May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI) and is a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders around the US. This month highlights the history, heritage, and significant contributions of their communities.
According to the US Census, Asians now make up 7% of the nation's overall population representing over 20 countries in East, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. We’re incredibly honored and excited to highlight AAPI culture and small businesses.
What better way to celebrate Asian culture than through food? For Kiensai Amphay, Saviay Phochane, and Kevin Vongphrachanh, co-owners of the oriental street food truck, Hoodeats, food plays an important role in connecting them to their culture.
Hoodeats serves up traditional Lao food with Hawaiian, Korean, Thai, and Japanese flare. The trio started out serving food from their home for fun and what started as a passion project through the pandemic is a full-time business today. “Watching my parents get down on the khok (Lao mortar and pestle) [and] wanting to bring something different to Amarillo,” is what inspired their start says Vongphrachanh.
Cooking traditional Lao food is important to the three.
“Since we’re first-generation [Asian] Americans, we wanted to show off authentic Laotion food,” says Phochane.
Hood Eats officially won locals over less than a year after opening up shop. They were voted “Best Food Truck” in News Channel 10's Viewers Choice Awards 2022, and we couldn’t agree more. Our favorites are the combo box (brisket, fried chicken wings, chicken satay, egg rolls, and sticky rice) and the spam musubi.
The team hopes to eventually find a permanent spot, but they are enjoying hitting every corner of Amarillo in the meantime. “It’s fun having our customers come find us. It’s like the old days where you had to hunt for your food – we like to keep it interesting!” says Amphay.
Find their food truck and menu on their social media here.