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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

6 new-ish food trucks worth finding in Milwaukee

Food trucks aren’t the novelty they once were. The fleet is bigger, and it travels farther.

They now gather beyond Milwaukee in suburban locations, sometimes for lunch, more often for dinner (see accompanying listing). It’s generally easier to find food trucks — although Cedarburg this year prohibited them from public streets, restricting them to private property.

But food trucks come and food trucks go — into and out of existence, that is, not just parking spots. The lineup is different every year. Have a look at some of the trucks and carts out and about this summer:

Drift

This stylish trailer’s menu takes its cues from New Zealand, where owner Rachel Hawken lived. From the espresso bar come flat whites and other coffee drinks; the heated case holds hearty meat pies and breakfast pies; the flaky crusts are superior and the fillings flavorful, such as the mince pie’s juicy chopped beef ($8).

Other baked goods include New Zealand’s Afghan biscuit, a chocolate cookie holding caramel-like crunchy bits that’s frosted with chocolate ganache and crowned with a walnut half ($3.50). Drift also sells scones ($3.50) and tea, plus carbonated drinks from Australia.

Usually parked Tuesday through Friday for breakfast and lunch at 330 N. Broadway, Drift also hits special events. Keep tabs on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram; the full menu is on the website, driftmke.com.

Foxfire

Foxfire is the truck for a killer fried-chicken sandwich. It’s perfection — super-crisp breading that doesn’t budge from the moist meat. It’s topped with mayonnaise and pickles, and nestled in a buttery toasted bun. It’s the constant on the menu, while other items by chef Bryan Phillips (previously of Le Rêve in Wauwatosa and other restaurants) change regularly. Lately, the grilled cheese sandwich is made of brie that melts into roasted tomatoes and ramp pesto ($8).

Phillips and co-owner Maggie Reid always offer a vegan or vegetarian item, recently a bean-filled pupusa  and curtido ($4), the Salvadoran cornmeal patty and slaw. An array of hot sauces stand at the window for any doctoring customers want to do, right next to a bouquet of summer’s flowers.

Foxfire can be found outside Burnhearts bar, 2599 S. Logan Ave. in Bay View, most Sunday afternoons. For its schedule, see FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Chillwaukee

Chillwaukee’s exceptional frozen pops are richly flavored with seasonal fruit, herbs, cocoa and other tasty ingredients. Collin Wallace pedals a trike-cart and peddles inspired pops such as strawberry with basil and peach with thyme, outstanding combinations made by him and Danielle Dahl. (The creamy but vegan sea salt chocolate pop is a must-try, too.) Pops are $3 apiece, and packs of six or 10 are available.

Join now for as low as
99¢/1st month

Chillwaukee is at the Saturday morning Cathedral Square Farmers Market and Wednesday afternoon Westown Farmers Market at Zeidler Union Square, among other places. Keep tabs at chillwaukee.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Lumpia City

The Filipino snack of lumpia, like a slender egg roll, traditionally holds pork, carrot and onion. Lumpia City, though, is all about bending tradition. Owners Alexa Reyes and Samantha Klimaszewski fill what might be a food that’s unfamiliar to diners with familiar American fare.

Recently, that included macaroni with five cheeses and shredded chicken with poblano pepper and corn. The lumpia (three for $6, six for $10) are expertly made, tightly rolled and fried just right. Dipping sauce choices include cilantro-lime mayo, sweet chile and sour cream.

Reyes and Klimaszewski brought the trailer from San Diego, Alexa’s hometown, to Milwaukee, Samantha’s hometown, opening it in May.

Lumpia City will be at the Sugar Maple bar, 441 E. Lincoln Ave., from 2 to 8 p.m. Sundays in August; the full calendar and menu are at lumpiacity.com. It’s also on Twitter,Facebook and Instagram.

The Fatty Patty

Using halal meats, the Fatty Patty specializes in burgers — specifically, double or single patties on brioche buns, oozing melted cheese, like the Gloppy ($7.99), a double with American and Swiss cheeses, turkey bacon, pickles, mayo and lettuce.

Owner Amir Rasuli’s truck also sells vegetarian sandwiches ($5.99) — a black bean patty or fried eggplant — as well as grilled chicken sandwich, gyros and sides such as seasoned fries and onion rings.

It’s sometimes posted at N. Water St. and E. Wisconsin Ave. for lunch and late night. Find its location on Facebook; also at thefattypatty.com.

Gypsy Soul

Robyn Smith’s food truck, based near Lake Geneva and new to Milwaukee this year, weaves vegan and gluten-free items into its menu, along with some organic ingredients. Besides sandwiches, there are items like vegan nachos, a salad or wrap, plus smoothies. The Free Bird ($14) is a substantial mound of beer-braised chicken, corn salad, kale, queso fresco and Alabama white sauce on a cheddar-jalapeño corn cake.

Large smoothies, like the Berry Acai Blast ($8) with blueberries, strawberries, acai berries and other ingredients, can be made into a bowl with fresh fruit and granola for $3 more.

The truck hits music festivals and cities throughout southeastern Wisconsin and food truck roundups in suburban Milwaukee; keep up on Facebook.

FOOD TRUCK ROUNDUPS

A sampling of roundups where food trucks can be found this summer, aside from farmers markets, festivals and the usual lunch spots: 

The Rock’n Food Truck Rally is 4 to 9 p.m. every Thursday through Sept 28 at the Rock Sports Complex’s umbrella bar, 7900 Crystal Ridge Drive in Franklin. The event has live music, and the bar sells drinks.

The Traveling Food Truck Tour will be making stops in West Allis and Oak Creek through summer. It’s at the West Allis Farmers Market, 6501 W. National Ave., from 4 to 9 p.m. Aug. 23 and Sept. 6 and 27. It will be in Oak Creek at Drexel Town Square, W. Drexel and S. Howell avenues, from 4 to 9 p.m. Aug. 2 and 30 and Sept. 20.

Food Truck Days will have its last gathering of the year from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 17 in the parking lot at Wauwatosa City Hall, 7725 W. North Ave.

And in Milwaukee, Street Eats takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday July 28 and Sept. 15 at the Third Ward’s Catalano Square, off E. Menomonee St.

Add these new mobile food options to your bucket list!

It’s really still summer, even if some days it doesn’t feel like it. Mobile food operations offer some of the best opportunities to embrace summer — and have a tasty meal. Here’s a list of some new (and newish) trucks and trailers in the city:

Drift MKE

What: offers savory foods inspired by New Zealand, particularly savory pies (flavors include mince and cheese, breakfast pie, curry vegetable and Thai chicken). Also scones, muffins, Anzac biscuits, chocolate sandwiches, puddings (brown sugar, cheesecake, tiramisu), plus a full coffee drink menu and teas.

Where and when: The modern, white-and-brown caravan parks in the Third Ward — at 330 N. Broadway. Hours are weather-dependent. Check their social media.

Follow: 
Instagram: driftmke
Facebook: driftmke
Twitter: DriftMKE


Chillwaukee

What: Ice pops offered up by a local couple who transport their wares by bike. They stock six to eight flavors at one time. Possibilities include coconut lime, bananas foster, strawberry mango, roasted pear ginger, chocolate-covered coconut, grapefruit tarragon, roasted red plum, sea salt chocolate, mango chile and tangerine mint.

Where: Check out the calendar on their website. They make regular appearances at farmers markets (in Riverwest, Cathedral Square and at Westown) and special events

Follow:
Facebook: chillwaukeepops
Instagram: chillwaukeepops
Twitter: ChillwaukeePops


Lumpia City 

What: a traveling trailer that specializes in Filipino egg rolls. Flavors range from classics — loaded baked potato, five-cheese mac, beef and potato, sriracha pork and “veg-head” — to specials like shrimp taco, pizza and bacon-wrapped BBQ pulled pork. The owners also make sweet versions of lumpia, including rainbow cheesecake, Dutch apple pie and cherry cobbler

Where: Their calendar is the best way to know where they are. They’ve offered food at local bars and craft breweries like Third Space Brewing, Burnhearts and Sugarmaple.

Follow:
Facebook: 
lumpiacity
Instagram: lumpiacity
Twitter: LumpiaCity


FoxFire Food Truck

What: a big truck that aims for big flavors. The diverse menu: hot fried chicken sandwich, pork banh mi, been pupusa, puzzle, grilled cauliflower and halloumi cheese and grilled cheese with roasted tomatoes and pesto.

Where and when: Their territory is Bay View, including at businesses like Burnhearts bar and Hawthorne Coffee Roasters.

Follow:
Facebook: 
foxfiremke
Instagram: foxfiremke


Gypsy Soul

What: a bright pastel-colored truck that does a mixed repertoire of meat- and plant-based dishes. They include chicken (or vegan) nachos, vegan tamales, beer-braised chicken quesadillas, spicy Thai shrimp salad (can be made as a wrap), black bean burger and “Free Bird” — a cheddar corn cake with beer-braised chicken, corn salad, queso fresco and slaw.

Where and when: Spends time in Lake Geneva and now in Milwaukee, at special events. Best to look them up on social media to determine their whereabouts.

Follow:
Facebook: 
Gypsysoulfoodtruck

Rachel Hawken was born and raised in the Milwaukee area. But, she’s a Kiwi at heart.

Local entrepreneur to launch Drift, a New Zealand inspired mobile cafe

Published May 3, 2017 at 4:01 p.m.Rachel Hawken was born and raised in the Milwaukee area. But, she’s a Kiwi at heart. And she’ll bring her love for New Zealand’s mobile cafe culture to Milwaukee next month when she launches her new food truck, Drift.

Hawken says she owes her love for the Pacific country, in part, to her husband Ryan, who is originally from Whakatane, New Zealand.

“We actually met in Wales while we were both studying abroad as seniors in college,” notes Hawken. “From there, we moved to Minnesota, where I worked as an IT consultant for a year before we decided to spend some time traveling. First, we took a road trip around the U.S. on $50 a day in a two-door hatchback. And then we decided to take a leap and move to New Zealand.”

In the six years they spent in Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand), Hawken says she fell in love with the mobile food scene.

“They have these really cute little open-air pillbox campers,” she says. “And they’d set up at the beach where the surf clubs would gather. There are a lot of French-inspired trucks. There was one that served crumpets, and then a number of them serving savory pies and coffee.”

A taste of New Zealand

When Hawken moved back to Milwaukee, she says the idea of starting a food cart began to take root.

“We’ve been obsessed with the idea of recreating a Kiwi food truck for so many years,” she says. “But the timing just wasn’t right. Now that we’re settled in and raising our family, the flexibility of a food truck is appealing. It’s something we’re both passionate about, and we’ve had a lot of time to really think about how we want to do this. It’s going to be really fun to give people a little taste of New Zealand.”

The truck itself, which is currently in production, will be modeled after the pillbox campers she remembers. It will feature an ordering counter on the side, along with four seats at an espresso bar on the back of the trailer.

As for the menu, Hawken says that Drift will feature a variety of New Zealand specialties, including savory pies, sausage rolls, Vegemite on toast, anzac biscuits and coffee.

“We really want to provide an authentic down-under experience,” says Hawken as she describes the savory pies, which are made with a dough that’s similar to puff pastry. “There’s nothing like them here. They’re delicious and hearty, and just so good.”

Flavors for the pies, which will be sourced through a collaboration with New Zealand bakers from Down-Under Bakery pies, will include mince (ground beef) & cheese, steak and cheese, chicken and vegetables, Thai chicken and curried vegetable. Each will cost $6-8.

Hawken, who notes that she’s worked off and on as a baker’s assistant, says she’ll be making the sweets served on the truck, which will include Anzac biscuits, cookies with a relative similarity to American oatmeal cookies; Afghan biscuits, crunchy chocolate biscuit with chocolate ganache and a walnut garnish; and Caramel Slice, sweet bar cookies with a granola and coconut base topped with caramel and chocolate.

Other offerings will include imported treats and sodas including L&P paeroa and lemon soda, ginger beer and Whittaker’s Chocolate.

Meanwhile, the truck will feature a full espresso bar, complete with a retro pull-down espresso machine. The coffee itself will be sourced from Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, a Sacramento-based company owned by a family from New Zealand.

“We’ll offer espresso, lattes and drip coffee,” Hawken explains. “But also the Flat White, which is a New Zealand drink with two shots of espresso and steamed milk.”

Hawken, who says she expects the truck to debut sometime later in May with an official launch in June, says Drift is likely to make appearances around town during breakfast and lunch. However, they’ll also be open to serving at events, as well as taking on private catering contracts.

You can follow Drift’s progress, and track their location, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Web address: http://onmilwaukee.com/articles/drift-new-zealand-mobile-cafe.html

A New Zealand Food Truck?

Finally, some Vegemite on toast. Plus: two new East Side restaurants.

By – May 19th, 2017 05:58 pm
Flag of New Zealand. Image is in the Public Domain.
Flag of New Zealand. Image is in the Public Domain.

Milwaukee native Rachel Hawken and her New Zealand-born husband will bring their passion for all things New Zealand to Cream City with their food truck, Drift, set to debut in late May. Its Kiwi-land specialties will include savory pies, sausage rolls, and, of course, Vegemite on toast.

OnMilwaukee.com reporter Lori Fredrich offered more details:

“We really want to provide an authentic down-under experience,” says Hawken as she describes the savory pies, which are made with a dough that’s similar to puff pastry. “There’s nothing like them here. They’re delicious and hearty, and just so good.”

Flavors for the pies, which will be sourced through a collaboration with New Zealand bakers from Down-Under Bakery pies, will include mince (ground beef) & cheese, steak and cheese, chicken and vegetables, Thai chicken and curried vegetable. Each will cost $6-8…

Sweets served on the truck…will include Anzac biscuits, cookies with a relative similarity to American oatmeal cookies; Afghan biscuits, crunchy chocolate biscuit with chocolate ganache and a walnut garnish; and Caramel Sand.

Drift will also have a full espresso bar featuring coffee from Sacramento-based Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters. You can follow Drift, and track their location on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.