– Photos provided by Frysmith
1) Please state your name, name your food truck, the type of food you serve, and how long have your food truck been in operation?
My wife Brook and I (Erik) are starting Frysmith, which serves hand-cut fries with stuff on top. We’re hoping both the fries and the stuff on top are really good. My fingers are crossed as I say that we’ll be opening soon.
2) When and how did you come up with the idea of serving food in a truck and how did you decide on your menu?
Brook did an impromptu food truck tour of New York with her zany best friend Theresa last year and loved it. Once the Kogi truck opened here in LA, we realized that the right moment had arrived here. For the menu, I wanted to do something that people craved, and I know that fries are the main thing that I want to munch on at random hours of the day.
3) How has LA influenced you and your food truck and do you think it’ll be the same, for you, if you were in a different part of the country?
LA’s been a huge influence on our food because our menu is based on things that I grew up loving. We have fries with kimchi, pork belly and cheese on top. We’re doing rajas fries with poblano chiles, caramelized onions and shawarma-marinated skirt steak. If I were a smarmy politician, I’d say, “We truly want to speak to the diverse ethnic and cultural fabric of our city.”
4) Speaking of, a different part of the country, another crazy food truck spot currently is NYC. There seems to be a lot of fighting going on between the well established food trucks/carts and the newcomers. And recently The Dessert Truck, a well-loved truck, was not able to renew their permit from NYC and everyone has begun to talk about the backlash. Being in LA have you experienced any of these sort of old food trucks that have been around for 10 years or more getting into fights with the newcomers? And what about the City of LA? Has anyone given you a hard time?
Brook loved the Dessert Truck when she went there, so that’s disappointing. We’re not on the road yet, but we’ve heard stories of truck crackdowns in certain locations like Wilshire Blvd. That’s something we anticipated when we saw that this trend was taking off, and we’ll deal with it as it comes. As for other, older vendors, we have been vaguely threatened by an elderly bacon-wrapped hot dog guy. That wasn’t too scary, but out of a sense of food truck honor, we’re going to stay out of other folks’ hair as much as possible.
5) I have noticed a lot of the food trucks are excited to see one another and to try each other’s food. Do you think that is important for this new wave of trucks? To bond together?
The food truck comeraderie is good to see. It almost feels like we’re riding a wave together. On a practical level, the trucks can definitely help each other. For instance, we’ve been in touch with other trucks about catering events that are too big for us to handle alone.
6) How do you think this new wave of food trucks is changing the food scene in LA?
The new trucks are part of what seems to be an overall movement to make fast food better. We deserve to have a high quality of food for six bucks or sixty.
7) 2009 is definitely the food truck year, why do you think that is?
I think it’s a combination of people looking to spend their money more wisely with a general increase in how much people care about each and every meal they eat.
8) Do you see the food truck trend slowing down at all? What do you think will happen in 2010?
Everything slows down eventually, but we think it’ll happen a little later than 2010.
9) Why do you think people are so fascinated with food trucks?
Hmmm…maybe finding your favorite food truck is more like primitive spear-hunting than going to a restaurant?
10) Let’s say there’s someone out there that has never been to a food truck and has never heard of you before. Which 1 item will you offer him/her to try off of your menu?
Try the SweetPo. It’s sweet potato fries with chicken in a tomatillo tamarind sauce topped with jack cheese and cashews.
– You have no idea just how much I’m drooling just thinking about the sweet potato fries with chicken in a tomatillo tamarind sauce topped with jack cheese and cashews!! And also the kimchi with pork belly fries!!
– Frysmith on Twitter