with “The Mariela” and other signature sandwiches, which feature a variety of unconventional PB&J accoutrements, such as hot sauce, fresh fruit, Nutella and honey.
The sandwiches cost less than $10 ($3 for a half size, $5 for classic and $7 for the “Monster” triple-decker). If you like yours toasted or crustless, you have that option, too.
“It’s a hefty sandwich, it covers my face,” customer Yen Lee said.
Jill says the most rewarding part of the business is seeing families get excited about options their children like to eat.
“We get a lot of moms who are very excited because they may have a child who cannot have milk or cannot have eggs, and it is just a wonderful thing to see their faces just light up,” she explains.
You can find Monster PBJ by following them on Twitter: @MonsterPBJ.
Monster PBJ also stops regularly at The Menil and The Contemporary Arts Museum.