Food Trucks Offer Gourmet To-Go

Take the passion of a chef. Add an extra dash of ingenuity. Incorporate carefully sourced high-quality ingredients. Stir together in a tight space. Then take it all out on the road. The result? Food truck fare that surprises and delights our taste buds.

Seven Swans Creperie

Seven Swans owner Kate Bryan says her ultimate dream and goal has been to create a space of belonging and lingering around simple, delicious crepes.

“Food at its core is a connector – a connector to the earth, to a city, to each other and to our bodies,” Bryan says. “Some of my most marking moments have been with a crepe in-hand connecting to people and places in a unique way that made somewhere unfamiliar feel like home.”

What inspires your menu?

“It’s highly influenced by the flavors of home, things that are familiar, comforting and nourishing. Our name, menu, and trailer aesthetic are all highly influenced by the time I’ve spent in both Russia and France.”

What’s your favorite location and why?

“My favorite location is 38th and Gillham in Hyde Park. I used to drive by it daily and think to myself, ‘How amazing would it be to just pull into the park and have the whole neighborhood come hang out and eat crepes together on a Sunday morning?’  Now I can still hardly believe that silly little daydream is a weekly reality. It’s become a Sunday ritual for so many people and is probably the single most gratifying experience of this adventure thus far.”

What’s your most popular menu item?

“The KC Classic is a traditional ham and swiss crepe but with a local twist. I use Local Pig applewood smoked ham and Jarlsberg cheese and top it with arugula, chives and a whole-grain mustard. It’s a timeless combo that consistently hits the spot.”

How about a unique or signature menu item?

“While I have all kinds of unique seasonal crepes that rotate nearly weekly, The Clean would be my most unique item always on the menu. It’s a homemade lavender lemon curd topped with whipped cream, blueberries and a candied lemon wedge.”

What’s next for you as a business?

“The ultimate dream is to hunker down in a little brick and mortar spot. Pre-trailer that was always the plan, but I decided to start smaller and build. After surviving a full Kansas City summer in a little metal trailer, I am planning towards a brick and mortar in the near future!”  

 

Ash and Bleu Cheese Co.

Owner Bethany Harris serves up gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches from her food truck built inside a renovated 1969 Shasta camper. Local artisan bread from Ibis Bakery and cheeses from small farmstead creameries throughout the midwest are Ash and Bleu staples.

The menu relies heavily on artisanal cheeses and is inspired by the weather, seasonal produce, personal food memories, and customer requests. In addition to grilled cheeses, Ash and Bleu offers cheese plates, cheese by the piece or the pound, mac-n-cheese, and the occasional soup for a grilled cheese accompaniment.

What’s your favorite location and why?

“I grew up in the country, so anytime we get the chance to do something outside the city, we always enjoy ourselves. We did a summer wedding in Weston Bend State Park that was a lot of fun!”

What’s your most popular menu item?

“Hands down, our Plain Jane Grilled Cheese is our most popular menu item. It features white cheddar from Hemme Brothers Creamery in Sweet Springs, Missouri, fresh mozzarella, and seared Hemme Brothers cheese curds on Ibis sourdough bread.  If it’s tomato season, we’ll throw some slices on for a nice acidic punch.”

What’s your most unique menu item?

“Our seasonal grilled cheeses are always a hit. During the summer, it was the fresh peach and goat cheese grilled cheese. We used fresh chévre from Baetje farms in Bloomington, Missouri, fresh peaches, and sweet bacon-onion jam all on Ibis sourdough.”

What’s next for you as a business?

“I’m having a baby in December, so that’s going to take up most of my off-season!  After that, who knows? When I started the business last year, I never imagined it taking off like it did, so the future is a complete mystery to me.”

Beauty of the Bistro

Sidney Fish, owner of Beauty of the Bistro food truck and catering, says her team strives to make every entrée on the menu a bit unique. Her goal is to leave an impression, so when someone sees the truck going down the highway, they say, “There’s the truck that serves the best _______.”

“We love it when our customers venture outside their comfort zone,” Fish says. “The science of creating a menu item that balances savory, sweet and spicy is always the goal.”

What’s your favorite location?

“We have a very loyal following in Stilwell, Kansas. We’ve been parking on the corner of 199th and Metcalf for seven years. We greet our customers by name, and we know what their favorite entrees are.”

What’s your most popular menu item?

“I think it is a tie between our Boom Boom Tacos and our Aubry Roadhouse Burger. For our tacos, we smoke pork over applewood and serve them with broccoli slaw. We make all of our sauces in-house, so the slaw dressing, salsa and jalapeno aioli blend perfectly with the pork. The Aubry Roadhouse Burger is grilled on our flat top, seasoned, and topped with muenster cheese, our house-made bacon jam, garlic mayo and arugula, then served on a brioche bun, made by Farm to Market Bread Co.”

What’s your most unique item?

Our goal is to make every item really unique, but I’d say it might be our Crawfish Mac and Cheese. We start with a dish of macaroni and cheese. Then we top it with crawfish, green onions and corn that’s been sautéed in butter and Cajun seasoning.

What’s next for you as a business?

“We’re catering more weddings each year, continuing to build our clientele for private events, and attending a few festivals throughout the year. We’ve become close to many customers who invite us back each year to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and graduations.”

 

Jazzy B’s BBQ

Brandon Simpson, owner of Jazzy B’s BBQ, is all about putting a twist on traditional barbecue. He likens his fare to the collection of musicians and instruments riffing together in a jazz band.

“They all bring a little something special, and when they get together, they create beautiful music,” Simpson says. “I combine different culinary perspectives and fuse ingredients to result in a beautiful barbecue experience.”

What inspires your menu?

“The element of surprise – combining things that most folks wouldn’t think would work. Some examples from our menu are smoke-fried chicken wings, armadillo eggs, brisket tacos and a Reuben roll. Everything we serve is made from scratch from the sauces to the rubs. The only thing I don’t make is ketchup.”

How did your food truck evolve into a restaurant?

“My ultimate goal was to have a restaurant. First, I had to take the baby steps with a food truck. After five years of trucking, we had enough of a following to take that leap of faith. We were doing more and more private events, and a lot of our fans wanted us to open up a place so they could get their fix.”

 

How did you develop your menu for each venue?

“The food truck was trial and error, seeing what people gravitate towards. You have some things that sell out and intrigue people more than others. We just keep trying different things. On the truck, I used to have at least six new menu items every year. I took what sold the most, and I kept that. That evolved into the menu for the restaurant. It wasn’t me picking what I liked — it was market research with the food truck.”

What’s your most popular menu item?

“On the truck, it’s the brisket tacos, which is a six-inch corn tortilla with cheese, brisket, coleslaw and barbecue sauce. In the restaurant, crab balls are most popular, which is a smaller version of a crab cake topped with wasabi aioli and our burnt ends.”

What’s next for you as a business?

“To open another restaurant!”