Curiocity: Food Truck Feature — Moral Omnivore
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!
By Hanna Battah, Summer Intern
The only pair more complementary than The Moral Omnivore’s Beet Slider and Portobello Mushroom Fries is the duo that pioneered the ecological food business.
Linnea and Ross Logas are the owners and operators of one of Twin Cities’ newest food trucks. Everything — from plan to production — is a collaborative effort of the couple.
Having experience in the restaurant management industry, Ross focused on the operational needs and food plan for the truck. Linnea incorporated the fresh ingredients to the ever-changing menu by scoping out locally-grown products.
And their community focus doesn’t only decorate their menu — Linnea and Ross want their customers to know a stop to their food truck extends your dollar beyond lunchtime.
Learn more about The Moral Omnivore.
Owners: Ross and Linnea Logas
Date the food truck opened: April 23, 2013
What kind of food do you serve? Organic eclectic is what we primarily describe it as.
Price range of menu: Specialty items are between $6 and $10, sides are anywhere from $3 to $5.
Hours of operation: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2 p.m., plus private events and catering. Check the website for their calendar.
What made you want to open a food truck?
Ross: I have been in the restaurant industry for about 10 years — I was running the place for seven. It just finally got to that point where you think: do I want to keep working for somebody else or try my own thing? So we had the opportunity, we scrounged some money together, support from family, got a used truck and figured we’d give it a go.
Linnea: I really wasn’t sure about the kitchen side of it — I didn’t realize how much time I’d be spending in the kitchen. I really love interacting with people — I’m actually going to school for marriage and family therapy right now — so that side of it was a really good fit for me. We work really well as a team in that way.
How is the food prepared?
Ross: All the prep is done in the kitchen, 90 percent of it. Meals are made-to-order on-the-spot so it’s fresh and delicious.
What was your job before opening the food truck?
Ross: I was the general manager of Tino’s Café and Pizzeria in Minnetonka.
Linnea: I was very comfortable coming into this because he understood all of the business aspects of it. If we didn’t have that, I think it would’ve been really difficult to start up a business without that knowledge. But he had done such a great job at Tino’s and was obviously so committed to that so I knew once we started our own business, he’d be even more committed. I had a lot of faith in him.
How did you come up with the menu?
Linnea: I kept handing him Minnesota vegetables. He wasn’t really sure about vegetables, just didn’t really like the flavor. So I would hand him collard greens and be like, “Hey Ross, this is what we’re having for dinner.” So figure out a way to make them so that you would enjoy eating them. And he would come up with these, just, amazing dishes.
Ross: The fried tomato BLT was really the kick-starter of all of it because we’d make it for family gatherings and stuff and people would be like, “Wow, this is a really good sandwich.” It was more of a collaborative effort to come up with the beet slider and those are our two signature dishes. From there, it was just playing with food and coming up with different ways to use what we have.
Your menu focuses a lot on sustainability and local ingredients. Why was that so important to you?
Linnea: It was very important to me. Our world is the only one we have and it’s really important that we take care of it. Because everybody eats, if we all change the way that we’re eating, we can really have a huge impact on our world. Surprisingly, the way that we eat is one of the top three contributors to Global Warming. I want to show that it’s possible to eat sustainably and enjoy what you’re eating. The other side of it is that we’re a really small business — it’s just the two of us — and we’re not exactly making a lot of money yet and I wanted to also push the mission that it’s possible to keep contributing to your community. So a day of every week we try to give 10 percent of our proceeds to a Minnesota charity. Not because we make tons of money, but because I think if everyone were to live this way the world would honestly be a better place. So that’s what we’re trying to do.
How did you come up with the name?
Ross: It just kind of struck me one day.
Linnea: We’re both philosophy majors so our initial thought was like, “how can we tie our philosophy in with our truck?”
Ross: It just kind of came to me and I was very happy when I came back from work that day and Googled it to find out that no one had it yet.
What’s your best dish that you serve?
Linnea: We disagree.
Ross: She’s a big fan of the beet slider, and I’m a big fan of the BLT.
Linnea: Every day we see which sandwich sells the most. He says he’s at a disadvantage because I’m at the window and I can push my beet sliders.
Describe your truck in one word: Green.
What’s your craziest story from working at a food truck?
Ross: Every day is crazy. (Laughs) The first day we were out, and if you remember the 23rd of April there was still a lot of snow on the ground. Our generator propane tank froze out and we lost power at about 11:45 a.m. and we continued to cook the rest of the day without a hood vent or lights. And that was our first day.
Linnea: So we’re out there, we had no idea what we’re doing, everybody is out there waiting for their food because we didn’t know what we were getting into. (Laughs)
Ross: Even as recent as yesterday, we share a kitchen with a few other trucks — Hot Indian — and we accidentally grabbed their fryer baskets. They were on our truck and (Hot Indian) was parked over there so we had to run them over. So every day there’s a new little thing. It keeps us on our feet.
What’s one thing you want people to know about your food truck?
Linnea: It’s locally owned and we’re generally trying to give customers the best experience while continuing to make our community, really build it into what we want it to be to make it a better place.
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!