Just because you’re putting away the shorts and tanktops doesn’t mean you have hang up your warm-weather eating habits. Check out these winter-ready food trucks and carts to keep your local palette stoked:
If you want a soul-warming cup of tomato soup, and a grilled cheese sammie better than mom used to make, just point your feet toward the bright yellow food truck with the laminated, irreverent political memes velcroed to the front. Self-billed as “Purveyors of fine grilled cheese, great soups, anarchy,” Timmy’s has a full menu of melted goodness, and soul-bolstering warmth, all served with a notably fresh pickle slice, and available through a window; right alongside a wry grin from Timmy himself.
The myriad recipes are a more sophisticated take on a regular ol’ American cheese respite from the cold. Try the Caprese, with Roma tomatoes, fresh basil pesto, olives, and mozzarella. The inventive combinations don’t stop there. The Blue Buffalo has buffalo style chicken, with bleu cheese mayo, pickled celery, and mozzarella. Everything comes on sourdough, and somehow knowing the key to my heart, Timmy himself offered a fried egg on any sandwich.
– Jeni Ruisch
Hot Spots: 12.14 @ High and Chestnut, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 12.19 @ 543 S Front St.
The Little Kitchen • Vegan
Being vegan in Columbus isn’t nearly as hard as it used to be. The Little Kitchen food truck features an ever-changing menu of entirely vegan comfort foods like bountiful Buddha bowls and classic baked cinnamon sugar doughnut, as well as plant-based staples like smoothie bowls. Owner Chloe Graffeo is taking advantage the still-low saturation of vegan options in the food truck game. The key, she says: don’t try to be something you’re not.
“I don’t try to make fake meat things,” she said. “I don’t try and make things vegan that can’t really be vegan, like a meatball sandwich. I use veggies that are in season and cook according to people’s moods. My goal is just to make food that I like that is yummy and healthy, and present it to people. You can be vegan, you can not be vegan.”
The truck is parked outside of Virtue Salon in Clintonville every Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will serve all through the winter. For more, visit thelittlekitchentruck.com. – Rachel Komich
Hot Spots: 12.3 @ 1660 Blue Rock St., 1 – 6 p.m.; 12.13 @ 5165 Emerald Parkway, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
You know what the best thing about food truck food? Any mobile chef worth his or her salt knows that it’s an arms race to compete for someone’s 10-spot, and in that vein, they try to make as much happen on that little paper plate or boat as possible. While the housemade pierogis take center-stage, it’s the way they dress them up that headlines the experience. Carmelized onions and sour cream are the traditional platemates, but Sophie’s ups the game with two of the greatest words in culinary vernacular: “compound butter.” Sure, the inventive meat additions—from cheesesteak to chorizo—help tie the flavors together, but it’s that compound coating—whether it be roasted garlic smoked paprika or Tabasco bleu cheese—that really brings it all home. Speaking of home, you can take the compound better away with you, meaning you’ll never eat boring bread again. Look out for the “Soph,” the food truck’s original cornerstone dish which features pork belly, cabbage roll, and mustard grain chive compound butter; you’ll wanna taste it when it pops back up on occasion. Oh yeah, and if your grandma can’t bring her oven with her all the way to Cbus, owner Stephen Redzinak is doing bulk pierogi orders for the holidays. – Travis Hoewischer
Hot Spots: 12.7 @ 1101 N Fourth St., 5 – 10 p.m.; 12.22 @ 258 W Olentangy St, 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.