A Food Truck Feast
The country’s biggest culinary trend, food trucks, has rolled into Columbia. Three trucks, with trained staffs, commissary kitchens and business licenses, are redefining the on-the-go lunch in parking lots across Columbia. Line up for a taste.
(page 2 of 4)
Sunflower Waffle Co.
Daniel Rosenthal was a Los Angeles businessman looking to invest in a food truck anywhere but LA. Conveniently, 1,700 miles away, his brother Chuck owned the Sunflower Waffle Co., a hole-in-the-wall fast-food joint housed in Mojo’s at 1013 Park Ave. The eatery’s eccentric waffle dishes were beyond popular with late-night concertgoers. Why not take the menu on the road?
So they did. The Sunflower Waffle food truck debuted last month and has been serving lunch five days a week. “We’ll start with lunch, then breakfast and then dinner,” Daniel Rosenthal says. “Hopefully, we’ll hit the bar crowd eventually.” The “bar crowd” would be a good demographic for the brothers to target — apparently, Sunflower’s signature dish is a miracle hangover cure.
“I don’t drink, but if I did, I would want a layer of chicken, gravy, waffles and syrup to protect the onslaught,” says Sunflower fan Phillip Overeem, noting that the menu is refreshingly different than anywhere else in town.
Sunflower also offers Waffle Dogs (bratwurst smothered in waffle batter), Suntella (Nutella-smothered slices of banana and a Sunflower waffle) and bacon waffles, among other creations.
“Waffles can serve as snack, main course or dessert,” Overeem explains. “My first time, I had the chicken and waffles for dinner, enjoyed a show, then had Reese’s waffles for dessert. I do not have a dietician, but I do have a lot of culinary fun!”
Chuck Rosenthal is responsible for the menu while Daniel works remotely from Los Angeles. “I do the accounting, the business side of it all, social networking,” Daniel explains. “Chuck is the captain of the ship.”
And that’s a ship that’s moving full-steam ahead: “By the time we get all of this going,” Daniel says, “we are going all out.”
Get ready, waffle lovers.
Owners: Charles and Daniel Rosenthal
On the road since August 2012
Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday; at Mojo’s 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday
Most often found at: Business parks, MU campus, Mojo’s
Most popular menu item: Chicken and waffles with a side of gravy or syrup
Credit cards: Yes
“OMG. This waffle/chicken contraption is the BOMB!! Seriously, it belongs on the Discovery Channel.” — Josh Steinkoetter
Fat Chicks Chow Wagon
Those curious about the veracity of the Fat Chicks Chow Wagon’s title need look no further than the Thumper Stopper burger. Consumers of this delicacy get a taste of fried egg, sausage, bacon, cheese and jalepeños sandwiched between two full Krispy Kreme glazed donuts — if they can get their mouths around it, that is.
The calorie-conscious need not run away, though, as healthy options such as salads and smoothies are also on the Fat Chicks menu.
“You can get some great home-cooked-style food with healthy options like fruit salad — and fun, friendly service,” says customer Ana Lopez. This diversity of options reflects owner Lisa Nichols’ commitment to providing food that satisfies each and every customer. The truck’s menu encourages suggestions, bragging that “Fat Chicks takes all suggestions to heart and will do everything they can to get your business. We go the extra mile to make sure you are getting a quality product that is hot and delicious.”
Fat Chicks was the first food truck to hit CoMo. And it all started by watching television.
“While watching The Great Food Truck Race, I decided that Columbia, Mo., needs to get with the program and get urbanized,” Nichols recounts on the Fat Chicks’ Yelp page. “I brought a box truck and made my husband design and build a kitchen for me.”
Dubbed “The Beast,” the white, orange and yellow truck can be found all around town, and Nichols encourages patrons to check the Fat Chicks’ social media pages for updates on locations and daily specials.
In addition to a popular breakfast menu, Fat Chicks also serves homemade sandwiches, soups, casseroles and desserts. The 50-cent brownies are the “best in town,” according to the menu.
The Beast went into hibernation on July 9 due to mechanical issues. A month later, the truck was not yet fixed, but hungry Facebook fans were reassured with the following post: “Still working on truck. I appreciate everyone’s concern. Sometimes it’s just nice to know you are wanted. Love all my customers and working hard to get back on the road.”
Owner: Lisa Nichols
On the road since 2010
Hours: 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Most often found at: [info TK]
Most popular item: [info TK]
Credit Cards: Yes
“Girl, that salad last week was the best salad I have ever eaten. Ever.” — Deb Fleenor Sielert