Tag Archives: Phoenix Food Truck Coalition

The Roasted Shallot – Phoenix

The Roasted Shallot

There are food trucks that call themselves gourmet because they offer different cheeses or toppings on standard street faire like tacos or hot dogs and a few of them succeed in setting themselves apart.  And then there are food trucks that offer truly unique, quality, locally sourced restaurant quality cuisine that, as Guy Fieri would say, are the ‘real deal.’  I don’t think Guy has found The Roasted Shallot yet (his loss) but when he does, you can bet somewhere in the visit he’ll talk about the food and say, “This is the real deal!”The-Roasted-Nathan-and-Brooke-Truck

I got to spend some time with Nathan Carel and Brooke Francis on a hot Phoenix summer day and, after a mouth-watering, palate satisfying meal, got a little bit of the story.  Just two short months after opening the truck in October 2013, the truck caught fire and was totally destroyed.  Some people might have been discouraged by losing the chance to start up during the cooler winter months but Nathan and Brooke saw it as a second chance.  Nobody gets it 100% right the first time out and they were able to learn from the brief operating period and make changes when the new truck was built.  Even the truck spoke to them.  You see, the new truck started its life with a Fire Suppression company and the decals had a sprinkler system just about where the old truck caught fire!

The-Roasted-Shallot-TruckIt’s not enough to have a good design and a nice looking truck.  It’s not even enough to have a good story.  The key to success in a food truck is the food.  First impressions are that The Roasted Shallot has nothing to worry about.  The biggest problem I had with the menu was deciding what to try.  The day I was there the menu included Braised Pork Street Tacos and Vegetarian Tacos, 3 sandwiches, 2 salads plus Southwest Popcorn, a Nathan creation.

The salad choices are opposites on the pendulum but both are exceptional.  The Get Yo Greens Salad is fresh, cool and light but bursting with flavors and textures; perfect on a hot summer day.  You can get a small size that’s complimentary to the sandwiches or a large one might be all you need for a light meal.

The-Roasted-Shallot-Get-Yo-Greens-SaladThe Garden Slaw, on the other hand is cool and spicy hot at the same time thanks to the hatch chiles and tangy Siricha sauce.  I’m thinking The Garden Slaw is the perfect companion to the tacos (and maybe even on the tacos if you can find any room to add it!) but it went down just fine with the B.L.A.T.

The Roasted Shallot Garden SlawSpeaking of Brookelynn’s B.L.A.T., this is a must-try for any BLT sandwich lover.  The toasted sourdough bread brackets a unique blend of avocado, shredded greens, tomato, pickled onions and a roasted shallot aioli all in supporting roles to the apple wood smoked bacon on one side and Nathan’s own bacon jam providing the bacon punch on the opposite side.  You gotta try this one!

The-Roasted-Shallot--Brookelynn's-B.L.A.T.-closeupOn my visit, there was a choice of two specialty grilled cheese sandwiches, the Grown-Up Grilled Cheese and the Schreiner’s Ballpark Grilled Cheese.  Since I’d been pretty ‘grown-up’ with my other choices, I went for the Schreiner’s Ballpark Grilled Cheese.  This was an ooey, gooey hot mess in the most positive meaning of the phrase!  Everybody knows how good Schreiner’s all beef hot dogs are but who puts ketchup, mustard and truck made pickles on a grilled cheese?  The Roasted Shallot does and the combination is mouthwatering, especially since the toasted sourdough stays crispy.

The-Roasted-Shallot--Schreiners-Ballpark-Grilled-CheeseThe menu changes depending on what is available locally so be sure to check the menu before going out if you’re looking to have that item you loved on your last visit.  An advocate and supporter of the ‘buy locally’ philosophy, Nathan says The Roasted Shallot always looks for local ingredients first and usually has up to 90% of everything he serves made up with local products and produce.  That ‘buy local’ commitment means the menu sometimes has to change depending on what is available.

The Roasted Shallot does a great job of posting the menu weekly.  You can find the Menu on their website along with their locations.  You can find them on Facebook or Twitter and at many Phoenix Food Truck Coalition events.  Just be warned, after eating at The Roasted Shallot you may want to invite them to your place for lunch or dinner.  Oh yeah, they cater and you can have them all to yourself!

 

MaryBeth & Tim Scanlon Are The Pizza People Phoenix

 

The Dough is the Secret Recipe for their Artisan Pizza

Domino’s Pizza promised your pizza in 30 minutes or it’s free.  MaryBeth apologized, more than once, when it took more than 10 minutes to get our pizzas cooked.  Forget that we were the first customers of the day and the oven needed to heat up – good things are always worth the wait and the pizza was definitely a good thing.

 

There were two menus – Build Your Own or Today’s Specials.  We went for the specials but look at those options on the Build Your Own.  Schreiner’s Sausage is a premier local supplier.  Vegan cheese option (Daiya).  Even a gluten free crust option!  And, in keeping with the commitment of the Phoenix Street Food Coalition, more than 30% of their products are locally grown.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Testosteroni (what a fun name!) featured that local Schreiner’s Sausage.  It came out steaming hot … and the first bite?  The crunchy crust bottom, something you can only get by using a pizza stone to cook on, gave way to softer, chewier dough.  Then the savory toppings and rich tomato-based pizza sauce completed the complex cycle of textures and flavors.  Pretty fancy words for a pizza, I know.  But this was a pizza that checked off all of the boxes.  The dough and the sauce are their own recipe’s, handmade fresh daily, and prepared with care.

The Testosteroni

 

We had to try the Popeye.  Our favorite pizza truck does an incredible Popeye pizza.  Could this one compare?  In the end, it compares like apples and oranges.  Or in this case, thin crust or the thicker, crunchy pizza stone crust from Pizza People that features a homemade, personal recipe dough that was developed by Marybeth and Tim.  There is nothing exotic about the ingredients but they were fresh and balanced – not too garlic-y, not too bland.  Even if you prefer a thin crust, you’ll still enjoy this pie.

The Popeye serves up fresh spinach, roasted tomatoes and mozzarella cheese with a hint of garlic for the ‘Popeye’ punch!

 

The visit to Pizza People was relaxed and enjoyable.  Tim and MaryBeth are really nice people who are passionate about what they’re doing.  MaryBeth is on the board for the Phoenix Street Food Coalition.  And, thankfully, Tim is mended from a bad motorcycle accident a few months ago.  In fact, my timing was terrific since we found them out for only the second day since Tim’s return.

Tim & MaryBeth Scanlon, proud owners of Pizza People and soon to be proud parents!

 

While neither MaryBeth nor Tim claim the title ‘Chef’, MaryBeth had worked in the restaurant business for 18 years and Tim, well, he worked for Little Ceasar’s when he was 18!

 

One of the challenges of serving made-to-order pizza from a truck is the cook time.  Recognizing that this can create a problem for folks on a lunch hour, they offer call-in orders that are ready to pick up when you get there!  That’s a first for me.  If you want to know if they’ll be near your workplace or neighborhood, you can follow them on Twitter or Facebook.