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!
For a business with “no moniker,” this St. Micheal, Minn. retailer sure has made a name for itself.
Most meat-eating Minnesotans are familiar with the brand, No Name Steaks — a local, family-owned company that’s perfected the art of food manufacturing and distribution. You see their products in most grocer’s frozen meat sections.
Fast forward to today — the company has decided to join the food truck nation and take their hand-cut steaks on the road. Let’s learn more about their meals on wheels, shall we?
Owner: No Name, a division of J&B Group. We spoke with Brian Wills, associate brand manager.
Date the food truck opened: July 2012.
What kind of food do you serve? No Name Steak Sandwiches, tilapia tacos, pulled pork sandwiches, steak fajitas, hot dogs.
Price range of menu: $3 (hot dogs) to $7 (sandwiches, tacos and fajitas)
Hours of operation: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., dependent on events.
What made you want to open a food truck? There are a lot of people in Minnesota who have come to love No Name products. We wanted to bring people the food that they love but give them an opportunity to experience it in a new way — a way that they might not be doing it at home.
Why did you want to go into the food industry? J&B Group has been in the food industry for 30 years, distributing quality food products and services to meat markets, retail grocery stores and food service distributors in an 11-state Midwestern area, using its own fleet of trucks.
Is everything done from the truck? We start with our No Name products out of the box, the very same products that are found in area grocery stores, so we’re working with the same products any cook at home would use. All the other ingredients are combined and assembled on the truck.
How did you come up with the name? Over 35 years ago, a small neighborhood butcher shop in St. Paul started serving a special kind of steak. When customers asked what the steaks were called, the butcher simply replied, “They don’t have a name.” Soon, people were coming from miles around to get the steaks with “no name” and a legend was born.
How did you decide on the menu/theme? We wanted to show how our products could be used as an ingredient, not just a main entree. We started with that goal and then created recipes that really integrate No Name in a unique, tasty way.
What do you think is your best dish? The tilapia fish tacos are a fan favorite but my personal favorite is the BBQ pulled pork.
Describe your truck in one word: Butcher-quality.
What’s your craziest story from working at a food truck? We had a customer order a steak sandwich, 10 minutes later he purchased another steak sandwich and three boxes of steaks for his family. He told us he was going to be the “hero” of his family at dinner time.
What’s one thing you want people to know about your food cart? We’re selling products directly off the truck, so if you try something you like, you can easily recreate the meal at home for the family that very night.
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!