Chef Josh Aronie poked his head through the window of his new canteen, aptly named the Food Truck, and handed a steaming bowl of short rib stew to his first customer, Joan LeLacheur of Aquinnah.
“This is great having Josh here,” she said. “There’s nothing else like it up-Island.” She took her steaming hot lunch to her car and drove off.
Early this month, Chilmark selectmen approved the operation of the food truck, a first for the town. Monday was Mr. Aronie’s first day in business. By the looks of it, he has a ready customer base.
Joe Corbo of Aquinnah drove up and ordered a breakfast burrito. He had stopped at the truck about 15 minutes earlier, but Mr. Aronie had not opened yet. He left to run an errand and missed being the first customer by a couple of minutes.
“This is the best thing to happen up here this winter,” Mr. Corbo said. “It is so good to have Josh back in Chilmark. I was one of his biggest fans when he ran the Menemsha Café. He is such a great chef.”
Mr. Aronie plans to keep the truck open from 10:30 am to 2 pm, Monday through Friday, until April, when he will return to his job at Café Moxie in Vineyard Haven.
“This is a little nerve-wracking,” Mr. Aronie said, as he and his helper, Nick Barbera of Edgartown, worked to get the truck ready to open. “This is my first time working in a truck. It is a lot like a new job.”
He used his cell phone to check the spelling of several words as he wrote the day’s menu on a large sheet of paper — hot chicken sandwich, falafel wrap, a Brazilian lunch (one or two Ls?), and coffee in addition to the burrito, veggie or with bacon or sausage, and the stew. Mr. Aronie said he plans to vary some items on the menu from day to day. Lunch prices range between $6 and $14.
“I want to say that I am grateful to the Chilmark General Store for letting us open here. We couldn’t do this without their help.”
An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Nick Barbera as Rick Barbera and the Chilmark General Store as the Chilmark Store.