Irritable Bao - Dumps Like A Truck Food Truck / Auburn, Alabama
I don’t know how we found Dumps Like a Truck on Instagram but I thank God that we did! Dumps Like a Truck is the name of their food truck and they have a brick and mortar called the Irritable Bao!
Their little bao logo is the cutest! I was looking at their instagram feed and was drawn in by the photos of the longest lines of Auburn students and residents that I’ve ever seen. And not only were they waiting, but they were all waiting with smiles on their faces. I mean true happy smiles. I HAD to know more. I kept scrolling and looking at their food and I was hooked. Baos, dumplings, pork belly buns, tea eggs, congee, milk tea, wood ear mushroom cold dishes… should I go on? As I scrolled, I came to a post about their mission and their support of children who scavenge in dumps for survival in Manila, the Philippines, and Cambodia. Not only do they send money to support Empowering Young Warriors Asia and Empowering Lives Asia, they support their community and single parents who struggle to provide for their family. 100% of the proceeds of merchandise sales and tips, and a portion (10% if not more) of their food sales go to these missions.
Their heart for service and love for God is evident in their attitude, the store front, and most definitely their food. The process of making dumplings, bao, and buns by hand is a labor of love. Their hands touch each and every dumpling and bao that leaves their restaurant. I feel quite a connection with what they are doing. My father was a diplomat and lived in Beijing, China for four years and my mother is Chinese so I grew up around dumplings and baozi. We would make everything from scratch and then proudly eat what we had made. My memories around dumplings range from sitting with students at a University in Beijing with my brother talking to Chinese students about our experiences in the US while they shared their upbringing in Beijing all while filling dumplings and cooking them right in the room for dinner - to coming home and finding a house full of Chinese grannies making and cooking dumplings and baozis with my mom because she planned activities with the elderly from Chinese church in Hoover, Alabama. In every situation, the making and eating of dumplings involved fellowship and care for those around us. This is what I felt when I stepped into the Irritable Bao and ate their food.
If you haven’t eaten dumplings with handmade fresh wrappers, GO IMMEDIATELY. It’s not like the dumpling wrappers you find in the store. The texture is softer, has a chewier bite, and is… well better and more delicious. And it tastes just like the ones we’ve had in Beijing! The filling was pork and cabbage with fragrant ginger - exactly what I wanted in a dumpling. The sauce was BOMB! Sweet, acidic, and garlicky…. oh momma. So good.
The pork belly buns were SUPERB - it was cooked perfectly and was super flavorful. It was paired with pickled veggies and wrapped up lovingly in a fluffy, sweet bao bun. One bite and you could taste the sweet, savory, sour, and fresh crisp flavors and immediately want more. Did I tell you the bun was super fluffy…. because it was So. Super. Fluffy! Seriously Whitley and Desiree absolutely have this dumpling/bao game on lock. I haven’t had their pork or veggie baos yet because we came on a pre-order Saturday (they aren’t usually open on the weekend) but believe me when I say I’ll be back down soon with my mom and aunt in tow. And probably my sister and sister-in-law…. and friends… might have to rent a van. I’ll definitely have to take a day off but it’s totally worth it.
So all this to say… I am super jealous that Auburn has this gem of a restaurant right in the middle of the city and by AU. If you are a student at Auburn, you need to go. What kind of education are you gettin if you don’t experience their bao?
If you’ve been, spread the word!
Until next time -