Food Truck Award Winners

We asked and you voted for your favorite mobile cuisine in our fine state. During voting the names of your favorites stood next to a lot of other fantastic road warriors. When they’re hitting the streets this summer, be sure to support these hard-working and creative chefs by attending a food truck event or chasing down a truck like the hungry dog you are. We sure have a lot to celebrate.

Friskie Fries, Favorite Truck 2018, Favorite French Fries, Favorite Food Truck with Storefront and Favorite Graphics

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever parked? Outside of a cemetery

What’s the most lost you’ve ever gotten with the truck? In the mountains of Springfield MA truck over heating
What device would you invent for your truck to help business run better? Magic is totally allowed.
 A robot to cook the fries on 100 degree days
How did you come up with the name for your business? Nibble and Bits was the first name, then once we chose the logo with the cat we decided Friskie Fries
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Tom a news caster and Rande wanted to be a vet
What’s your favorite other food truck? All of them, we truly love what our community has to offer… haven’t really had a bad experience yet!
What’s your favorite other food truck?

If you were on a desert island with your truck, what ingredients would you want to have with you?

Bacon, cheese, sour cream, chive, fries and Titos, red wine and water
Poppy’s Waffles, Runner Up Favorite Truck 2018, Favorite Winter Warrior and Favorite New Truck

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever parked? My daughter’s driveway

What device would you invent for your truck to help business run better? Magic is totally allowed. Automatic refill on all supplies
How did you come up with the name for your truck? I called my father-in-law Poppy.
If someone was going to try one dish of yours, what would you recommend? The cookies and cream waffle
When you were a kid, that did you want to be when you grew up?A big equipment operator, like a bulldozer 
If you were stuck on a desert island, what ingredients would you want to have with you? Waffle batter and chicken

Haven Brothers, Favorite Burger/ Slider and Favorite Late Night Truck

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever parked? We catered a house party with armed security, and they weren’t friendly.

What device would you invent for your truck to help business run better? Magic is totally allowed. A fryer that can fry a basket of fries in seconds

How did you come up with the name for your business? It was established in 1893 by Ann Haven.

If someone was going to try one dish of yours, what would you recommend? Of course it’s the murder burger. Once you eat it, you feel you’ve died and gone to heaven. The flavor is killer…

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Rich and famous because I have ketchup in my blood and hot dogs in my genes. I knew I was destined for Havenly things!

What’s your favorite other food truck? Haven Bros Diner — that’s what got me started in the mobile catering business!

If you were on a desert island with your truck, what ingredients would you want to have with you? I would bring oil. I could lube myself up to catch a great tan and use it to fry up anything I catch. It’s a win, win. I will look great with my beautiful tan and my stomach will be full with all my fried exotic foods. 

Championship Melt, Favorite Grilled Cheese

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever parked? We did an event for the special teams coach of the New England Patriots, and he had a basketball court built at his house just for the event. It was a 2 on 2 tournament that he was having for NFL players.

What’s the most lost you’ve ever gotten with the truck? We went to Melrose, MA and the GPS took us down a road with a tunnel that had 8-foot-clearance, which we couldn’t mae. Directly in front of us is the tunnel and on either side of us were two one-way roads and we had nowhere to go but backward.

What device would you invent for your truck to help business run better? Magic is totally allowed. It exists in reality and it’s called an air conditioner. It gets hot on the truck this time of year. 

How did you come up with the name of your business? I bought the truck from the previous owner. It’s a play on words for a championship title belt. 

If someone was going to try one dish of yours, what would you recommend? The most popular is called the Stan Hansen, named after a very popular US wrestler who wrestled in Japan. It’s cheddar, pulled pork, honey BBQ sauce and macaroni and cheese.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to do something in wrestling. And that’s kind of cool because we get to promote wrestling events through my organization, Beyond Wrestling.

What’s your favorite other food truck? Pretty much anyone who’s going to give us free food at the end of the night. 

If you were on a desert island with your truck – what ingredients would you bring?

We have just a flat top grill on the truck, so I would bring the ingredients to make myself a chicken stir fry sandwich.

Citizen Wing, Favorite Chicken Wings

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever parked? You mean besides Kennedy Plaza? Actually the weirdest/coolest moment was on the set of the Ghostbusters reboot parked next to Ecto-1; it was just nuts to me.

What’s the most lost you’ve ever gotten with the truck? We did a party for some friends last year down on Wallum Lake. Anyways, GPS took us down a steep and narrow dirt looking “path” you could call it, and at the end was the the lake. So I almost drove into the lake basically.

What device would you invent for your truck to help business run better? Magic is totally allowed. Self cleaning fryers or self cleaning truck. I spend more time cleaning than I do cooking, but that may be just my OCD. I love a clean kitchen!

How did you come up with the name for your business? I originally told people I named it to build a brand that could become more than just a food truck that everyone could relate to. Then someone asked if it had anything to do with Citizen Kane. Lately I have been inclined to think the latter. It might just be my rosebud and my demise someday. Just kidding — I actually love what I do no matter how hard it gets!

If someone was going to try one dish of yours, what would you recommend? I love our chicken & waffles, poutine and other creations, but our wings are unique. We brine them in beer from local breweries, season them and deep fry them — sometimes beer battered, grilled, smoked, sous vide. We are always trying new stuff. But I would say smoked chicken wings with Volcanic ash sauce, which is made with Borealis coffee, habaneros, fig jam and cardamom, then topped with toasted sesame seeds and scallions.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I’m not really sure I knew when I was a kid. I mean definitely Indiana Jones, but it didn’t seem like a real option. 

What’s your favorite other food truck? Do not make me pick! This is a tough one. It has to Be Plouf Plouf Gastronomie and Rocket Fine Street Food. But again I’m not gonna pick one in any order at any time!

If you were on a desert island with your truck, what ingredients would you want to have with you? I would have to say we need duck fat to fry stuff, lots of beer and Sriracha, cuz I could eat just about anything with Sriracha on it!

Gastros, Favorite Hot Dogs / Sausages and Favorite Portable Not-A-Truck
How did you come up with the name for your business? Gastros is short for gastronomy, which means the art of cooking or eating good food.
If someone was going to try one dish of yours, what would you recommend? Bacon cheddarwurst
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Food truck owner
GottaQ BBQ Food Truck & Catering, Favorite BBQ

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever parked? We do all kinds of weird stuff. Probably my first event that my wife and I did when we launched our food truck. We were in CT at a large festival and were selling only pulled pork with cole slaw and in two days we sold, like, I can’t even remember the amount. It was an absurd amount. We were like, “Whoa, why did we do this?” It took off for us then.

What’s the most lost you’ve ever gotten with the truck? Probably trying to navigate through Boston. The truck can’t go through the tunnels, so we have to stay on the surface roads. Going to Suffolk Downs with a truck from RI is really difficult.

What device would you invent for your truck to help business run better? Magic is totally allowed. Probably a way for the trucks to clean themselves. Our trucks get blown up, so something that would allow us to push a button and steam clean the whole thing.

How did you come up with the name of your business? I did it without anybody understanding what it was. When I came up with GottaQ, it’s a noun, a verb and an adjective. GottaQ is the business name. GottaQ as in, you’ve gotta eat this barbecue. As an adjective, it’s gottaq. GottaQ barbecue is the only kind of barbecue. Got to have that barbecue.

If someone was going to try one dish of yours, what would you recommend? Brisket. Our beef brisket is national class. I would put it against any barbecue house anywhere in the country. 

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I did it. I was a firefighter/EMM/paramedic for 37 years. In my second career, I built theme park attractions for Disney. In my retirement, I switched from doing lighting and sound to doing the food part of events. 

What’s your favorite other food truck? We most get along with Presto Strange-o. We’re going to use their brand of drinks on our trucks and store.

If you were on a desert island with your truck – what ingredients would you bring? Brisket and dry rub. I’m sure I could build a smoker out of something. 

Jeff’s Wood Fired Pizza, Favorite Pizza

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever parked? It has got to be in an apple orchard, which was inside a mansion compound in Newport. We were there for nine hours doing a private party and probably made 13 pizzas. I think we were more for decoration than food.
What’s the most lost you’ve ever been? It was in Newport. I ended up going down a very narrow dead end, which is like the worst nightmare for a guy driving a trailer.
What device would you invent for your truck to help business run better? Magic is totally allowed. That would have to be a machine that magically preheats my oven in seconds rather than hours.
How did you come up with the name for your business? I’m Jeff, we cook pizza. So Jeff’s Wood Fired Pizza seems to make sense.
If someone was going to try one dish of yours, what would you recommend? I like all my pizzas, but I recommend people go with the margherita. If a place can do the simple pies well, then the fancy creative pies should be great.
When  you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a monster truck driver.
What’s your favorite other food truck? That’s hard cause I love them all. I honestly haven’t had a meal off any truck that I haven’t loved. I’m a big fan of what Gastros is doing, Fugo, Smoke & Squeal. There all great.
If you were on a desert island with your truck, what ingredients would you want to have with you?All the ingredients to make pepperoni pizzas for a lifetime. 
Noble Knots, Favorite Sandwich-like Object
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever parked? No place really weird. Worst has been when they try to park us on a hill, making it practically impossible to cook.

What’s the most lost you’ve ever gotten with the truck? We have never gotten lost (thank you gps). We did once cater a wedding that in order to get to required us to go under a bridge we wouldn’t fit under. Fortunately, a local saw us coming and told us how to get to our destination without going under the bridge.

What device would you invent for your truck to help business run better? Magic is totally allowed. A weather control device to ensure we always had great weather.
How did you come up with the name for your business? Our business name is also our mission statement. Noble reflects how we like to conduct ourselves both in our business and in our lives. Knots is for our pretzel bread.
If someone was going to try one dish of yours, what would you recommend? Really can’t go wrong with any dish. Probably the hush puppies.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A chef
What’s your favorite other food truck? Rhode Rage
If you were on a desert island with your truck, what ingredients would you want to have with you? Arugula, eggs, chicken stock, heavy cream, flour, salt, short ribs
Poco Loco Tacos, Favorite Tacos
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever parked? Kennedy Plaza is the weirdest place we’ve parked. Mostly because of the clientele. 
What’s the most lost you’ve ever gotten with the truck? We went to the wrong building in the CVS park in Woonsocket once. Not a very exciting story, the buildings just all look the same. 
What device would you invent for your truck to help business run better? Magic is totally allowed  It may already exist but I’d like a device to keep bees from flying into the truck while we’re trying to cook. Maybe it’s the bright yellow color of our truck they identify with. The thing is a bee magnet.
How did you come up with the name of your business? Poco Loco means “Little Crazy” which I felt described some of our less traditional tacos and menu items.
If someone was going to try one dish of yours, what would you recommend? The PBJ Taco has always been our best seller. Pulled Pork,  Black Beans, Jalapenos, cheese and our sweet BBQ sauce.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? My mother showed me something I wrote in 5th grade describing how I wanted to be an ice cream truck driver. Landed a little off the mark, but I was close.
What’s your favorite other food truck? For savory foods trucks I love Rocket Street Food. Their sliders and dogs are epic. For sweet I go to Like No Udder. Their vegan ice cream is so good you can’t notice it’s dairy free.
If you were on a desert island with your truck – what ingredients would you bring? If the island was deserted I would probably just bring a bottle of Buffalo Trace Bourbon. Might as well relax and have a drink if there’s no one to sell food to.

Buddha Belly, Favorite Other Ethnic

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever parked? I haven’t really parked anywhere weird. I have had the opportunity to park in some really cool spots, such as a beautiful ocean-front spot while providing service at a yacht club or in the middle of the RI POPS at Roger Williams Park Temple of Music. If I had to answer this, I would say my driveway at home. Before I opened to the public I did a couple test runs with my friends, family, and neighbors out of my driveway to work out any kinks.

What’s the most lost you’ve ever gotten with the truck? I have never really gotten lost. I’m born and raised in this area and with all the technology available to us, there really is no excuse to be lost in Rhode Island.

What device would you invent for your truck to help business run better? Magic is totally allowed. I would love to invent a robot that can prepare the whole truck for me. Handle the shopping and make my sauces. If it would also cut veggies and make my batter and clean – that would be pretty awesome. Now that I think about it, how about it does everything and I just interact with customers?

How did you come up with the name for your business? Buddha Belly came from my thinking that I wanted something that could tie together something Asian with something food-related that conveyed my sense of humor. I use the Laughing Buddha image on my truck and joke that is a self-portrait or my twin brother.

If someone was going to try one dish of yours, what would you recommend? I would definitely recommend my Chinese Style Crepe. It is unique in this area and is THE number 1 street food in China. It really is a great representation of my truck and a true Chinese street food cuisine.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a surgeon or an Air Force jet pilot.

What’s your favorite other food truck? I think there is something from each that I really love to eat every once in awhile. With that said I will NEVER pass up the opportunity to get a burrito from Mijio’s or the Artichoke Balls off of Noble Knots! This is like asking me to choose between my two children, this is not possible – I want them all, all of the time!

If you were on a desert island with your truck, what ingredients would you want to have with you? I would want the 11 ingredients I use to make my chicken wing sauce; it’s an awesome sauce that seems to taste pretty good on anything I put it on!!

Jo Jo’s Cupcakes, Favorite Dessert

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever parked? I actually sold right out of my driveway at home on Saturday, and sold 12 dozen cupcakes in 1 hour and 15 mins! Was nice to be 50 feet from my door. 
What’s the most lost you’ve ever been? In Providence? I’m always lost. 
How did you come up with the name for your business? As a li’l girl, my dad and ONLY my dad called me JoJo. He passed away when I was 21 years old and I named it in honor of him.
If someone was only going to try one thing of yours, what would you recommend? The cannoli cupcake is my signature cupcake.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a lawyer.
What’s your favorite other food truck? I do like Presto Strango.
If you were on a desert island with your truck, what ingredients would you want to have with you?Whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries, oh and whipped cream again

Del’s Lemonade, Favorite Frozen Dessert 

It just wouldn’t be RI without Del’s. The relief on a hot day, the bits of real lemon, the spoon straw … it’s no wonder you can’t resist the siren song of the yellow and green cup!

Like No Udder, Favorite Vegan / Vegetarian Options

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever parked? We served a funeral; the person who passed away wanted something fun at the funeral and requested an ice cream truck. She also requested that the ice cream be eaten outside to ensure ice cream wouldn’t be spilled on the carpet.

How did you come up with the name of your business? A friend of ours came up with the name Like No Udder in her sleep.

If someone was going to try only one dish of yours, what would you recommend? The peanut butter chocolate shake is the most popular item on the truck.

 What’s your favorite other food truck? Unfortunately, there are no other vegan trucks in RI. So while we love our fellow truck friends, our favorite vegan truck food comes from the Cinnamon Snail in NYC and Taco Party in Boston.

Presto Strange O Coffee Truck, Favorite Coffee / Beverage Truck

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever parked? Probably on the wrong side of a state highway at an abandoned rest stop to serve a movie crew at 1am.

 What’s the most lost you’ve ever gotten with the truck?
Took the exit for rt4 instead of exit 4 off of rt95. Added about 45 min to the trip
What device would you invent for your truck to help business run better? Magic is totally allowed. A device that caused a dance party to break out whenever the line got too long!
How did you come up with the name for your business? Just wanted to break away from typical coffee shop names.
If someone was going to try one dish of yours, what would you recommend? I would recommend asking for whatever the barista is currently drinking. That’s a way to find out what’s good.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Anything except ordinary.
What’s your favorite other food truck? Anyone offering some vegetarian options. I like Fugo.
If you were on a desert island with your truck, what ingredients would you want to have with you? Coffee beans, vanilla beans, sugar cane

Iggy’s Doughboys, Favorite Outdoor Treat

Deep-fried bread served with a generous sprinkling of sugar — no fair, carnival, beach day or any summer day spent outside would be complete without it. We’re just glad their delicious doughboys don’t actually come out of the fryer with faces. We’d still devour it, but we’d feel bad about it.

Yacht Club Soda, Favorite Locally Produced Food Carried in Stores or Trucks

Rhode Island’s been loving Yacht Club for more than 100 years! Made with artesian water and no high fructose corn syrup before being bottled in glass, the anchor label means you’re about to taste the good stuff. At a backyard BBQ, at the beach, mixed with liquor, turned into ice pops or served with food truck fare, Yacht Club’s exceptional flavors make them a favorite year after year.

The Burgundian, Favorite Mobile Pop Up

What’s been your most unusual pop-up experience? I would probably say the Attleboro Zoo. I was legit right near the lion’s den and Mufasa was definitely staring me down the entire time. It was kind of creepy cool. 

What device would you invent to help your pop-ups run more smoothly? Magic is totally allowed. Definitely a teleportal window to my commissary kitchen. That way, I wouldn’t actually have to set anything up other than a table. I’d have my staff cooking in the kitchen, and when we had an order – BAM – hand it to me through the teleportal window. I feel we have the technology to make this happen. 
How did you come up with the name for your business? When I lived in Lille, France (on the border of France and Belgium), I really got into Belgian beer. I bought books, researched, toured, etc. One of the books was titled The Great Beers of Belgium by renowned booze author Michael Jackson. In this book, Jackson went into some history of Belgium, and talked about the days when Mary of Burgundy reigned over this region. During this time, the name Burgundian was born in Belgium, and it’s still used today. The book said a Burgundian is “someone who loves food and drink in both quality and quantity.” This description resonated with me. I worked with a number of Belgians at this time, who all gave me their own version of what this term meant. Essentially, it boiled down to a very social and communal way to interact with food and drink. It’s a means of pausing everyday life, and enjoying food and beverage delights with others. So, our Burgundian slogan is “Someone who loves food and drink, in both quality and quantity, shared amongst friends.” It’s like “foodie” or “gourmand,” but much more evolved. Hence our hashtag #weareburgundians…because I think many of us are Burgundians at heart.
If someone was going to try one dish of yours, what would you recommend? For savory, I would say our fried chicken and waffles. My chef has a secret recipe from his Georgian family, and we put this on a Liege waffle. We mix up the sauce — sometimes a beer shallot gravy or maybe an roasted adobe pepper maple butter. For sweet, I would try one of our boozy mascarpone whipped cream concoctions, like our Falling for Waffles — spiced apple & pear compote topped with a Sons of Liberty Rum-infused mascarpone whipped cream, candied pecans and Newport sea salt caramel drizzle. 
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? When I was a young kid, I would probably say some sort of superhero. Or Joe Montana. When I was a teen, it was definitely a soccer star. And I was headed that way until I gruesomely busted my knee up. But waffles are cool, too.
What’s your favorite other food truck? Wow, this one is really difficult. So many great ones. While it’s not in service anymore, when I moved to the area in 2011, I fell head over heels with Hewtin’s Dogs Mobile Food Truck. It bordered on obsession — the sausages were amazing and the bacon wrapped meatloaf? I mean, come on. Luckily, Chez Pascal opened Wurst Window  so I can still get my fix. My other favs and regulars: Gastros, Baby’s Bonetown and Rocket Fine Food (The Ron Swanson!!!).
If you were stranded on a desert island, what ingredients would you want to have with you? A pig. So many delicious options. I’m always reminded of that Simpson’s episode when Lisa wants to be a vegetarian. Homer asks her if she’s going to give up bacon, pork and ham. She says that those all come from the same animal, and he replied “Right, some wonderful, magical animal.” 
Rhody Roots, Best Overhaul
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever parked? To be weird we’d first have to be any kind of “normal,” and we’re still figuring out what that means. Everywhere we’ve gone we’ve met great people. I guess we’re lucky because we really can’t complain about a single location we’ve been to.
Have you ever been really lost with your truck? We are forever getting lost going to breweries!
What device would you invent to make your business run more smoothly? If our truck could pack and unpack itself that would be great … if it wanted to throw in parking and driving to the event location that would be cool, too. I think I just asked for a Transformer.  
How did you come up with the name for your business? We wanted something that related directly to our concept and spent hours flipping through cookbooks and asking our friends/family what their thoughts were. (Thanks Eric and Katie!)
What one dish would you recommend? The “Curd You Dare?” is mind blowing, and unfortunately the least commonly ordered. It actually breaks my heart and I’m often tempted to give it away so consumers can understand its greatness. 
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? We both wanted to be lawyers… so clearly being food truck owners makes a ton of sense.
What’s your favorite other food truck? Presto!!!! Coffee is needed to survive this life.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what ingredients would you want to have with you? Give Lou any sort of produce or meat, a little salt and pepper maybe some garlic, and he will make it work.He will hate me for saying that, but he’s seriously that good at what he does. It’s about the love (and cook times), but seriously, he really gives it his whole heart.

Tricycle Ice Cream, Favorite Truck on a Bike

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever put your cart? One time we catered birthday party for a dog, held at a mansion in Newport. It was super elegant and there were over a dozen dogs there. We made dog-friendly ice cream sandwiches.

What device would you invent for your cart to help business run better? Magic is totally allowed. I would make a self-driving tricycle that could make deliveries right to your door. I’d also like to create dry ice that doesn’t sublimate, so I can save some money.

How did you come up with the name for your business? I like business names that are both simple and conjure up an image in a consumer’s head. Obviously, we vend out of a tricycle, so some inspiration came from that. However, we liked the name, too, because it conjures up a kind of nostalgia that would resonate with a lot of people.  

If someone was going to try one recipe of yours, what would you recommend?Callebaut Chocolate Ice Cream paired with Salty Pretzel Shortbread Cookies. You can’t go wrong with salty and sweet.  
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Gio wanted to be an architect. I wanted to be a rock star.  
What’s your favorite other food truck? We have so many favorite trucks, so I can’t pick just one, but some of our top faves include Fugo, Mijos, Rocket, and Incred-A-Bowl.
If you were on a desert island with your cart, what ingredients would you want to have with you? Birdseed so that I could catch a pigeon and tie a message around its neck to go get help. Actually, this idea makes me want to make a sunflower seed ice cream. Maybe we’ll do that in August!
Food Truck Fridays at Carousel Village, Favorite Location / Festival
Every summer and well into the fall, crowds gather at Carousel Village every Friday night. The playground and carousel keep the kids entertained, the live music and shady trees keep the grown-ups entertained, and with the multitude of trucks that show up to start the weekend off right, even the pickiest eater will find something delicious to eat.

Hope Village / Hope Street Market (Pawtucket), Favorite Farmer’s Market

The Hope Street Farmers Market is like something out of a movie. Filled with couples, families and budding chefs, Saturday mornings at Lippit Park is a gorgeous experience. There’s freshly picked produce, coffee, baked goods and live music right next to a playground and an occasional artists market. And of course, there’s always a food truck nearby.

Frank Terranova, Achievement Award

Chef Terranova announced his retirement this year, and we want to thank him for keeping us Cooking with Class for so many years. See our interview with him on page XX.

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