Food Trucks Roll Into Omaha
Chefs Hope the National Trend Will Earn Them A Following
The nationwide trend is showing up in Omaha and winning over customers with gourmet food to go. Video by kmtv.comvideo
Omaha, NE--There's a group of entrepreneurial chefs taking fast food up a notch in the metro. Instead of going out to grab a bite, they're bringing gourmet food to you. And they're hoping to spread the word about food trucks with the crowds at the College World Series.
The lunch rush is on and in the kitchen of Localmotive, it's a well-oiled machine, everyone covering a station to get orders out as fast as they can. Their space is much smaller than most restaurants. They're creating their meals out of a food truck--basically the size of a milk truck--outfitted with a grill, fryers and refrigerators.
"It's short order. We definitely try to get food out as quickly as possible," describes David Burr, one of the owners of Localmotive.
On this day, they're parked at Hayneedle's offices at 93rd and Dodge. It's one of their regular spots and they have a following there. One of their customers gave us her recommendations.
"The chicken sandwiches are awesome with free range pulled chicken so you don't feel guilty about eating it, but you have to get the french fries. But don't get the traditional you have to opt for the parmesan."
Just down the road at 76th and Dodge, we found Bomb Digs parked in front of the old Piccolo's Florist site. Logan Kesselring's food truck really resembles more of a RV with an exterior you can't miss because of its loud design. Kesselring was inspired by the food trucks he saw in Denver.
"We're definitely the first to do cook-to-order gourmet food," he shares as he plates up an order.
"I was thinking greasy taco food or something, but this is very nice," comments a new customer as she cuts into her Gashouse Turkey sandwich. It's one of Bomb Digs's signature dishes, with an egg cooked into the bread.
At last count, there are five other food trucks cruising the metro as well. And a fundraising venture is underway right now on one website to get a vegan truck into business.
"You know social media has been our best friend," Kesselring explains. "Whenever we go to any new place a couple of hours before, the night before, we tweet where we're going to be and what we're serving."
Same goes for Localmotive. Burr and his partners post their location and menu every day on facebook and twitter. They've seen interest in food truck dining grow. Part of it, they believe, is because of all the shows about food trucks on the air. But it's also the convenience factor.
"I think it's the quick, casual appeal: walk up and grab your food in five minutes or so," Burr adds.
They believe more food trucks on the streets will only help raise the awareness and get the word out. One of the earliest food trucks in Omaha didn't last long and they don't want that to happen again.
One customer says most people don't know they exist in our area. "I think if we told more people at work we would see more coworkers trying this out."
All agree the food is good and the prices fair. A meal ranges around $5-$10.
One frequent visitor believes once you try it, you'll be back. "I think it's a nice option for block parties, work events. It's nice to mix it up as opposed to a brick and mortar vendor."
In the next couple of weeks, they'll have a better chance of gaining high visibility. The CWS has invited Bomb Digs to park in the Fanfest area. The Travel Channel is also coming out to film an episode with them there. Localmotive will be parked at Slowdown, and a southern cuisine truck has dibs at Rosenblatt.