As both leaves and temperatures start to fall, there's another noticeable change that comes about with the turning of the seasons: fewer food trucks on the road. This year, some will brave the cold, some will hibernate for winter, and others will choose to limit their appearances to certain events. A few are looking forward to putting down roots in more permanent digs. Whatever the situation, we have the scoop on the future plans of a few of our favorite mobile eateries.
Neato's Burgers @NeatosBurgers
Beloved for its duck-fat fries, uber-rich milkshakes, and adventurous ingredient combinations, Neato's expanded its team this year to include Marie Spencer, the talented cook behind burger success stories like the Green Carma, topped with grilled asparagus, dill havarti, and caramelized onion cream cheese, and the big-time breakfast-inspired Paul Bunyan, made with beer cheese sauce, bacon, duck-fat fried onions, and local maple syrup. Spencer and owner Neal Lenzmeier will stay on for 2015, but the truck will be open only for special events through fall and winter. The last scheduled appearance for Neato's is October 24 at Wits, and Lenzmeier says they will also be popping up for late-night hours at Regions Hospital.
Paulette Bakery @PauletteBakery
Janna Gustin's French pastry and breakfast-themed truck, Paulette Bakery, made a charming addition to this year's new fleet of food trucks, but stopped rolling after Gustin moved to Germany. Her flaky ham and cheese croissants will be missed, but it's possible Paulette will ride again in the future. "The truck is sort of in limbo," says Gustin. "So for now, things are on hold."
TRU Pizza @TRUPIZZATRUCK
A newcomer to the scene this year, TRU makes wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas that have gone over splendidly with crowds and will continue to do so all winter. "We plan to stay busy," says owner Jason Montgomery. "That's the benefit of having that 800- to 1,000-degree pizza oven in the truck. It keeps us warm!" TRU is set to appear at Bauhaus Brew Labs in Northeast periodically from now until New Year's and will still do lunch in downtown Minneapolis throughout the fall. Montgomery has been perfecting his dough recipe and recently added a gluten-free crust option, too. He plans to get a little more experimental with his pizza toppings, adding more organic veggies and free-range meats to his repertoire. As long as he keeps that beet, blue cheese, and burrata pie on the menu, we're happy.
Gogi Bros. @GogiBros
After the MFTA fall food truck rally on October 18, Gogi Brothers, Minnesota's first and only Korean BBQ truck, will be done serving for the year. "We know some trucks muscle through the cold but we would rather stay in the warmth of our home," says owner John Park, who is a very wise man. But Gogi won't be gone for long. The brothers are working on opening a little pop-up restaurant (look forward to candied BBQ pork belly tacos, bulgogi burgers, and more new menu items) in time for the winter holidays.
Cajun 2 Geaux @Cajun2GeauxTim
Cajun 2 Geaux's gator-green converted camper will go on brief hiatus while owner and chef Tim Glover focuses on his brick-and-mortar restaurant, Bistro La Roux in Circle Pines. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Glover recently opened doors on the Cajun and Creole-inspired (what else?) eatery and is serving seafood gumbo, crawfish, shrimp étouffée, and made-to-order beignets, and hosting live jazz musicians during Sunday brunch. The C2G truck will mostly be doing the taproom circuit and has several Saturdays scheduled at Surly Brewing in November and December.
MidNord Empanadas @MidNordTrucks
There's almost nothing better than a hot little hand pie when the weather gets cool, so it's a good thing that Phil Gaffney's MidNord Empanadas truck will keep rolling, at least through November. Gaffney has added seasonally appropriate pumpkin pie and apple dessert empanadas and continues to kill it with the devils on horseback-inspired date, bacon, and Pecorino empanadas. Look for this truck at lunch time in downtown Minneapolis, at the MFTA fall food truck rally, and at Fulton, Indeed, and Bauhaus Brew Labs weekends in October.
Tot Boss @TOTBOSSTruck
Tater tot nachos are one of those mash-up snacks you never knew you needed. But luckily Dan Docken's Tot Boss truck served them up, along with poutine tots, tater tot hot dish, and bacon-wrapped tots all through last year. Docken announced that he will not be open for daily service come winter, but will be popping up at select events including Liftbridge Brewing's Commander Barleywine release party on November 15, the winter Beer Dabbler, and the annual Twin Cities auto show in March.
This truck launched last spring and was a regular Mears Park fixture this summer. But with a menu full of hearty soups like chicken wild rice and ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwiches stuffed with extras like macaroni and cheese, bacon, chipotle pulled chicken, and olive tapenade, O'Cheeze's food is really more suited for this crisp fall weather. Thursday through Saturday, this truck will be rotating around various breweries, including some of the less-frequented stops like Hammerheart brewing out in Lino Lakes, Northgate's new taproom, and Sisyphus Brewing near Dunwoody.
Vellee Deli @VelleeDeli
Perennially popular Vellee Deli is the latest to join in on the "food trucks expand to full-blown restaurants" trend, and fans couldn't be happier. The only sad part is that the expansion plan means the truck is ending its season early, and served its final fusion treats at the Autumn Brew Review in September. Vellee owner Will Xiong recently revealed that the storefront will be the old Taco Bell space in the Baker Building at Seventh Street and Second Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis. Look for the return of dragon melt quesadillas, fish tacos, red curry tofu burritos, and Vellee's special pork eggrolls sometime this winter.
Bacon Trolley @BaconTrolley
Though its concept was strong (everyone really does love bacon), Bacon Trolley was forced to close for good this spring. No more bacon-topped deviled eggs or bacon-peanut butter burgers for us. But if you're looking to fulfill your own food truck dreams and want something ready-made and smoky pork-scented, Bacon Trolley is now for sale.
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