Mobile food vendors constitute a creative force that is changing how Michiganders eat out. We caught up with a few movers and shakers that are on the road this season, bringing a fresh take to their favorite dishes. We see some trends driving the movement, including small, focused menus, fresh, made-to-order dishes, and specialized ingredients and preparation methods.
West-coast Mexican tamales? True wood-smoke BBQ? Peanut butter on a burger? You aren’t going to find these just anywhere, my friend. Food trucks are seeing the benefits of doing it differently.
We wanted to hear it from the source, so we asked some food truck owners one big question:
What makes your food one-of-a-kind?
The Cheese Trap
Frankenmuth Cheese Haus vendor with signature grilled cheese, fried cheese curds, tomato bisque soup, and potato tots.
CT: “Our sandwiches are one of a kind for two different reasons… we are using bread baked fresh by the Bavarian Inn restaurant, and we use cheese spreads that are handmade from the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus.”
Hero or Villain
Detroit deli sandwiches with local ingredients. Offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.
HoV: “Our sandwiches are inspired by comic book characters and we rotate our menu often, so expect to see different options frequently. We use fresh ingredients we make every sandwich to order.”
FP: “What is your favorite right now?”
HoV: “Interestingly enough, it’s a fan creation: the Dark Phoenix. Maple-glazed deli turkey, mozzarella cheese with our house made kale slaw, mayo and oregano on grilled rye. It has become a solid selling mainstay.”
The Rolling Stoves
Detroit burgers, garlic fries, fried pickles, onion rings.
RS: “We cook all of our food to order – nothing is held in warmers…there are not many trucks doing that.”
FP: “What should I order right now?”
RS: “Oh man, it depends if you appreciate a classic done right or you want to be adventurous…”
FP: “Let’s go crazy!”
RS: “Peanut butter burger and garlic fries with a side of ranch for the fries! But, if you want the classic do the smash burger add bacon!”
The Nosh Pit
Detroit vegetarian dishes with locally sourced ingredients. Lentil sloppy joe, hummus and roasted beet bowl, mushroom and banana grilled cheese…!
NP: “We’re a friendly vegetarian truck with truly unique delicious homemade recipes – we make it delicious to eat vegetables! We also source conscientiously to help the environment, we compost, we recycle.”
Owosso vendor features tacos, burritos, and tamales with carnitas, chorizo, or shredded pork.
TR: “My Grandmothers recipe. All our food is homemade right down to the chips and salsa; our food is West-coast style.”
FP: “Tell me more about West coast style.”
TR: “It has less spice and lots of fresh flavor. I’m from the West coast, and when I moved here, I found most of the Mexican food in Michigan is Tex-Mex. My grandmother had a love for making great food and she inspired me to make people happy with food.”
Smoke Ring BBQ
Farmington Hills barbecue, Kansas City-style pulled pork, brisket, chicken. Smoke mac ’n’ cheese, “pit” beans.
SR: “I’m one of the few who still uses wood only, no electric smoker here.”
Grand Blanc deli sandwiches, Chicago style. Italian beef, sausages, specialty coneys.
PZ: “I have authentic Chicago Italian beef. I get it from Chicago through a supplier. I also have the Philzone originals: the Mexican coney, and the hot dog Italiano. Plus who don’t like being served by a fat Italian?”
Wildroot Coffee at Woodside Church
Flint pour-over coffee bar, rotating list of single-origin current crop coffees.
“The slow food / tasting experience of our pour-over coffee features a large list of the best coffees we can source. It’s also the unique ‘sacred irreverence’ in the space – a casual coffee bar in a church.”