May/Jun
2017

Food Trucks of Rochester: Fast, Fresh, Fun

Written by Emily Watkins Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography
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Food trucks! Easy, quick and delicious food to eat while basking in the warm sun. Do they make you think of summer?

With a mobile food unit permit from the Rochester City Council, food trucks can set up in the designated zone downtown, on private or public property as approved. All licenses or permits required by the State Health Department or Olmsted County Public Health must be obtained as well. These permits help ensure food safety for consumers.

FOOD TRUCK PURPOSES

Bryan Bachman, owner of Catering For All It’s Worth, says, “There are three main purposes for a food truck. First is selling downtown to the lunch crowd. Second is catering for private parties like birthdays, graduations or weddings. Third is setting up shop at breweries on weekends to provide food for people who want food to go with their local brews.”

After a long Rochester winter, it’s fun to think about enjoying fresh food outside. Bryan says that food trucks are perfect for people who want something fresh and who want to be outside. He says when it’s a beautiful sunny day, “People want to sit outside and enjoy the sun as they eat lunch.”

Bryan’s menu items include gourmet burgers and fries, chicken wings, grilled cheese and patchos—loaded sweet potato fries with cheese, bacon, onion, lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing. His fans love the original California burger, as well as the buffalo wings.  

IN YOUR BACKYARD

Food trucks are also perfect for catering parties and events. Mac’s Restaurant, which is a mainstay of the downtown dining scene has a food truck with a full kitchen, as well as a full bar to provide a complete private experience for gatherings, like weddings and graduation parties. They are frequently asked to cater big events throughout the area. Mac’s food truck is equipped to make anything their customers order. Their specialty is classic Americana, featuring local ingredients and some sort of spin, such as the gyrito—a combination of a gyro and a burrito. People love hummus and chicken burgers, as well as souvlaki—marinated Mediterranean pork. 

Mac’s owners George and Alicia Psomas have provided their delicious eats to Rochester and the surrounding area for many years. They were the first vendor at Rochesterfest. 

FAMILIES WHO COOK TOGETHER

El Sueno is going into their food truck’s fourth season. Their food truck heads out to serve when the weather gets nice, usually around the beginning of May, and is parked at the intersection of 37th Street and West River Parkway NW. They’re busiest over the dinner hour, with their most popular foods being fresh tortas and tacos, made to order.

Food is in the family because owner Mario Molina’s wife, Maria, is the sister of Eddie Campos who owns El Carambas and Opa! Opa!! restaurants and food trucks.

El Carambas has been operating a food truck for 10 years. They do Sweet 16 birthday parties and fairs, as well as grand openings and special events at companies and schools. With their combination of Greek and Mexican food, you can get gyros, tacos, burritos and enchiladas. Eddie says if a customer wants it, they can make it. After working in a Greek restaurant for 16 years, Eddie decided to cook food from Mexico, his native country. El Carambas food truck makes everything fresh, and, as with their restaurant, the food truck has a large selection of salsas to choose from.

Eddie says that food trucks are “fun” like in big cities, and since Rochester is growing, it’s the perfect time to serve up food from a food truck. He says it adds extra work to his already busy days, but it’s worth it because people like it so much. 

EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN

Another hot spot for food trucks is at local breweries. On Fridays and Saturdays, when the weather is warmer, trucks will make their way to the parking lots outside LTS Brewing Company and Kinney Creek Brewery to share their food with people who are enjoying a beer. They are fun and popular and serve up pizzas, breads, burgers, fries and other quick foods that go well with beer.

As the weather warms up and we head out of hibernation, consider taking a tour to support and enjoy our local cuisine served out of the window of a truck.

Emily Watkins is a personal trainer, nutrition coach and freelance writer.

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