Tropicalia Bistro is no ordinary food truck. The owner of the business, Brazilian native Maria Perry, said she has a passion for Brazilian food and family that pushes her to go above and beyond in her culinary pursuits.
The Montgomery food truck, which made its debut last July, has been enticing patrons with its fusion of Brazilian street and comfort food combined with flavors from around the world, including Portugal, Latin America and France.
The menu at Tropicalia features everything from savory pastries to chicken pesto or piri piri waffle sandwiches to fried egg with bacon Jungle burgers and coxinhas—a popular Brazilian dish made of shredded chicken and Brazilian catipury cheese that is covered in dough, battered and fried.
“This is my dream; I take a lot of pride in my food,” Perry said. “Everything is homemade—except the bun for the burgers—with top-quality ingredients. I don’t skimp on anything.”
That includes industrial appliances, including a restaurant-style convection oven to ensure the food is cooked evenly. The specially designed food truck also features warming racks that are visible through miniature display windows so patrons can see what they are buying.
Savory pastries include chicken cheesesteak and beef bourguignon bombs; beef or chicken empanadas; vegetarian cheese and oregano pizza; and beef and cheese pastel fritos—Brazilian-style fried empanadas.
The pastries are served with the customer’s choice of sauces that are made in-house, including roasted poblano vinaigrette, garlic basil aioli, guava barbecue, beer cheddar and mango sweet chili, which is a customer favorite. The sauces are so unique that Perry said she plans to begin packaging and selling them in larger quantities this summer.
“One of my regular customers said that the mango chili sauce can make cardboard taste great,” she said.
Perry said she started making the Brazilian food for her teenage children, who were constantly on the go, including one child who has special needs. As she shared her homemade food with neighbors and friends, Perry said they all agreed she should start her own business.
Perry said she wants her story to serve as an inspiration for other parents of special needs children.
“I want to encourage other parents of special needs children, who also have a dream of their own, that, with faith in God and a lot of drive, they can care for their family and still follow their dreams,” she said.
18426 Hwy. 105, Montgomery
Hours: Wed.-Sun. afternoons (Hours vary; visit the Tropicalia Facebook page for details)