Keep on Truckin’
A guide to eats on wheels
The food-truck phenomenon has exploded in recent years, but the concept is far from new. From the chuck wagons in the mid 1860's that served Western cowboys and loggers, to the Manhattan pushcarts that have long fed office and construction workers on street corners, mobile meals have been part of the American experience. Today, trucks may feature wood-fired pizza ovens, rotisseries, and high-end cappuccino machines, and serve chef-prepared dishes made from artisanal ingredients. Even Hollywood jumped on the food truck revolution with the 2014 hit film Chef, about a disenchanted chef who creates a truck serving Cuban sandwiches. Food trucks are definitely hot, and Fairfield County serves as home base to some of the best.
When it’s not traveling across the county adding French flair to private parties, Christophe’s Crepe Truck can usually be found parked on the Post Road in Fairfield Center serving the lunchtime crowds. For the last three years, French native Christophe Ensenat has been whipping up both sweet and savory crepes from his sunny yellow truck, using only the best ingredients he can find. “Food trucks are very popular in other parts of the country, and it’s a fun place to try new foods,” says Ensenat. Lightly golden crepes filled with Brie, ham, or fresh apple are most popular, but he encourages patrons to expand their culinary comfort zones. “One of my favorites is gorgonzola cheese with pear, walnut, and a little honey,” Ensenat says. “But sometimes people are afraid to try something different.” Those with a sweet tooth will love the Nutella crepes, served with either sliced strawberries or banana. For private parties, Ensenat also prepares salads to accompany the crêpes, using farm-fresh veggies and his own special French dressing. “It’s really good,” he promises, “and everything is very high quality.”
Bounty, a Wilton-based truck serving hand-crafted, grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free beef burgers, hit the road in April 2014, and has been winning fans ever since. Co-owners Chris Vacca and Mark Flemmig, both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, worked in top restaurants all over the world before landing in Fairfield County. Bounty was born out of a desire to move away from fine dining and toward something “a little more fun,” says Vacca. “We’re making the food we want to make.”
Vacca and Flemming grind their special blend of beef daily, source their buns from Balthazar Bakery, and use fresh, locally grown produce. “Eighty-five percent of what we use is from our ‘backyard,’” explains Vacca. “It’s sustainably grown and local.” Whether you want something simple, like the Bounty Burger (with lettuce, onion, farm tomato, and signature
Bounty Spread), or something more decadent like the Bordelaise Burger (gruyère cheese, caramelized onions, Malbec butter and arugula), these burgers don’t disappoint. The truck also serves hand-cut fries. The Bounty truck can be found at the Westport and Rowayton farmers markets, street vending in Stamford, Greenwich, and Norwalk, and at local breweries including Two Roads (Stratford) and Half Full (Stamford). Check out their “truck finder” app for their up-to-the-minute location. They are available to create custom menus for private parties. bountytruck.com
When it’s time for dessert, what could be better than homemade ice cream? How about homemade, booze-infused ice cream? With flavors like Whiskey Bean, Cream-a Colada, and Mint Chocolate Nip, Tipsy Cones is ready to party. Owners Jon and Brooke Santagata-Albers hatched the concept after seeing a news report about beer-flavored ice cream. “I immediately thought, ‘Amaretto would be a great ice cream’ and it took off from there,” says Brooke. She hurried to buy an ice cream maker and, drawing from her years of experience bartending, spent the next three months creating and testing recipes. “People went crazy for them,” she says, so she and Jon set out to build a commercial kitchen and obtain a truck. By October 2014, they were ready to start scooping.
The truck currently serves 27 flavors, including cocktail-inspired custards, fruity “sangria” sorbets (don’t miss the Strawberry Wine and the Peachy Bellini varieties), and even vegan “ice creams.” Nearly everything can be made booze-free upon request so the under-21 crowd can indulge as well. There’s a “Silly Sweets” menu with kid-friendly flavors like Saturday Morning Cartoon (vanilla bean with colored cereal and marshmallows), and Robot Food (chocolate with nuts and chocolate chunks). Tipsy cones have less than half of one percent alcohol (similar to Vodka pasta sauce). “The booze is really all about the flavor,” Brooke explains. “If you’re looking for a buzz, stick to a cocktail.” Tipsy Cones frequents local farmers markets and festivals, and can be booked for parties.
Follow That Truck: Some Fairfield Favorites
Bodega Taco Truck
Tacos and more from your favorite taqueria.
Coffee & baked goods
Fireman’s Ice Cream Truck
Ice cream novelties, candy, and drinks.
Fresh lobster rolls, bisque, and lobster mac.
The Local Meatball
Grandma’s meatballs plus specialty balls.
Caribbean cuisine including jerk chicken and fried plantains.
Gourmet grilled cheese and specialty pressed ’wiches.
Artisan wood-fired pizza.
The Poutine King
Fries + cheese + gravy = poutine.
Super Duper Weenie
Gourmet topped dogs, burgers, and fries.
“Rolling rotisserie” featuring porchetta, chicken and gourmet fries.