Street Food Profiles: Truckin' Good Food in Phoenix, Arizona

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Jeff in his truck. [Photographs: The Lucky Shot Photography]

Name: Truckin' Good Food
Twitter: @truckingoodfood
Vendor Names: Jeff Kraus

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I'm drooling over this beignet right now.

What's on the menu? If I like a dish and can make it portable with quality and local/regional ingredients, then it's on the menu. For the summer: local watermelon and feta, mint and watercress salad and black pepper buttered crepe, eclairs, with roasted banana crème patisserie and Nutella powder, chickpea frites, anchovy and lemon, and old-fashioned ice cream sodas.

Location and hours? Changes regularly; see Facebook and Twitter. We also go to farmers' markets special events, and private parties.

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A frothy ice cream soda.

How long have you been street fooding? Since November 2009 but earned our first money in January 2010.

How has Twitter affected business? The twitter culture blows my mind. I've had people drive an hour because they heard about Truckin' Good Food on Twitter. It's crazy to think that something than contains fewer than 140 characters is so powerful.

Why a mobile business over brick-and-mortar? Being mobile allows me to take my food to an environment that I want to be in. Being in a happy and energetic environment makes the experience that much better.

Who are your typical customers? Mostly market shoppers, food enthusiasts, and hungry and curious eaters. Anybody that comes back after the first time is special in my mind.

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Mmm, a delicious eclair.

Describe a typical day from start to finish. Rise before the sun, exercise before writing a long "to do" list, feed the streets, clean up, inventory check and prep for tomorrow, then collaborate and brainstorm. And, zzzz zzzz zzzz!

What were you doing before this? After college, I worked full-time for two major media conglomerates selling, training, and managing online advertising, and worked part time in the food industry.

What makes your food so special? Can anything else like it be found in the city? Every single detail that makes up Truckin' Good Food is equally important to me. No shortcuts, quality ingredients, affordable prices, and I only serve food that I'm proud of. I'm obsessed with creating an eating experience that's like nothing else. It's pretty safe to say there's nothing else like having eaten Truckin' Good Food.

How would you define "street food"? Authentic, approachable, portable, and honest food that is served by passionate people.

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A savory ham crepe.

The best street food city and why? There are so many cities—Austin, Portland, Northern and Southern California, New York—that have a strong street food culture. But the sense of history you get in every bite and the quality of ingredients that street vendors in France (Nice and Paris) put into their food is unforgettable.

Your comfort food after a long day? Anything salty, spicy, and crunchy. Typically right after a long day, especially the farmers' markets, I go to a local eatery for their mesquite rotisserie chicken, french fries with Dijon, and a cold cider.

Advice for an aspiring vendor? Write your dreams, thoughts, and goals down and ask yourself if being a food vendor is a good fit—if yes, then shadow a vendor for a day. Take risks and push the envelope just enough to surprise people. And, if you won't eat it don't serve it!

Truckin' Good Food is one of the many food trucks nominated to appear on the Food Network show The Great Food Truck Race. You can vote for them, or another truck near you, here.

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