With so many new — and delicious — food trucks hitting the streets of the Twin Cities each summer, it’s almost too tough to keep up. Well, fear not, we’re here to help. Introducing our new Friday food truck feature!
Each Friday, we’ll put the spotlight on a different food truck in the Twin Cities. And not just on the food, but on the fabulous chefs behind the truck.
This week we’re meeting the owner of Harvest Grill Mobile — a relatively new food truck to grace Marquette Avenue.
Harvest Grill takes the flavors and methods they’ve perfected from its history of successful restaurants and brings them to the streets of Minneapolis, in a quick and convenient way.
Let’s meet ’em, shall we?
Owner: Jason Hines
Date the food truck opened: April 30 was the practice day and we opened live on May 1. So we’re seven weeks into this.
What kind of food do you serve? Wraps, sandwiches, pop and chips. We buy our food through the Minnesota Food Alliance through Sysco, so all of our food is Minnesota grown. We are trying to offer a little bit of a healthier choice for those people who come out every day. I want to provide options that people can feel guilt-free eating a couple of times a week.
Price range of menu: All of our wraps and sandwiches are $7 and then we have pop for $1 and chips for $1.
Hours of operation: Open at 11 a.m. until about 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Job before opening food truck: I’ve been in restaurants all my life, and catering, so before we opened the food truck I was doing just normal catering.
Why did you want to go into the food industry? My parents started a catering company when I was just a kid and by the time I was 15, me and my sister were kind of running it for my mom, by the time I was 19, me and my brothers and sisters owned it and by the time I was 21, I owned it. By the time I was 25, I had my first restaurant. And now I have five restaurants (Harvest Grill, Broadway Pizza, Town and Country Catering) full-service catering and the food truck. It’s always been food.
How is your food made? We have a partnership through our catering with Bridgewood Cafe in northeast Minneapolis, so we get our food orders in there and then we do all of our prep right in the truck.
Is everything done from the truck? Yup, everything is made fresh, to order. So if you want it with onion or without onion, or with ranch or blue cheese, it’s what you want. We don’t pre-make anything.
How did you come up with the name? A few years ago we had a request for a proposal from the city of Coon Rapids to design a restaurant for a space that they came up with. With the chefs and the sales people and myself, we thought, let’s do a Minnesota theme. And the Harvest Grill, I don’t remember who said it, but it stuck.
How did you decide on the menu/theme? We wanted something we could make fast, so we wouldn’t have long lines and we wanted something that would taste good every time, very consistent. And I wanted something that we could train people fairly easy on — food’s fussy so we wanted to make sure we had everything down for cleanliness and for preparedness. We do sell wraps at our restaurant and it just seemed to work really well for the food truck. We’re having a lot of fun with it.
What do you think is your best dish? I like the buffalo chicken sandwich myself, but the chicken feta apple wrap has probably been our most popular. Last week we came out with a Thai chicken wrap that’s been very popular. But for me, I like the spicy buffalo chicken.
Describe your truck in one word: Tasty.
What’s your craziest story from working inside a food truck? Well, we’ve been broken down on 10th and Nicollet, 9th and Marquette, 394 and 100 and Washington Avenue in the center lane. So those are some crazy stories. We’ve done a lot of jump starting. We finally got all the bugs out. You know, like anything — you have a restaurant and your air conditioning goes out, you have a food truck and your alternator goes out. The folks at Bobby and Steve’s have been pretty good to us.
What’s one thing you want people to know about your food truck? I want people to know that they’re getting good, fresh food, made to order and if you like it, check out the website and come to one of our restaurants. We’ll treat you just as well there.
Catch the Friday Food Truck Feature every week, in the Curiocity column. Know of a food truck you think should be featured? Let us know by leaving a comment below or tweeting your suggestion to @SaraPelissero!