Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Food Truck Field Trip

(photo cred:
 I have had the privilege of working in the Mr. Mustachios food truck a few times over the summer but by far my longest shift was this fall during the Zombie Pub Crawl where I worked a 12 hour shift.  We were only operating for about 6 of those hours and during that time I was on my feet almost the entire time taking orders, money, prepping some of the food, and serving it out the window.  The novelty of it all gets lost to you around hour 4 or so, but it stays pretty fun and interesting with the different customers, or drunk zombies, coming through.

My friend is the operator of the food truck, which is owned by the Nomad World Pub.  Since the Nomad doesn't have a kitchen to serve food, they decided to invest in a food truck which they park outside the bar on special event nights such as during their weekly bocce ball tournaments or the soccer tournaments that they show on their TVs.  I help out some with the prep work (we use the Brian Coyle Community Center's kitchen for all of the food prep) but mostly write down ticket orders, take cash or credit on an iPad, and hand the food off.

photo cred: Lizzie Houns
Unfortunately I don't have any more pictures to show because as the 'face' of the food truck I didn't really have much time to grab my camera (and just kinda forgot about my camera as the night grew long).  However a friend unexpectedly showed up and so we "swapped" costumes for a bit as you can see here to the left.

We only served three things that night as I can recall:

  • Penne pasta bed topped with marinara sauce, italian sausage, and some shredded cheese
  • Belgian frites (fries) with a sriracha aioli
  • Dumplings (can't remember the filling... some veggie/meat mix) with a dipping sauce
  • And there might have been a fourth thing... can't remember exactly, but it could have been our usual: fish tacos.

The food isn't exactly the healthiest, but my friend and I don't have total control over that - we have to please the food truck owners.  The most exciting part is the dream my friend and I share to take this food truck to be our own, cook up some real tasty and healthy food, maybe subsidize really fresh ingredients if they're pricey by over-charging for unhealthy desserts, but ideally working directly with a farm (or owning the farm ourselves) to get fresh produce on the daily.

Some of the challenges that I experienced on this field trip when cooking were around food safety.  If someone had to go into the bar to get something or back to the kitchen to get something, it meant I had to cook up the food as well as take tickets/cash which made it hard to keep my hands clean constantly - this plus the time when our water ran out - plus the time we were moving so fast and I dropped the tongs on the floor but we were out of water to wash the tongs and I couldn't find the other pair for a while.........

I mean we made it through the night, we found ways around our troubles and no one got sick from our food - only from their binge drinking.  But it really showed me how much preparation and back-up you need to have, how thoroughly you need to prepare, to deliver a safe, quick, and tasty meal/snack.

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