Curiocity: Food Truck Feature — Lulu’s Street Food
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 food truck feature!
When it comes to culinary kitchens, you could say Christian Orosz has perfected the art of a mobile meal.
From sharpening his skills in England, he went on to cook on the high seas from the kitchens of private yachts. Jumping ship (pun intended), Orosz and his wife are now the proud owners of not one but two food trucks in the Twin Cities.
Their first truck — a brightly painted creation with a big, white lobster flag — is currently dishing up Caribbean/Cuban creations on the streets of Minneapolis. In a few weeks, a second truck — the Red Pig & Truffle — will take the streets serving rustic sandwiches and fresh-cut deli meats, even offering a few take home options.
Here’s more about Lulu’s Street Food.
Owners: Chef Christian and Tanya Orosz
Date the food truck opened: March 2013.
What kind of food do you serve? Our food is constantly evolving but we seem to do a lot of seafood. We like to keep everything really nice and fresh, made from scratch. I take a lot of what I’ve learned — I was worked in the Bahamas for a while and in Florida — so we’re incorporating a lot of Caribbean, south-Florida, Cuban-style cooking. It’s really a fusion of everything that I’ve learned.
Price range of menu: From $8-$15. We offer a lobster sandwich, which comes with 6 oz. of lobster meat and in a restaurant that would cost you about $30-$40. So it’s a good deal for $15. People really enjoy it out on the streets. It also comes topped with our pretzel bun, which is our premium bun. So it’s a really good deal. Also one of our signature things is our Parmesan truffle fries — we love ‘em.
Hours of operation: We do from 9 a.m. until about 2 p.m. in Minneapolis and special events, breweries. Check the Facebook page.
What was your job before opening the food truck? I’ve been a chef for close to 19 years. I’ve lived in many different countries and I’ve traveled my whole life. I went to culinary school in England and then after England, I moved to Miami. From Miami, I started working on private yachts, where I got stationed in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. I was working on a private yacht down in Fort Lauderdale and brought it up to Stillwater and that’s how I wound up down here.
What made you want to open a food truck? I love adventure, I love travel and I don’t like just being stagnant in a restaurant. I always knew I needed to work for myself. This is how I like to do it. We’re starting off and we just finished building another truck that’s coming out in like, two weeks that’s called the Red Pig and Truffle. Those two trucks working together are going to contribute to helping us open our catering company, which we want to target the wedding industry here. We really like catering weddings. One of our things is we really want to help couples out that can’t really afford the big caterers out here but we still want to give them the quality of a big caterer.
How is the food prepared? A lot of our food is … Working out of Miami, we did extremely high volumes of good quality food, fast. So I’ve taken those skills and I brought it to this truck. We implement a lot of the same ingredients but we use it in a slightly different way. It gives us the ability to keep it fresh, keep it fast and keep it nice.
How did you come up with the name? So Lulu’s Street Food came about after we had a partnership with another food truck last year, called the Locavores. The engine blew up and the partnership failed. My wife and I put everything we had, all of our money, into that truck. It was only running for about six weeks but it was so successful in those six weeks that we knew that we could do this. Lulu is actually my wife’s grandmother and she helped us out financially to get this truck, so we wanted to honor her by naming the truck after her.
How did you decide on the menu? We wanted to have good food that you could eat on the street, so like Key West fish, like I made back in Florida, with homemade pineapple mango salsa. It’s just good food. We’ve had so many people bragging that it’s the best fish taco they’ve had. To me, that’s what keeps me in this business. I really love getting that feedback that people are enjoying the food and they really get what we’re trying to do. It really makes me happy.
What’s your best dish that you serve? I don’t know. We have this crab cake that we do every now and then that’s topped with our wasabi mayo and Sriracha mayo and shredded cabbage. I love that sandwich. That’s kind of a special. We’ll do that once a month only. We want to keep people interested. We don’t want the menu to become stagnant. We don’t want to be locked in a box. That’s the only thing about our menu, it’s always going to be evolving. We’ll keep a couple key dishes on there that people really like — the southern fried chicken sandwich, the truffle Parmesan fries are kind of our thing — but we want to see this evolve. We’ll also see what’s at the market, what’s going to be fresh for that time of year and bring it to the people.
Describe your truck in one word: I don’t know if I can use just one word. We just want it to be fun and fresh.
What’s your craziest story from working at a food truck? Aw man. Our first food truck was so bad. The shelves would collapse on us. My daily routine: get ready, go down to St. Paul, I get to St. Paul and the shelves had collapsed, the sauces are spilled all over the place, I would have to reassemble, get cleaned up, get re-organized and try to have a successful day. And we would. We worked through it. We learned from our challenges. I got an engineer to build me a lid for our frier. I’ve zip tied all the shelving now so it can’t fall. So it’s challenging, you know.
What’s one thing you want people to know about your food truck? Just that we’re using the best ingredients that we can find and we’re passionate about our food. We just want you to love our food as much as we do. And I believe that people taste that when they eat our food — they taste the difference.
Catch the 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!