Food truck season: a time of delicious and convenient fare that has come to represent summer in Columbus. But how do you enjoy the mobile cuisine camped alongside your weekend escapades without undoing your workout? We scoped out five healthier food trucks to satisfy your craving this season.
Clintonville native Nic Piccin has earned his title as a high-end chef, learning his expertise at some of Columbus’ best restaurants. His En Place truck offers upscale vegetarian options like a vegan sprout sandwich or confit porkbelly sliders with organic microgreens. Piccin crafts some of his recipes alongside his vegetarian wife, who lets him know what really works. The menu rotates as Piccin incorporates different fresh, seasonal ingredients, which he prefers to get from local vendors.
A spinoff of the brick-and-mortar shop, Explorer’s Club aims to give street eaters the option to try something they normally wouldn’t eat. But no matter what they choose, it’s going to be fresh. Every day, Tracy Studer and his counterpart chop fresh vegetables for items like vegetable tacos, pita wraps and a strawberry field salad with house-made vinaigrette. While Studer claimed they’re not 100 percent health conscious, they’re definitely making strides in that direction: “It’s not processed food; it’s not food that has preservatives in it; it’s not food that’s being held, and two months old, and then coming from a factory.”
The name says a lot about what you can expect—locally sourced ingredients ranging from grass-fed meats to cheeses. Owner Alyssa Block, a vegetarian and gluten intolerant herself, knows how to create recipes in that vein. “A lot of the healthier vegetarian options on menus are kind of afterthoughts. I didn’t want to be that,” Block said. She and boyfriend David Southwick try to provide what their health-conscious demographic wants, but they also include healthier meat options on the menu, like grass-fed beef, a leaner variety. The Barbacoa Torta and a sweet potato beet burger aptly named the Native Burger are a couple mouthwatering examples of their Ohio cuisine
Boasting a menu of Italian-Mediterranean fare, you’ll find Steve Carmean serving up bison burgers and grilled, wild-caught salmon sandwiches with lemon aioli. When co-owner Carmean opened Blu Olive three years ago alongside his daughter, a gourmet cook, they really wanted to deliver more elevated products that just so happened to be healthier because it fit Carmean’s vision of using natural ingredients. Especially as the weather gets warm, Carmean will introduce more items like grilled asparagus and summer salad, sometimes even popping into Bexley Natural Market on Wednesdays and making up recipes on the fly with what’s available.
The word itself refers to motion, and that’s exactly what the guys behind Kinetic want to help customers do—keep moving. Longtime friends Andy O’ Brien and Andrew Tuchow wanted to create preset options, which they call performance foods, with readily available macronutrients (protein, carbs, fat and calories) to fit their customers’ needs, whether it be marathon training, CrossFit or just healthier eating. Their biggest goal is not only to provide dishes like brown rice or quinoa bowls with ingredients like chicken, avocado, turkey bacon and greens, but to offer the knowledge that fuels their meals and how they can best be utilized.