The Phoenix Food Trucks series has given us a taste of all types of culinary concoctions — from the Valley-famous ice cream of Sweet Republic to the quirky “Seventh Inning Stretch” at Short Leash Hot Dogs. After an unofficial poll of our editorial staff, the Downtown Devil has determined our top five Phoenix food trucks.
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Mango chutney, pinto beans and cilantro are a far cry from the traditional ketchup, mustard and relish that top most hot dogs. But Short Leash isn’t your traditional hotdog cart.
Short Leash consistently makes an appearance at the Open Air Market on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, and on Friday afternoons during Food Truck Fridays. The truck is parked at Urban Cookies on Tuesdays and behind the Valley Youth Theater on Wednesdays for lunch, and the couple also sells hotdogs at a variety of Phoenix-area parties and events.
Torched Goodness offers more than 30 flavors of creme brulee, from vanilla to lavender, and it also offers seasonal flavors. Served in a foil oval cup with a plastic spoon and a paper towel, individual servings of creme brulee cost $4 each or 4 for $15, and customers can mix and match flavors.
Owner and head chef Eric Ireland tries to use as many local ingredients as possible. The cream used for the creme brulee is from Superstition Farms.
Even on the chilliest of days, Jamburritos brings the heat to the Phoenix Public Market. With just enough flavor, its Cajun-inspired food aims to spice up customers’ lives.
Chef Michael Brown compared the “fast-casual” food industry to entertainment — Brown aims to bring happiness to his customers on a daily basis. When the curtain is down, Jamburritos is busy preparing for its next day, but once it goes up, Brown simply describes it as “showtime.”
The events of 9/11 spurred Helen Yung’s decision to make the most of life. Eight years later, she was working at her artisan ice-cream shop Sweet Republic in Scottsdale when her co-founder, Jan Wichayanuparp, began serving the sweet creations at Phoenix’s Food Truck Fridays from an orange converted 1959 Chevy truck.
Yung creates all of the artisan ice cream as the ice-cream chef. She said her previous work at a San Fransisco restaurant instilled in her that “to have the best flavor, you have to use quality ingredients.”
Everything at Sweet Republic is crafted by Yung in the kitchen. She focuses on juxtaposing the ice cream based on texture, flavor or sweet-and-salty combinations.
Emerson Fry Bread isn’t always the busiest food truck in the Phoenix Public Market’s lot. But its friendly workers strive to serve the best traditional Native American and Mexican food they can make.
Owner Loren Emerson is Mojave, Quechan and Mexican-American and has tried to display that mix through his menu. The menu includes many things he grew up eating, like hominy (dried corn kernels), mutton and green-chile stews along with menudo and pozole (a corn stew).
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