Gastro Truck, Barrio, Hola Arepa, and more

Food trucks bring new eats to the street

Gastro Truck, Barrio, Hola Arepa, and more
Brian Garrity

Last summer, a fleet of food trucks took to the streets of downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul to traffic in turkey legs, Reuben bratwurst, mini donuts, and more. This season, several new vendors have joined the curbside smorgasbord, rolling out soft-shell crab tacos, black bean sliders, and breakfast burritos, among other tasty treats. Here's your guide to what the latest crop of food trucks are serving—and how to track them down.

GASTRO TRUCK
Facebook: Gastrotruck, Twitter: @Gastrotruck
www.gastrotruck.mobi; 763.607.6055

Chef Stephen Trojahn traded the world of fine dining (he formerly oversaw the kitchens at Cosmos and Bradstreet Craftshouse in the Graves Hotel) for the more cramped confines of Gastrotruck. The switch is good news for downtown St. Paul diners, as Trojahn treats street eats with four-star seriousness, creating thoughtful flavor pairings from seasonal produce and local, naturally raised meats, and serving them in compostable packaging.

Temptation on wheels: Cupcake on the Go's mobile bake shop
Brian Garrity
Temptation on wheels: Cupcake on the Go's mobile bake shop
Vellee Deli's BBQ pork tacos
Brian Garrity
Vellee Deli's BBQ pork tacos

Location Info

Map

Gastro Truck

11 Kellogg Blvd. E.
St. Paul, MN 55101

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: St. Paul (Downtown)

Details

Check out our Food Truck Map!

GASTRO TRUCK
Facebook: Gastrotruck, Twitter: @Gastrotruck
www.gastrotruck.mobi; 763.607.6055

BARRIO TRUCK
Facebook: Barrio Truck, Twitter: @Barrio_Truck
www.barriotequila.com; 612.356.9856

HOLA AREPA
Facebook: Hola Arepa, Twitter: @holaarepa
www.holaarepa.com; 612.217.0635

POTTER'S PASTIES & PIES
Facebook: Potter's Pasties
Twitter: @PottersPasties
612.819.3107

VELLEE DELI
Facebook: Velle Deli, Twitter: @VelleDeli
www.velleedeli.com

SIMPLY STEVE'S
Facebook: Simply Steve's Mobile Food Truck
Twitter: @Simplysteves
www.simplystevesfoodtruck.com

NATEDOGS
Facebook: Natedogs, Twitter: @Nate_Dogs
www.natedogs.com; 888.506.6075

COOK'N WHEELS
Facebook: Cook'n Wheels
Twitter: @CookNWheels
www.cooknwheels.com; 763.566.3512

CUPCAKE ON THE GO
Facebook:Cupcake, Twitter: @cupcakempls
www.cup-cake.com; 612.378.4818

SAUCY BURT'S
Facebook: Saucy Burt's, Twitter @SaucyBurts

THE TWISTED SISTER HOUSE OF HUNGER
Facebook: The Twisted Sister House of Hunger
Twitter: @houseofhunger
www.houseofhunger.com

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Trojahn mans the stove while his partner, Catherine Eckert, manages orders. Pre Gastrotruck, the two were running a catering business and thinking about opening a bricks-and-mortar restaurant when they decided to go for the more immediately gratifying mobile kitchen.

Sliders are a main component of the Gastrotruck menu, but they're a serious step up from their White Castle cousins. The mini-burgers come two to an order for $6 to $8, in several variations, including the likes of grass-fed beef meatloaf with tomato-bacon jam, smoky pulled pork with red cabbage slaw, and black bean cakes with sour cream and sprouts. The sliders disappear in about four bites, but they're carefully crafted, with the details done right, from the griddled bakery bun to the house-made pickles set out on the truck's condiment rail. Typically, between seven and 10 topping options are available every day.

Trojahn sneaks a few healthful tweaks into his fare: a side of wheatberry salad, penne, and melted cheese is made with whole-wheat noodles; potato salad substitutes a lighter yogurt dressing for mayonnaise. Order those items and it's easer to justify indulging in the cinnamon-raisin bread pudding with rum-caramel sauce, or better yet, the white chocolate panna cotta or the banana-cake whoopee pie with whipped peanut butter filling. For those looking to tote some goodwill back to the office, the spicy-sweet caramel corn is easily sharable.

BARRIO TRUCK
Facebook: Barrio Truck, Twitter: @Barrio_Truck
www.barriotequila.com; 612.356.9856

Last summer the Barrio restaurant group launched a mobile spin-off, but the big black truck spent most of its time at private events. This year the vehicle has taken up residence in downtown Minneapolis in the parking lot at Fourth Street and Second Avenue (Smack Shack's former home). Monday through Friday the truck serves lunch from about 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with extended hours during Twins games.

The Barrio Truck doesn't offer the long list of tequila that the bricks-and-mortar stores do, but it serves some of the restaurants' same chef-driven Latin street food, including the carnitas and lengua tacos, plus several wheels-only exclusives. The street-only options include a hefty barbacoa burrito, soft-shell crab torta, and a Mexican-style hot dog that draws inspiration, according to the guy taking orders in the window, from a bona-fide south-of-the-border snack. Think of it as a Latin chili dog: The all-natural beef hot dog comes topped with bacon, beans, roasted poblano peppers, pico de gallo, and mustard. The dog can be a mega mess for hand-held eating, but the fresh salsa is a nice alternative to ketchup.

The soft-shell crab taco, another truck exclusive, is a variation on the restaurants' signature Tecate-battered mahi mahi. The crab adds a pleasant crunch to a pair of soft corn tortillas, and the spicy rub on the crustacean is cooled by a blend of watercress, a sweet tomatillo-watermelon pico de gallo, and avocado cream. Round it out with a side of chips and guacamole and a Jarritos soda, and you'll feel like you just had a lunch-break-length vacation.

HOLA AREPA
Facebook: Hola Arepa, Twitter: @holaarepa
www.holaarepa.com; 612.217.0635

Arepas are made with cornmeal, from a dough similar to tamale masa that's been formed into a thick patty and griddled. The South American specialty is the foundation of Hola Arepa's offerings, which come topped with everything from shredded chicken and avocado to pulled pork with black beans and crumbled cheese. Since the arepas are fairly starchy, they're well serviced by a scoop of pickled red cabbage or a hefty squirt of tomatillo salsa.

Hola Areapa's turquoise truck, which often parks in Minneapolis on Marquette Avenue, is one of the city's most aesthetically pleasing—no surprise, since co-owner Christina Nguyen founded Minneapolis's chic Design Collective. Nguyen is also a partner in the Tea Garden shops, and her partner, Birk Stefan Grudem, is a former bartender at Town Talk Diner and Bradstreet Craftshouse, so the team's house-made beverages are exceptional. They do several lemonade variants, including cucumber mint and pineapple caraway, and their not-too-sweet hibiscus strawberry punch is one of the summer's best refreshers.

On top of its regular offerings, Hola Arepa has been slowly adding extra dishes, including ceviche and a corn dog made with deep-fried arepa dough and chorizo. On special occasions, traditional South American guinea pig, or cui, is available as confit, served in a guacamole-filled, fried tortilla cone.

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1 comments
weilin2
weilin2

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