The truck stops here: 9 food trucks-turned-restaurants

Many food trucks park once the leaves fall, but that doesn’t mean your craving for street fare has to cease.

MECCA BOS
Updated 10/9/2014

Now there are even more reasons to dread the impending winter. More than the usual skyscraper-snowbank, deadly-icicle, snow-emergency, mucus-freezing, months-without-sunshine, verge-of-depression reasons.

You won’t be able to get street food.

But ah! You can! Lately, more than a few food-truck outfits have been building little bricks-and-mortar empires beyond the wheels. Here’s where to get your burritos, tuna rolls, BBQ, gyros and more once the tires are stuck in the snow.

 

World Street Kitchen

2743 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. • 612-424-8855 • www.eatwsk.com

The brothers Wadi actually planned a World Street Kitchen restaurant first, but their permanent location finally opened in 2012, after the WSK food truck had become a hit. Their signature Yum Yum bowl — rice, soft cooked egg, peanuts, “crunchies,” secret sauce and choice of meat or tofu — contends with the Bangkok Burrito for eater favorite. There’s an extended menu here that’s not available on the truck — I’m a huge fan of the “D.I.Y. lettuce wraps” served with a half-head of lettuce — plus happy hour and brunch. The Mexican Steak & Egg’wich is pretty much best in class.

 

Sushi Fix

862 E. Lake St., Wayzata • 952-473-1364

Sushi Fix is gaining a reputation as a “real deal” sushi outfit with a youthful flair. Any worries about sushi coming off of a truck were needless — the truck’s craftsmanship is impeccable, and the Wayzata store is no different. The chefs take inspiration from edo-mae sushi, a style initially meant to be eaten on the street. The vibe is fun, fast and fabulous. Check out their “ski-shots” for proof.

 

Chef Shack Ranch

3025 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., • 612-354-2575 • www.chefshackranch.com

Most of us didn’t even know the meaning of “street cuisine” when Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer started slinging their signature Indian spiced mini doughnuts out of their Chef Shack trailer. Their Bay City, Wis., restaurant came next, with its wood-fired pizza oven. Now on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis, the Ranch peddles pulled pork and brisket by the pound, accompanied by classic sides of quick pickles, biscuits, beans, potato salad and slaw in a fast-casual setting.

 

Hot Indian Foods

Midtown Global Market • 920 E. Lake St., Mpls. • 612-236-4423 • www.hotindianfoods.com

Former General Mills exec Amol Dixit always knew he wanted to combine the flavors of his Indian roots with a street-food sensibility. The “Indurrito” that anchors his menu is what it sounds like — Indian curries napped in a roti-style wrap. Check out the samosas and shrimp pakoras (fried fritters) not available on the truck.

 

Potter’s Pasties

1828 Como Av. SE., Mpls. • 612-819-3107 • www.potterspasties.com

The meat-filled pasty (basically a European-style empanada) could easily be a throwaway, but Potter’s devoted scratch cooking morphs this peasant food into a delicacy. The underground takeout joint stays true to the common-class vibe, with grab-it-and-go simplicity. The edge of the pasty provides a crusty handle, so if you’re doing it right, you shouldn’t need silverware at all.

 

Smack Shack

603 Washington Av. N., Mpls. • 612-259-7288 • www.smack-shack.com

It’s strange but true that a lobster-roll shack on wheels has morphed into a full-service behemoth in the North Loop, complete with a custom-built 1,000-gallon lobster tank. The slick establishment actually had even humbler roots than a vehicle in a parking lot — they started out hustling bugs out of the back of the 1029 Bar. The place is now selling everything under the sea — lobster, crab, oysters, ahi, salmon, bass — and if you’re a landlubber, it offers ribeye, lamb sandwiches and even chicken and waffles.

 

Hola Arepa

3501 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls. • 612-345-5583 • www.holaarepa.com

The adorable Caribbean-blue truck with the Venezuelan street-treat arepa —griddled cornmeal pockets stuffed with meat, cheese, veggies and salsa — can now be seen parked in front of an equally adorable Caribbean-blue storefront. All the arepas are here, along with equally habit-forming yucca fries with chimichurri so fine you’ll want to drink it. Imaginative small plates include plaintain tostadas or cachapas (sweet corn pancakes). Don’t miss the colorful bottled cocktails made in house; the Temper Tantra, with spiced rum, dark rum, citrus, ginger beer and habanero, packs a firery wollop.

 

Foxy Falafel

791 Raymond Av., St. Paul • 651-888-2255 • www.foxyfalafel.com

The lighter side to the sometimes-leaden fried delight that is falafel. Erica Strait’s operation is the local gold standard for this Middle Eastern dish, upping the ante with beets or curry and substituting tzatziki for her own preserved-lemon and goat cheese condiment. Swarma and gyros are made with locally raised poultry, and lamb kofta (think meatballs) is also from a small, local producer. The friendly operation is open to all manner of diet proclivities, from gluten-free to vegan, without sacrificing an ounce of flavor. Take the Green Line light rail and indulge in dollar-off libations and 25-cent falafel balls at happy hour.


COMING SOON: Sassy Spoon

Opening this winter • 5011 34th Av. S., Mpls. • www.sassyspoontruck.com

The lease has been secured in the former 3 Tiers Bakery Bistro in the Nokomis neighborhood of Minneapolis. The big pink truck proclaiming “Wholesome food with attitude!” has always eschewed gluten, and the restaurant will continue in that vein, including gluten-free beer on tap. Other ideas being bandied about are an oatmeal bar on Sundays, “paleo” pancakes and raw cookie dough with milk.


 

 

Back To Top