Wait up, summer's not over yet. You can tell because the streets are still lined with the ever-growing food truck culture in Milwaukee. It's Food Truck Week here at OnMilwaukee.com and all week long we're stopping at some of Brew City's best restaurants on wheels in search of the most interesting dishes on offer.
In 2010, The Fast Foodie introduced Milwaukee to the concept of the globaco. Pair "global" and "taco," and you get wonderful flavors inside a traditional taco. The Jamaican Me Crazy mixes curried beef and rice with hot sauce and broccoli slaw.
Since I haven't eaten at The Fast Foodie in a few months, I decided to reach out to owner Jackie Valent and ask her a few questions about her business, the state of the food truck business in Milwaukee and other things.
So, here you have it. A mini Milwaukee Talks with The Fast Foodie herself.
OnMilwaukee.com: How has the food truck scene changed since you started?
Jackie Valent: There are many more trucks on the scene since we started. We have also seen so many trucks come and go in a few short years. The city has realized that food trucks are here to stay and not just a passing fad and are more willing to sit down with us as business owners vs. simply viewing us as "street peddlers."
OMC: Biggest challenge, so far?
JV: The biggest challenge for us so far has been the disorganization of the licensing process and how much it costs to be a mobile restaurant. For example, we also run an employee cafeteria (brick and mortar) for a company downtown that we got based on our food truck's reputation. It costs us less than $800 a year to license that facility. Due to the fact that every municipality and event has its own requirements, I can pay triple that just to operate for the season. There is no reason we should pay triple of what a brick and mortar restaurant has to pay when we are only operating for six months out of the year. It is as if the municipalities are more interested in their fee revenue than building small businesses in the area and creating jobs.
OMC: Favorite food truck, other than your own?
OMC: What "foodie trends" do you like and dislike?
JV: I love the movement toward eating more natural foods and getting away from chemical additives. It may cost a bit more, but you know you are getting more wholesome food that way. I also love the pop up restaurant concept that allows great chefs to test out their menus on the public without the huge investment in a location. I'm also a huge fan of the craft beer movement as well. My husband and I are huge beer snobs and love the fact that Milwaukee is reclaiming its title as Beertown USA with such awesome new breweries as Brenner Brewing and Biloba Brewing in Brookfield.
As far as dislikes, I'm not a huge fan of molecular gastronomy. There's a lot of great science behind that and all, but I'd rather see folks cook out of love and passion.
OMC: What do you do in the winters?
JV: We do not operate the food truck in the winter, but with the employee cafeteria we run, that is a year-round gig. I have also just launched a line of all natural international spice blends called Love Dust that allow both the seasoned foodie and novice cook to create dishes from every corner of the globe with no effort. We just finished our first offering to the public at the Wisconsin State Fair and it went over so well! We are now looking to get the blends into stores within the next few months.
OMC: Define success.
JV: Success to me is the freedom to answer only to you and your customers. I lived in Corporate America for years and though I was financially successful, I was not emotionally successful. Success is being able to live an authentic life the way you want. Oh yeah, paying your bills isn't a bad thing either (she says with a smile).
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published Jan. 1, 2017
To begin 2017, I've compiled a few thoughts, inspirational nuggets and observations that may help power you to help make this the best year yet. It's a list I've kept for a while and refer to often. Figured it was time to share it.
Published Dec. 8, 2016
Milwaukee Downtown, the business improvement district in Downtown Milwaukee, is selling its annual ornament. This year, it's the Wisconsin Club, 900 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Published Nov. 22, 2016
It's that festive time of the year. Christmas and holiday parties seemingly every night. I love it. But, it's tough not to eat and drink more than usual. This list helps you get a better focus on which drinks contain the highest alcohol-to-calorie ratio.
Published Nov. 17, 2016
Cole Swindell brings his "Down Home" tour to Milwaukee on Dec. 3. The tour is part of the FM 106.1 Country Christmas Triple Play at The Rave and features Jon Langston. To prepare for his visit, Swindell used OnMilwaukee to find five restaurants he wants to hit while here.
Published Nov. 17, 2016
The magic of Christmas and the holiday season begins tonight, Thursday, Nov. 17, in Downtown Milwaukee. The City's Christmas tree is lit and more than 500,000 lights will illuminate the city at the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Kick-Off Extravaganza.
Published Nov. 14, 2016
From the good news department comes this video posted by the Milwaukee County Transit System on Facebook this past weekend.
Published Nov. 7, 2016
It's sprouted quickly in the Village of Shorewood, growing from an old Verizon store's ashes into a well-designed, soon-to-be new restaurant that embraces the charm, scale and walkability of the neighborhood. Here's a photo gallery of The Ruckus, coming soon to Oakland Avenue.
Published Nov. 5, 2016
The Sacramento Kings were in Milwaukee Friday night before their Saturday night game against the Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. And they had some viral fun in Downtown Milwaukee.
Published Nov. 5, 2016
Country music star Keith Urban's 23-song set Friday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Downtown Milwaukee was crisp, collected and just flat-out killer. Here are Jeff Sherman's five key takeaways from the show.
Published Nov. 3, 2016
Twitter's is Jeff Sherman's go-to news source. And like all content sources, it has its pitfalls and problems. Not enough quality, too much yelling - you've heard them all. So how do we make Twitter better? Here are several ideas.