Food truck files: A new generation of rolling eateries delivers novel flavors to OKC diners

Taco trucks dotted south Oklahoma City’s landscape before 2009, the epicenter of the metro’s food truck boom. It was the year Big Truck Tacos, 530 NW 23rd St., rolled into town.

Then it seemed like new ones arrived weekly. Some, like Heo’s Kitchen, came and went, while others became scene staples.

H&8th Night Market, Eats on 8th & Harvey and Heard on Hurd delivered food truck festivals, and The Bleu Garten, The Patriarch Craft Beer House and Lawn and Delmar Gardens Food Truck Park made mobile dining a daily activity.

Once a novelty, food trucks are now simply another option in OKC’s ever-expanding question of where to eat next. While longtime favorites remain, there are several new ones on the scene waiting to become your next culinary obsession.

Chicken skewer combo at Yum Yum Bites (Garett Fisbeck)

Chicken skewer combo at Yum Yum Bites (Garett Fisbeck)

Yum Yum Bites

Opened 2015

facebook.com/yumyumbitesokc

405-990-8331

Yum Yum Bites co-owners Kayla Nguyen and Christopher Galvez met in a much less itinerant job at Chase Bank.

“Kayla had owned a restaurant before and was talking about opening another one,” Galvez said. “I asked, ‘Have you thought about doing a food truck?’”

About a year later, Nguyen called him up to say she’d bought a truck. After a few months of work to convert it from a barbecue truck to one with more of a kitchen, Yum Yum Bites opened in August 2015.

The food — grilled chicken skewers and Vietnamese sausages served on sugarcane sticks — relies heavily on Nguyen’s background in Vietnamese cooking. Despite Oklahoma City’s large Vietnamese population, Galvez said he thinks Yum Yum Bites is the only truck of its kind in the metro.

Business is going so well that it is now a full-time venture for both owners. A steady stream of private events and street festivals in Edmond and Norman keeps them busy. This year, the truck is serving at Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts, which is Tuesday through April 30 at downtown’s Bicentennial Park, 500 Couch Drive.

Tacos, black bean soup and Donkey Poo at the Blue Donkey Cafe (Garett Fisbeck)

Tacos, black bean soup and Donkey Poo at the Blue Donkey Cafe (Garett Fisbeck)

Blue Donkey Cafe

Opened 2015

facebook.com/bluedonkeytaco

405-434-5172

Richard Glitsch and Ann Ogorek are stuck with Donkey Poo.

“We have enough Donkey Poo fans that we pretty much have to carry it,” said Glitsch, Blue Donkey Cafe co-owner.

Poo is a blend of avocados, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, diced onions and citrus juice — a much tastier combination than the name suggests. Glitsch said the humorous moniker keeps customers interested.

“We get so much fun out of it. Anybody new who sees it, it definitely puts a smile on their face,” he said.

Ogorek learned to cook Guatemalan cuisine from a Guatemalan citizen years ago. She said the fare isn’t fancy, but it sure tastes good.

Blue Donkey serves tacos, black bean soup and Donkey Poo. This summer, it will add cilantro rice.

“Our business plan is just to do those four things the best we can every time out,” Glitsch said.

The menu is gluten-free, including the tacos, which are served in a puffy shell. They mix serrano peppers, which is traditionally Guatemalan and provides a short burst of intense heat, into the ground beef.

The Chosen Juan Mobile Cocina

Opened 2015

twitter.com/chosenjuan_okc

405-693-0599

His food truck business was supposed to drive traffic to Erick Almaguer’s restaurant, Medio Tiempo Sports Cantina & Grill, 2035 S. Meridian Ave. But when fans tried The Chosen Juan Mobile Cocina’s Mexican-style hamburgers, their reaction was too overwhelming to ignore.

Unfortunately, someone loved Chosen Juan a little too much, Almaguer said.

“A month in, it got stolen,” he said.

Instead of letting it slow him down, Almaguer paid off the old trailer and bought a new, improved food truck that he will launch in a few weeks.

“We put a full kitchen in this one; we rebuilt it from the ground up,” he said.

In addition to burgers, The Chosen Juan will serve Asian-Mexican fusion dishes, including sushi tacos.

Owners Josh and Michelle Spurlock’s combined their love of music and food to create BlueJ’s Rollin’ Grill. (Michelle Spurlock / provided)

Owners Josh and Michelle Spurlock’s combined their love of music and food to create BlueJ’s Rollin’ Grill. (Michelle Spurlock / provided)

BlueJ’s Rollin’ Grill

Opened 2016

bluejsrollingrill.com

405-824-4462

Josh and Michelle Spurlock love two things: music and food. So when they began looking for a new business opportunity, they combined the two.

“Our foods are gourmet burgers, mac and cheese and other comfort foods,” Michelle said. “But our truck is also about music and entertainment.”

In addition to fresh fare, BlueJ’s is decked out with a 48-inch TV hooked up to a satellite dish, a Bluetooth soundbar to crank up tunes and even karaoke equipment to let guests get in on the fun.

“One of the things we try to do is work with different types of people in those industries,” she said. “We help promote them and their music events. Now we’re starting to work with people in the film industry.”

But the real draw is their menu, Michelle said. In addition to craft burgers, the truck is one of the few places in Oklahoma City where diners can get Cincinnati-style chili. A thinner chili, it’s made with Mediterranean spices that set it apart from other versions, and it’s served over macaroni and cheese.

It might be a business, but the Spurlocks hope it can be a help to families, too.

“We both had really strong relationships with our grandparents. We learned a lot about sharing time together through food,” Michelle said. “The truck can be a place for family meals. A food truck can bring people together.”

Metro Minis

Opened 2015

metrominisokc.com

During trips to Colorado, Amanda Cseh and Matthew Pelter discovered Sugar Lips Mini Donuts on Copper Mountain and fell in love.

Back in Oklahoma, they noticed a lot of mobile eateries opening up and thought they could get in on the game by introducing those delectable little doughnuts to the Sooner State.

“There was nothing like it around here,” Pelter said. “Now we’re starting to see a lot of repeat business and people who seek us out. We call them Mini Maniacs because they’re obsessed with the doughnuts.”

With a machine on the truck, Metro Minis sells gourmet doughnuts that are made fresh when customers order them.

“They melt in your mouth,” Pelter said. “We say they’re life-changing doughnuts. I can’t even eat other doughnuts anymore.”

Cseh makes the toppings from scratch daily, adding to the allure. Varieties include cake doughnuts covered in vanilla glaze and blackberry puree, dredged in cinnamon and sugar and topped with sweetened condensed milk and pecans.

print headline: Food truck files; A new generation of rolling eateries delivers novel flavors to OKC diners.

Greg is the Gazette's full-time food writer and reviewer. He goes to restaurants a lot. He orders three entrees and gets funny looks and then takes out his camera and people are like, "Ugh. This guy." Greg is writing this right now and it feels weird to keep referring to myself in the third person. On Twitter and Instagram: @Elwelleats

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