Meals on wheels
Food truck season is upon us once again
A sure sign that the seasons have changed is the arrival of the neighbourhood food truck.
From fries to gourmet burgers to deep fried chocolate bars, these rolling vendors offer customers a variety of fare that can sometimes change on the hour.
“I just want the customer to have a good experience,” said John Mazalin, owner/operator of the Sydney-based Patty Wagon.
This year’s marks his sixth year in operation and Mazalin will be joined by Chef John McDuff who is promising some unique surprises for patrons this season.
“We will still be offering our gourmet burgers but also we’ll being doing some different twists on poutine, sandwiches and deserts,” said McDuff, who is making his first foray into food truck service after a 30year career that took him from fast food to white glove service.
McDuff said a unique aspect of food truck dining is the flexibility to change the menu from one day to the next.
“That can keep customers coming back as they wonder what changes are being made daily,” he said.
“I’m excited about this and looking forward to meeting the customer face-to-face which doesn’t happen much when you are in a restaurant kitchen,” he said.
It is that kind of personal contact that Mazalin said he very much enjoys.
“You get to me more hands on with the customer and I think that is an important part of the food truck experience,” he said, adding his operation will officially open May 2.
Last year, there were 10 such operations in Sydney alone, from the Bacon Bus to Bee’s Knees to the Little Rollin Bistro and the long-serving Fuzzy’s Fries.
Each vendor tries to offer something different from the other by creating their own specialities in a bid to keep customers coming back.
Another feature of the food truck is its portability that allows the vendor to sometimes change locations. During the summer festival of Action Week, many of the local food truck vendors come together in one location for a roundup, allowing customers a chance to try a little something from everyone.
Mazalin offers several reasons why he thinks food trucks have become so popular.
He said customers don’t have to wait for a seat but rather just line up at a window. Also, depending where they live, they can easily go out for walk and stop to buy a treat at such vendors.
Menu choices are also key, he said, noting food truck vendors are becoming very creative with their choice offerings that can give customers an opportunity to dive into some new cuisine at a relatively inexpensive price.
John Mazalin, left, owner/operator of The Patty Wagon, and Chef John McDuff are ready to go May 2 with the opening of the food truck operation. The pair is promising some unique twists on this year’s menu offerings.