Reporting Sara Pelissero
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. Here’s this week’s Friday food truck feature!
Meet the saucy minx behind Saucy Burt’s killer cart. While it’s not a food “truck,” per se, the dynamite dishes coming out of this little cart certainly make it a deserving pick for this week’s feature.
Sarah Burt, owner of the fantastic food on wheels, credits her grandmother for the inspiration to share her tasty meatball subs with the world.
She left a world of politics to follow her passion — setting up an office where she feels most at home, in the kitchen. With every sandwich served, she wishes each customer a saucy day so let’s meet her, shall we?
Owner: Sarah Burt
Date the food truck opened: July 18, 2011
What kind of food do you serve? I sell the best meatball sandwich in town. I grew up in my Italian grandmother’s kitchen, got my training as a chef at Haute Dish and La Belle Vie and serve the best meatball sandwich. It’s a blend of beef, pork and veal and I also have a chicken sandwich, which is fantastic.
Price range of menu: $7 for the sandwich, $9 for a sandwich, plus chips and a drink.
Hours of operation: I’m usually here on Nicollet Mall from about 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. However, I’ve begun hauling my cart out to corporate campuses and office parks. So if you don’t have a lot of options for lunch where you work, I’d love to bring my meatball cart out to where you work. I’m doing that Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Job before opening food truck: I worked in politics — I was an organizer — and I worked in communications, as well. I worked for Congressman Keith Ellison and I managed a few campaigns, and was a lobbyist for the League of Women Voters.
Why did you want to go into the food industry? Well, I’d been thinking I wanted a change and the place where I’m the happiest is in the kitchen. So I decided to become a chef. I got my training at Haute Dish, like I said, and it was a really good training for launching my own business. So I just felt like, I wanted to do something more creative and the kitchen was the place where I’m the happiest. Specifically mobile street food — it’s a really fantastic trend, very positive trend in Minneapolis right now. Very chef-driven. So I wanted the opportunity to do my own thing and street food was just the natural option.
How did you decide on cart versus truck? I thought, you know, I really just want to do this on my own. I don’t want to have employees yet so the cart just seemed like the best option. It’s a little overhead kind of adventure and when I picked the meatball sandwich, I thought, “Well, I can do that out of a cart. That’s perfect.”
How is your food made? I have a commercial kitchen, so I prep everything there. I slow-roast my meatballs and then I poach them in chicken stock, here at the cart.
How did you come up with the name? So my last name is Burt, and I’m pretty saucy.
How did you decide on the menu/theme? I knew I wanted to go with something Italian, because that’s where I was most confident in my culinary skills. And I recognize that Minneapolis and St. Paul, they do not have a superior meatball sandwich. And I decided, “Well, I know that’s something I can nail.” And sure enough, I have the best meatball sandwich in town.
What do you think is your best dish? Probably the classic. For sure. It’s your classic blend of beef, pork and veal, very velvety, very crave-worthy.
Describe your truck in one word: Saucy.
What’s your craziest story from working at a food cart? You know, one day I was out here on the mall and the trumpet guy was playing, this guy was screaming on the corner on the street and then there was, like, a bunch of people in an argument. So just being on the mall any day could be kind of wild. It’s fun to be downtown, I really like it. I like everything that’s happening downtown and once again, I think that street food adds a really excellent element to the culinary scene in Minneapolis.
What’s one thing you want people to know about your food cart? Just that I have the best meatball sandwich in town and that I do events and I can pretty much haul it wherever you want me to go.
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!