Chef/owner Lucas Ballweber is a weekend staple at J. Carver Distillery in Waconia, but during most weekday lunches he and his crew are feeding hungry downtown Minneapolitans. But first, they got their food truck legs in quieter Waconia. “We started with a big, complex menu, and it was a disaster,” Ballweber said. Eventually, they mastered the formula, focusing on a tightly edited mix of tacos and sliders (and cake pops, a smart food truck dessert option). “That’s when we decided to make the leap into the big leagues and give it a shot in downtown Minneapolis,” he said. As for the menu, how about a blackened haddock taco with pineapple-radish salsa, or roast pork shoulder sliders with crunchy coleslaw and tangy barbecue sauce? As with all trucks, track Ballweber’s whereabouts on Twitter.
Food Trip Foods
When industry newcomers Heather and Mike Rogers first started talking about a favorite subject — food — with hockey buddy Stewart Woodman, they had no idea he was a chef, let alone one with a four-star (the former Levain, the former Heidi’s) pedigree. “We just knew him as a hardworking defenseman,” said Mike Rogers with a laugh. The three are now partners on this new venture, where Woodman applies his know-how, ingenuity and aversion to cutting corners to a highly appealing range of portable, affordable fare: hand-cut fries with a chimichurri mayo, braised beef-truffled mayo-Cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches, veggie burgers (a beet-peanut-mushroom formula and addictive wontons filled with cauliflower and topped with crinkled fried parsley).
Thai Thai Street Food
A Thai restaurant on wheels, with a menu that taps a list of familiar dishes, served in a flash at $10-and-under prices. Try a papaya-crab salad with splashes of tamarind and lime, crispy ground pork egg rolls, chicken or tofu pad Thai, barbecued pork with fried eggs and plenty of garlic, a colorful beef salad and grilled pork satay. Look for a bright blue truck, and a line of customers.