There are days when we want to go light, there are days when you might mix a little light with something heavier. Then again, there are days when you break out into a hardcore, primal, carnivorous rage and take down meaty dish after meaty dish.
So, Jose Perez did like any American, food (and fun)-loving person would do: he decided to open up a food truck: The Meat Truck to be exact. Their first launch was on July 4 weekend and they sold out of all their food on that day. If that’s any indiction of their future success, then we think they’ll do very nicely. While we haven’t had a chance to try the food yet, we did snag an interview with Jose to let you know more about what you can look forward to when The Meat Truck hits up Fairfield and New Haven Counties.
What gave you the inspiration to start a food truck?
I’ve always loved to cook. My earliest memories are all centered around food, whether it was a pig roast during a holiday gathering, or creating a Thanksgiving menu with my mother and sister. I fell in love with cooking after watching cooking shows on PBS and CPTV. I remember sitting in front of the TV as a kid for hours watching Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, Martin Yan from “Yan Can Cook,” and Justin Wilson, with his red suspenders and his “I gar-on-tee” catchphrase. From that point on, I was hooked.
About 6 years ago, while managing the Sherwin Williams store in Bridgeport, I came up with the idea of opening up a food truck, after a co-worker talked about a dream he had of owning a deli. He spoke with so much passion about what he would make, and how he would run it. But also with much regret, that he never did. That day, I made a promise to myself, given the opportunity, I would open launch a food truck of my own.
What cities and towns do you plan to hit up in Fairfield County?
Stratford, Bridgeport, Fairfield, possibly Stamford. But right now, I’m based out of New Haven.
Do you have any places set already where you might keep a regular spot where everybody knows how to find you?
At this moment, I’m planning on setting up shop at the Sunoco gas station on Route 80 in New Haven and the downtown Yale area. Don’t worry, though, I still have plans on establishing weekly spots in Stamford and Bridgeport, and Fairfield.
Can you give us a preview into some of the menu and pricing?
$8 steak sandwiches made from real rib eye steak. $7 roasted chicken and pulled pork sandwiches with rib and chicken dinner plates ranging from $10-$14. $3 sides including, German potato salad with bacon, crisp apple slaw with cilantro, yellow rice with pigeon peas (arroz con gandules), hand cut french fries and empanadas. The full menu is available on our website, www.themeattruckco.com.
How would you define the focus of the menu?
Meat is the focus. I’m taking a Latin twist to traditional sandwiches and BBQ. Also, I strongly believe that a great sandwich starts with great ingredients, so we’ve partnered up with local bakers and suppliers to bring an extra freshness to our product.
What do you think will be your biggest seller?
Probably the Cuban sandwich with double cut bacon and roasted pork shoulder, or the Guava with bourbon glazed pork belly sliders with a spicy jalapeño slaw. And of course there’s our Southern style smoked spare ribs and rotisserie chicken. I also can’t forget our “super” sized meaty empanadas.
And, finally, have you noticed anything about the growing food truck scene here in CT that you’d like to share?
I love the diversity. Food trucks have made us more adventurous and open to new cultures and flavors. This is the easiest and cheapest way to experience the world. I think the next trend we’ll see locally is a bit more fusion. As people’s tastes differ and they experience more, they’ll start to combine techniques and ingredients.
The Meat Truck