Interview with Billy Ross of Taste Buds ExpressJuly 13, 2013 3 comments Print Article
EatDrinkJax.com talks about Taste Buds Express with Billy Ross
Owners Billy Ross and Terrence Webb
1. Tell us about Taste Buds Express.
We're a friendly food truck that prepares Tex-Mex and Southern home-style foods. I'm originally from Houston, Texas, where I was raised cooking this style of comfort food. We offer a wide variety with our three page menu, including over 12 different tacos, each with their own unique flavors made with homemade sauces and marinades. We offer great customer service, reasonable prices and big Texas sized portions.
2. When did Taste Buds Express start?
Our grand opening was in October 2012, but the planning and collecting of items we would eventually use took about 2 to 3 years. I moved to Jacksonville from Houston about 4 years ago. In Houston I worked in the arts community - working for the Houston Ballet. When I arrived in Jacksonville I found that there was little to no funding in the arts to make a living doing what I did in Texas. So I took a job as a bartender. For the past 2 years we've been looking to do something along the lines of catering. We were thinking of doing the Riverside Arts Market as a food vendor, but were rejected due to competing menus. It was a little disappointing because we really wanted to do the Arts Market and felt that we had a pretty different twist on our Tex-Mex style of food compared to most vendors. We considered other options of vending including building a trailer but ultimately we decided on building an actual food truck.
3. Did you ever consider a bricks and mortar restaurant?
We would absolutely love to have a restaurant and bring some Texas hospitality to Jacksonville; but like most food truck owners we see this as an opportunity to learn the restaurant business and hope to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the future.
4. Who came up with your funky truck design?
We knew we wanted a design that was eye-catching and exciting. We got with Kevin at Stripeman Graphix and after a couple of consultations we finally got the over the top look we wanted. In addition to the design, we just added a police light bar and we will be adding more “BLING” to the truck soon.
5. What is the concept of your food?
We concentrate on home-style, Tex-Mex food. We started off making our basic “tacos al carbon” made with marinated charbroiled flank steak, thinly sliced with cilantro, onion and pico on a flour or corn tortilla. We expanded and began adding new items like grilled chicken and barbecued pork. Eventually we started offering fresh vegetables like Mexican corn, Brussel Sprouts, barbecued green beans and various mixed vegetables. We also offer our now near-famous black beans and cilantro vegetables. For lunch people can actually get a full, wholesome lunch or a snack that satisfies their taste buds and their pocket books.