They keep on truckin’

A trip to Josh and Angela Aronie’s Menemsha food truck.

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As I began my pilgrimage down the long and winding North Road to Menemsha, that familiar sinking feeling sets in that Islanders know too well; I’ll never be able to find parking, and I probably missed the sunset already. I caught myself quickly, though, because it was a cold November afternoon and my excursion was far more exciting than to squeeze between tourists and clap as the sun goes down. I was on my way to Josh and Angela Aronie’s second Food Truck, located in the Island’s favorite little fishing village. Having already been to their food truck in the Airport Business Park, I had to stop myself from traveling at illegal speeds to experience what new fare they had to offer.

Like the majority of the Island in the off-season, this neighborhood was flooded with tradesmen, working tirelessly to make seasonal estates perfect for the few months of the year they are put to use. It occured to me how convenient this lunch spot is, since the further up-Island you travel, the more the food options dwindle. My notion was confirmed when I swung by Dutcher Dock and saw the crowd in front of the truck. Luckily I took advantage of their text-to-order-ahead service, and I was quickly greeted with a paper bag full of hot food and a delicious aroma. While the lunch rush was in full swing, Angela still took orders promptly and cheerfully. She was almost as cheerful as the general reaction once members of the crowd got to dig into their lunches. From what I saw, it took 10 minutes or less for their orders to come up, despite the increasing customer volume. Like everyone around me, I couldn’t wait. I took a huge bite of my Falafel Wrap standing right there with the chilling ocean breeze on my back, and it was well worth the tzatziki slowly freezing to my upper lip.

For $14 I got a sandwich double the size of what I am used to receiving for that price. The array of ingredients married perfectly, from the spice of the arugula to the sweetness and saltiness of the artichoke hearts and pickled onions, to the perfectly charred roasted red peppers, and the cool freshness of the plentiful tzatziki sauce. My favorite part of this wrap, though, was the falafel itself. The flavor was balanced, and the light and fluffy consistency was deliciously unique. Rather than the fried, dense falafel ball that I am used to, this was more of an airy falafel patty, with freshness bursting through the full chickpeas, Mediterranean spice blend, and char-grilled outside. MV Times marketing rep Alisun Armstrong ordered the Falafel Salad, $12, which is composed of the same ingredients as the wrap, over a bed of mixed greens with the addition of housemade Mediterranean dressing. The dressing had sort of a briney sweetness to it, which was deliciously like nothing I had ever tasted before. I considered trading my wrap for her salad until I realized most of my wrap was already gone! The only thing that stopped me from actually eating the entire thing within minutes of receiving it was my oversize side of seasoned fries. For $5, I received a paper bag with enough perfectly seasoned and crispy Rosemary Lemon-Salt shoestring french fries that I was able to satisfy my lunch hunger and my afternoon pick-me-up. Until then I had never encountered a french fry that I didn’t add some kind of seasoning to, or dunk into the nearest dipping sauce. The flavor of the rosemary and lemon salt was enough that the fries didn’t need enhancement of any kind, and they still kept me going back for “one more” handful for the rest of the day. Times photographer Gabrielle Mannino ordered the $12 Impossible Burger, a plant-based protein patty with the taste, color, and consistency of a perfectly cooked medium-rare burger. It was served on a grilled and golden brown Portuguese roll, stacked with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, a thick slice of cheddar cheese, and just the right amount of Thousand Island dressing. Like the fries, this burger needed no enhancing.

“I have always believed that people are happy when the food is not super-complex, made with quality products, and seasoned so the diner can simply eat and enjoy,” said owner and chef Josh, in regard to what inspired the menu. This idea is not only proven and executed perfectly through the truck’s daily food options, but vital for this type of cuisine, as it is typically consumed on the go. It’s never enjoyable to wrestle with condiments while having lunch in the car, on the beach, at your desk, or on the side of the road in Menemsha. It doesn’t have to be consumed in such fashion, though, because you can order from the Food Truck menus at Offshore Ale during lunch as well, where Josh is also the chef. He recommends “the TFT burger, or the chicken and bacon sandwich, or the falafel wrap … no, definitely the breakfast burrito with a side of lemon salt and rosemary fries.” I know I’ll be returning in hopes that they run the broccoli cheddar soup or buffalo chicken wrap lunch specials again.

Whether you are out in the Menemsha boonies looking for a hot sandwich, or you just cleaned your car for the first time in months at the new Mobil station and need some french fries (to toss into your mouth and all over the floor of your car just for an excuse to go back), or you’re in Oak Bluffs looking for a quick bite without a food truck in sight, the Aronies have got you covered.

 

The Food Truck is open Monday-Friday from 11 am to 2 pm in both the Airport Business Park and Menemsha locations. You can call or text 774-563-4498 for the Menemsha menu, or 508-560-5883 for the airport menu, to order ahead of time.