Thursday, May 24, 2012
There is a pressed sandwich in front of me and it is stuffed with goat cheese and crisp slices of Granny Smith apple. When bitten into, the sugary tanginess of the apples and the pungency of the cheese work culinary alchemy, creating a taste, smell and feel that is crispy, gooey, sweet and sour - all at once.
This is the magic behind what comes out of local food truck Foodie Fleet, which hit the streets in February. The menu board is brief and orders come in a plain white wrapper, but if you take a big bite and close your eyes you can almost see the flavors sparking through your nervous system.
This is a result of good planning, good ingredients and good people all coming together inside one truck. It isn’t rare to find all four members of the Foodie Fleet team – a bartender, an outdoor guide, a soon-to-be environmental lawyer and a food-truck fanatic from Portland, Ore. – all working together to make sure each item is made right and delivered quickly. In fact, of all the trucks I’ve had the pleasure of dining at, Foodie Fleet’s service is some of the best, and their enthusiasm for what they do is absolutely infectious.
“When we had the idea for this, there were no other food trucks out there in Tucson. We saw a void and we tried to come up with a simple concept,” says Michael O’Connell, who owns and operates the truck with Matt McDonnell, Jeremia Mosij and Rick Thompson. “We always thought, especially for the late-night scene, which was just Sonoran hot dogs when we had this idea, that we wanted to make high-quality food with local ingredients that people could relate to.”
They source most of their ingredients from local farms – goat cheese from Chiva Risa Farms in Bisbee; sweet potatoes from Grammy’s Garden; and many others. “There are some things we can’t get locally, but about 90 percent of our food comes from local farms,” says O’Connell.
The food is mostly pressed sandwiches, but they come with fresh-cracked rainbow peppercorns, arugula, whiskey-pear spread and other items that one doesn’t commonly find between bread. They had a quinoa burger on the menu board at a recent event, as well as Belgian waffles topped with a number of clever syrups.