It will come as no surprise to locavores in Shreveport-Bossier that Chef Anthony Felan’s new “semi-permanent food trailer” parked at Red River Brewing Company, Fat Calf Boucherie, serves incredible food. From pop-up dinner clubs and Slow Food North Louisiana events to his long tenure as Executive Chef at Wine Country Bistro (a position that he left earlier this year), Felan has methodically built a name for himself as a serious, hard-working chef.
It’s also unsurprising that the Boucherie Burger at Fat Calf ($13), made with local Smith Family Farms beef, is insanely delicious and has easily, immediately established itself as one of the best I’ve ever eaten. This burger – topped with smoked tomato aioli, local arugula, onion marmalade and a perfect sunny-side-up Mahaffey Farms egg – is so good that it makes me angry. It makes me angry at other burgers. Why can’t they be like this one?
What is surprising is the fact that this enormous food truck covered in diagrams of beef cuts, which has the word “boucherie” (French for “butcher shop”) in its name, serves a mean salad as well as one of the best vegetarian dishes in town. If you are into vegetables, get to Fat Calf as soon as possible and order the cauliflower bites ($5-$8). The name of this dish doesn’t really sell it; cauliflower florets are broiled with paper-thin slices of garlic, lemon, Parmesan, and Calabrian chiles. Don’t bother ordering a small – you are going to want a large. The steak salad ($11) was killer, too – a simple but delicious combo of perfectly cooked steak slices over shaved root vegetables, micro-greens, golden raisins, pumpkin seeds and goat cheese.
Customers order at the food truck window and take a seat inside Red River Brewing Company, where the food is delivered by a Fat Calf team member, often by Felan himself. The plates are paper and the flatware is wooden, and there’s no waitstaff once the food’s been delivered. Those factors may turn some people off. But the fact is that this may be the most exciting restaurant opening of the year…and it’s a semi-permanent trailer with a dancing hot dog stenciled on one side. But I won’t be returning to Fat Calf because of the ambiance – I’ll be returning because of the cauliflower. And that is surprising.
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If you enjoy this kind of food writing, download the third edition of Eat Here: A Food Lover’s Guide to Shreveport-Bossier.