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!
I’ve never really thought of a falafel to be foxy, per se, but after tasting the goodies coming out of this green and yellow vintage food truck — I’m having a change of heart.
Foxy Falafel focuses on the local, sustainable and organic goodies we all love in Minnesota but they do it with pizzazz. Owner Erica Strait said she decided to open the food truck after tasting fabulous falafels in New York — and not finding the same big flavors here.
She’s grown her business from a tent at the Kingfield farmers market to a food truck (they started in St. Paul and are now in Minneapolis) to a recently opened restaurant in St. Paul.
Let’s find out more about this foxy falafel-maker.
Owner: Erica Strait
Date the food truck opened: We started the tent in 2010 at Kingfield farmers market and then we started the food truck this summer in June.
What kind of food do you serve? We’re Foxy Falafel, we serve three different kinds of falafel — we have the traditional which is the foxy, we also have a beet falafel, which is fresh, ground beets mixed in with the falafel mix served with a preserved lemon and goat cheese sauce and then we also have a curry falafel, which is Indian spices mixed in with the falafel mix, and then they’re all served in a whole wheat pita, with hummus, cabbage, topped with cucumbers and tomatoes. All of our pickles are made in house and then we do three signature sauces — a cucumber mint yogurt, a green tahini and a spicy harissa.
Price range of menu: Between $7 to $10.
Hours of operation: Mostly serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and at Kingfield farmers market and Linden Hills farmers market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays.
What’s your culinary background? I started out going to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, which is a holistic-based nutrition school. From there I went to the Natural Gourmet Culinary School in New York, also. Then I worked in New York for a couple of years, was a sous chef out there then moved to Minneapolis. I worked at restaurants here in the cities, at Spoonriver, and then I had a personal chef and catering business. Now I have Foxy.
Why falafels? I worked in New York City for a couple of years under an Israeli chef and learned about falafels and ate falafels in New York City and then when I moved here, I couldn’t find exactly what I liked in falafels so I decided I’ll just make it myself.
So what made you want to open the food truck? The food truck to me was kind of a goal — starting with the tent and then evolving into a truck and then into a restaurant. For me, I feel like the food truck scene is so exciting and so much fun. When I’ve traveled before in southeast Asia, and Portland and New York City, all these big cities with a lot of street food going on, it’s just a very fun way to try new things and get outside and it’s a great addition to Minneapolis.
How did you come up with the name? You know, we were just sitting around throwing around names as friends and it just kind of came up and I was like, “Yep, that’s exactly it.” It’s catchy and everybody remembers it. It’s just really fun.
How is the food prepared? All the falafels are made to order. They’re hot, they’re crispy, crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, it’s all hand-crafted. We make everything. They’re very unique to anything that a lot of people have had before.
What’s your favorite dish that you serve? Oh man, that’s tough. I love all the falafels but I really do love the Foxy. It’s really delicious and it’s our traditional. It’s just got a lot of flavor. It’s a really good place for people who haven’t had a falafel to start and then try the others after that. It’s probably my favorite.
Describe your truck in one word: FoxyRoxy. We named our truck Roxy and she’s pretty awesome. She’s vintage, she’s very unique from all the rest of the trucks — quilted paneling on the side and our logo on the other. She’s pretty special.
What’s your craziest story from working at a food truck? Oh my goodness, there’s so many crazy stories. I guess it can range from locking yourself out of the food truck to getting a flat tire to running out of gas is a good one — we ran out of gas before and that was an ordeal. But yeah, for the most part it’s an adventure and we’ve been taking it as a learning experience as our first year.
What’s one thing you want people to know about your food truck? Our main thing is we are sourcing a lot of ingredients from local farmers and we really take pride in doing that and networking with those people and showcasing what we have here in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We really enjoy everyone who comes to the truck and we thank everyone who has come and who will come. It’s a great time to meet people. We really enjoy it.
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!