Upscaling the food cart: Denver chefs draw street crowds
The Denver Post
Vail, CO Colorado
Bent over a sizzling griddle set up on a downtown Denver corner, Mike Winston and Elliot Jones assembled a dish whose ingredients sounded more at home on a menu at the nearby Ritz-Carlton: roast lamb, tzatziki sauce, napa cabbage, guajillo-mint foam and naan, a classic bread of India.
But this was a $7 gyro off a steel cart towed in an hour earlier by a pickup truck. Street food – albeit a savvy, sophisticated version created by two guys who conjured the idea between their shifts cooking at white-tablecloth restaurants from Vail to Massachusetts.
“This was kind of a pipe dream,” Winston said as spiffily dressed customers came and went. “We’d always talked about the idea of street food made from scratch with high-quality ngredients.”
So in October, with a mobile kitchen boasting a steam table and flat-top grill, plus a 90-gallon Coleman cooler for food buckets and sauces, Jones and Winston launched The Gastro Cart at 18th and Curtis streets.
They are part of a new generation of lunchtime line cooks, many with fine-dining roots, changing the way Denverites view street food.
Some use carts at fixed locations. Others roam the city in tricked-out food trucks, employing electronic social media such as Facebook to announce their location du jour. (Comida, operated by Rayme Rossello, former co-owner of Proto’s Pizza, uses Twitter and its website to alert fans to a knockout Mexican menu ranging from carnitas to camarones, dispensed around Boulder County from a bright-pink van.)
For more of this Denver Post story: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_15198856