Princeton Truckfest, the first in what is to be an annual charity food truck festival, will take place on Prospect Avenue tomorrow from 6-9pm, and we here at Spoon Princeton could not be more excited. Tomorrow at 6pm, eleven trucks will arrive on the Street, each carrying their own unique culinary creations. We recently got the chance to spotlight a few of the trucks that will be here tomorrow and ask them some questions about their trucks and the foods that define their lives.
- Dapper Dog – Maureen Rainy: A Philadelphia-based truck that specializes in hot dogs, Dapper Dog serves both your classic dog and some more unique, interesting combinations.
- Mausam Curry ‘N Bites – Trusha Triveda: The Mausam Curry ‘N Bites truck brings the curry and other snacks of Mausam restaurant in Secaucus, NJ to locations around New York City.
- Wrap Star – Matt Hartigan: Based in Englishtown, NJ, Wrap Star serves artisan wraps made from fresh, locally-grown ingredients.
- Pura Vida – Gil Ramirez: Pura Vida Dogs is an up and coming food truck that serves a wide variety of both tacos and hot dogs.
- Lost Brothers Pizza – Jason Milleisen: Lost Brothers not only serves fresh, delectable pizza, but also a wide variety of paninis, salads, and various appetizers.
Q: How did your truck get started? (ie timing; inspiration; etc)
“Dapper Dog started out as a cart in Norther Liberties at Garden Variety and grew into the truck” – Dapper Dog
“Our goal was to bring the indian food to the main stream. Most of the people had fear trying Indian food,it’s just because they feel Indian food is very spicy , but it’s not about the spice it’s about the flavor and that’s the message we wanted to bring it to the main stream and help to bring popularity level of Indian food just like Chinese and Mexican.” – Mausam
“My truck got started with my passion for fresh healthy food that can taste great and still be good for you. I wanted to have a niche as a person who can provide big flavor with a concentration on organic produce and the healthiest products” – Wrap Star
“My little trailer started July 10, 2013. Long story short…I came to the US in 1994, and my goal was to have my own business by the age of 40. I always wanted my own restaurant, catering business, or something similar. After working in the restaurant business long enough, I realized that it’s not easy to open a restaurant on your own (without investors, bank support, etc.) so that’s when I started to look at food trucks. After years of doing research and waiting for the right one, I finally saved enough money to buy it and July 10, 2013, I drove it home. That was the day after my 40th birthday. The name ‘Pura Vida’ comes from a Costa Rican greeting–it means ‘Pure Life'” – Pura Vida
“I am a serial entrepreneur, and one thing I always wanted to try was pizza. I considered a traditional “brick and mortar” store, but ultimately felt that a mobile pizzeria would lend itself to exploring new ideas. In addition to private events, I am currently preparing to start deliveries during dinner time. Most food trucks cater to the lunch crowd, but competing with traditional pizzerias during the high volume dinner hours is something I am excited to try.” – Lost Brothers
Q: What is your favorite thing about running a food truck?
“The food truck is a great way to meet and interact with people. Also love to come up with new ideas for hot dog toppings” – Dapper Dog
“You meet different people every day especially truck we operate in nyc at least 5 days and getting to know different culture from all different people is fun, serving them our food just add more pleasure” – Mausam
“I absolutely love the freedom a food truck gives me to change the menu seasonally and play with new trends. I can make hundreds of different specials and literally cook day to day what I am trying and discovering” – Wrap Star
My favorite thing is to interact with great people in different scenarios. It’s hard work but is also very rewarding.” – Pura Vida
“My favorite thing is the ability to creative. Unlike a regular restaurants, I am not limited to one location. I love the challenge of finding new ways to market the business (bar/mat mitzvahs, weddings, country clubs etc). People also love the novelty of a truck with pizza ovens on board that can roll up to their house!” – Lost Brothers
Q: What about this event and the cause inspired you to participate?
“I am interested in not only selling our products but giving back to the community with charity events” – Dapper Dog
“We always want to help the community one way or the other, this was one of them” – Mausam
“I love events that support good causes, and much of my business plan is to work with groups and events that mean something” – Wrap Star
“Brittany Ko mentioned to me about the event months ago when it was in the planning process. She said it was for charity and without hesitation I said, ‘I’m in'” – Pura Vida
“I think it’s important to recognize that in life, many people were not given breaks or advantages I got along the way. Raising money for a good cause is the least I can do to help!” – Lost Brothers
Q: What is your most popular food item?
“Our Chili Cheese dog and fries are our biggest sellers” – Dapper Dog
“Samosa & chicken tikka masala” – Mausam
“The most popular item this year is the pesto italiano special wrap I have been running. Its free range oven roasted chicken, basil and spinach pesto aoli, mozzarella cheese, roasted red pepper, and a housemade balsamic porcini mushroom glaze” – Wrap Star
“This is difficult to answer, but I love tacos.” – Pura Vida
“Traditional cheese pizza is always the most popular, but in terms of specialty pizza, buffalo chicken pizza.” – Lost Brothers
Q: If you could park your food truck anywhere in the world where would you park it and why?
“If I could park anywhere it would be Love Park in Philadelphia or Times Square in NY” – Dapper Dog
“On Times Square , it’s a cross road for the world!” – Mausam
“If I could park anywhere in the world, besides Kate Upton’s driveway it would probably be inside a military base overseas. Working with organizations that give back to our troops is my favorite thing to do in the industry” – Wrap Star
“Well, I think I’d love to park my trailer in the Netherlands, very close to the “coffee shops”…I figure everyone is hungry in that area 24/7…just saying!” – Pura Vida
“Outside of penn station….thousand of pizza hungry New Yorkers would be passing by in droves!” – Lost Brothers
Q: If you ran out of gas and were stranded in the middle of nowhere, what would be your go to dish to make?
“Our go to would be the Chili Cheese – Dapper Dog
“Samosa & chicken tikka masala” – Mausam
“Stranded in the middle of nowhere and out of gas would be a fun challenge to make something. I would make a fire and scan the environment for everything edible and dauntlessly put together a masterpiece” – Wrap Star
“Pulled pork tacos, all day!” – Pura Vida
“Chicken, bacon, ranch pizza!” – Lost Brothers
Q: What is the most interesting/rare/unique ingredient you’ve ever used?
“Our ingredients are usually based on comfort food” – Dapper Dog
“Roasted Cardimom and seedless Tamrind for chetinad sauce” – Mausam
“One time I did a vegan festival and handmade gluten free brown rice tortillas to keep with the wrap theme. If you have never done this please do not try, I still have nightmares about it. Hand making rice tortillas was about the hardest thing I have ever done” – Wrap Star
“I like to keep it simple, but to answer the question I think it is Yucca. Not many people know what that is but when they eat it, they love it.” – Pura Vida
“I once made a mac n’ cheese pizza with truffle oil.” – Lost Brothers