From tacos and vegan entrees to cupcakes and chicken and waffles, here’s a guide to what food trucks are serving in Portland this summer:
NOTE: ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED MAY 8; UPDATED AUGUST 7.
Owners: April Garcia, Miles Perry, Laura and Joseph Urtuzuastegui
Location: Various, but look for them to make regular appearances at Spring and Temple streets and at Commercial and India streets
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. (on a rotating schedule).
Type of food: Mexican — tacos, burritos, taquitos, tamales, Sonoran hot dogs and sides
Price range: $2.50 to $5.50; sides are $1
Their story: Los Angeles native April Garcia lived on the East Coast for several years before deciding, about a year and a half ago, to make Portland her home. About a year ago, she and her boyfriend were joined by her mother, Laura, and her mother’s husband, Joseph Urtuzuastegui, a chef from Yuma, Ariz. The four of them have always dreamed of opening a Mexican restaurant together. El Corazon is the first step toward realizing that dream.
WICKED GOOD TRUCK
Owners: Nate Underwood; food designed by Adam Alfter (formerly of Deux Cochon) and Chris McClay
Location: Home base, 154 St. John St.; the Portland truck is often parked on Commercial Street with a second one at Jones Landing on Peaks Island.
Hours: 7 to 10 a.m. for breakfast; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. lunch; late night starting at 10 p.m.
Type of food: The “wicked” half of the menu, designed by Alfter, will include chicken and waffles, frito pie, Philly cheesesteaks and breakfast sandwiches. The “good” half of the menu will be vegan dishes designed by McClay, owner of the Modern Vegan Cooking School.
Price range: Around $5 to $6 for the “wicked” side of the menu; vegan dishes will run $6 to $7.
Their story: Underwood started the venture to give his children experience in all facets of the business world. “My middle son will definitely be a chef,” he said. “He has learned so much from watching Adam and Keith working on the truck.”
MAINELY BURGERS 2.0
Owners: Jack Barber and Ben Berman
Location: Home base, 108 St. John St. Regular parking spots include the corner of Congress and Pearl streets, next to City Hall.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. many days, but check Facebook for daily hours. Breakfast also served occasionally from 7 to 10 a.m.
Type of food: Similar menu as their Scarborough Beach truck, but will add sides such as roasted corn salad. Burgers that are customer favorites (the Mainah and the Beast) will always be on the menu, but they’ll be rotating in some others they tried before and liked.
Price range: Burgers $5 to $8, all sides under $5.
Their story: Barber and Berman are childhood friends who reconnected in Boston while they were in college by sharing meals at restaurants and food trucks. When they discovered food trucks weren’t allowed in Portland, they opened one at Scarborough Beach instead. (That one will open on Memorial Day and serve from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.) The business now has 15 employees, all Maine students.
Track them down: No website yet; Facebook.com/mainelyburgers
Owners: Karl Deuben and Bill Leavy
Location: Breakfast from their East Bayside location at 122 Anderson St., between Tandem Coffee Roasters and Bunker Brewing. Lunch served in the Central Parking Services lot on Congress and Pearl streets, next to City Hall.
Hours: Breakfast, 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. until noon Saturdays; lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Type of food: Hand pies with three different fillings, a variety of rice bowls and breakfast and lunch sandwiches
Price range: $4 to $7 for breakfast and $6 to $10 for lunch
Their story: Deuben and Leavy are chefs who have worked at Hugo’s and Miyake.
Owner: Anna Turcotte
Location: Eastern Prom (Falmouth location is on Route 1 by Foreside Antiques)
Hours: Portland hours still to be determined, but the truck will probably open at noon Wednesday through Sunday. Turcotte also plans late-night dessert offerings.
Type of food: Cupcakes and mini cupcakes in flavors such as Maine blueberry, strawberry coconut and peanut butter. Also serving coffee.
Price range: $2.50 per cupcake. $13 for half-dozen; $25 for a dozen
Their story: Turcotte was a social worker who wasn’t crazy about her job and decided to make a change. Her brother lives in Austin, Texas, a food truck haven, and that’s where she got the idea for her new venture. Excited to be working for herself, she bought a trailer and only then realized that Portland did not allow food trucks. So she went to Falmouth. When Portland finally developed a food-truck ordinance, Turcotte opened her business a couple of weeks later. But her regular location on Commercial Street was lousy, so a couple of months later, she retreated back to Falmouth. Turcotte is now putting together a new 19-foot truck that has a larger oven, so she will be able to return to Portland and offer a wider variety of flavors.
Owner: Jim Chamoff
Location: Various locations (check the Facebook page).
Hours: Serving lunch and late-night fare; hours vary.
Type of food: Pizza cones (spinach and mushroom with veggies and feta cheese, spicy roast beef, pepperoni and sausage, shrimp portofino); fried mozzarella sticks; fried mac-and-cheese balls; bruschetta; gelato and cannolis
Price range: Pizza cones range from $4.99 to $7.99
Their story: Chamoff, who is not Italian, was looking around for a business when his son told him about the food-truck revolution. He bought Gusto’s as a turnkey operation and hit the road in December with his gourmet pizza cones. “You can eat it without getting it all over yourself, and you can walk with it,” he said. “We use fresh ingredients. It’s all locally sourced.”
Track them down: Posts location daily at on.fb.me/18J8soU
Location: 23 Preble St. Extension (Back Cove parking lot)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily when not raining
Type of food: Burgers, haddock sandwiches, falafel, tacos (including one made with lobster)
Price range: Most sandwiches $5-7. Lobster BLT is $14.50
Track them down: Facebook/Portside Picnic
BITE INTO MAINE
Owners: Sarah and Karl Sutton
Location: Ft. Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth
Hours: 12-6 daily
Type of food: Six kinds of lobster rolls, sides, vegetarian sandwiches and desserts.
Price range: $5 to $14 (the lobster rolls are $14)
Their story: With flavors like wasabi, curry and chipotle, the Suttons have made Mainers reconsider what they like in their lobster rolls.
Owners: Danielle and Anthony Salvaggio
Location: Home Depot on Riverside Street
Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily
Type of food: Handmade sausage, hot dogs, specialty dogs, breakfast sandwiches, fresh-squeezed lemonade, Sea Dog Biscuits
Price range: $2.50 to $6.50
Their story: The Salvaggios have sold lemonade and ice cream novelties at the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion and local fairs and festivals for the past three years. When Portland decided to allow food trucks in the city, they decided to expand their menu and get a food-truck license. Interesting fact: Danielle Salvaggio once hit Barbara Bush in the head with a Sea Dog biscuit at a Sea Dogs game. “She was a trouper, but I was horrified,” Salvaggio said.
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