Competition | February 2011 | By Daniel P. Smith

America’s Top 20 Food Trucks

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Second Team All-American

The Buttermilk Truck

Hometown: Los Angeles
Serving: Decadent breakfast
www.buttermilktruck.com

Those clamoring for all-day breakfast have a friend in the Buttermilk Truck, a curbside operation created to appease breakfast-craving tastes. Serving homemade breakfast classics with a twist (red velvet pancake bites, cake donut holes, and biscuit breakfast sandwiches), Buttermilk introduces new pancake flavors each month and debuted cider donuts last fall.

The Grilled Cheese Truck

Hometown: Los Angeles
Serving: A new take on grilled cheese
www.thegrilledcheesetruck.com

The Grilled Cheese Truck quickly generated a loyal base for its grilled cheese concoctions, which chef Dave Danhi describes as the “culinary common denominator.” Popular selections include the Cheesy Mac & Rib, the Brie Melt, and the Caprese Melt. Customers can also customize their melt by selecting from a list of additions that includes bacon, avocado, pickles, and turkey.

Pi on the Spot

Hometown: St. Louis
Serving: Pizza
www.restaurantpi.com

Serving the “best of” deep-dish, cornmeal-crust pizza from its brick-and-mortar stores, Pi on the Spot blends award-winning dishes with philanthropy and business savvy.
Pi uses an iPad as its POS, constructs a mini-park with bistro tables and artificial turf for diners, offers WiFi access, donates remaining product to local food banks, and makes weekly stops at charitable fundraisers, all of which cements
its spot as a St. Louis wonder.

Frysmith

Hometown: Los Angeles
Serving: French fries
www.eatfrysmith.com

Frysmith’s french fry dishes eat as a meal, topped with all sorts of cheesy, meaty goodness, led by the best-selling Rajas Fries, which feature fire-roasted poblano chiles, caramelized onions, and marinated Angus skirt steak with Monterrey Jack cheese.

“Rather than asking, ‘What type of food can I do that isn’t already on a truck?’ … we created a new food concept and decided to use a truck to present it,” Frysmith’s Brook Howell says.

Kelvin Natural Slush Co.

Hometown: New York City
Serving: Slushies
www.kelvinslush.com

Seeking a sophisticated alternative to the convenience-store slushies he loved as a kid, Alex Rein serves his “grown-up” slushies to nearly 500 New Yorkers every day. The customized, all-natural frozen drinks feature real puréed fruit (raspberry, white peach, and others) as well as other natural mix-ins, such as chopped mint or basil. Customers can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a float.

Nom Nom Truck

Hometown: Los Angeles
Serving: Vietnamese
www.nomnomtruck.com

A baguette with mayonnaise and pâté stuffed with Vietnamese-style meats, like lemongrass chicken or honey-grilled pork, the Banh Mi headlines L.A.’s Nom Nom Truck menu. The popular mobile concept, dubbed “the Nominator,” is outfitted in neon green with a happy face. Fans of the truck, who call themselves “Nomsters,” will soon be able to enjoy new specials, including Cajun shrimp and barbecue chicken.

Sam’s Chowdermobile

Hometown: Half Moon Bay, California
Serving: Seafood
www.samschowdermobile.com

A 24-foot-long, lobster-red truck, Sam’s became the San Francisco Bay Area’s first gourmet seafood truck when it opened in June 2009. A mobile takeoff of the Sam’s Chowder House restaurant, overseen by celebrated chef Paul Shenkman, the two-fryer Chowdermobile delights with its New England clam chowder and Maine lobster roll, recently named one of America’s top five sandwiches by NBC’s Today Show.

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