Sioux Falls, SD
You do not have to drive to some of the newest restaurants in Sioux Falls, because they will come to you. Food trucks are becoming a common part of the Sioux Falls vernacular.
"I got a cow!" Jessica Safstrom yelled as she put a 'Cow Jumped Over the Moon,' a slow-cooked roast beef sandwich, on the counter.
As she serves up order after order, she has a pretty unconventional message for her customers: Bite Me. Yes, you will see these words, the name of her business, emblazoned on the side of her big red food truck. As people visit Bite Me Mobile Bistro, they are not taking it as an insult. In fact, they seem to be sinking their teeth into food trucks.
"When I used to go to the bars I used to see food trucks outside, which is a cool idea. Now it's cool to see them in the day," Aaron Buse said as he held the pork sandwich he ordered.
"We saw it on facebook today and made a special trip out here just to eat here," Jim Jensen said.
Jensen drove by a lot of restaurants.
"Yeah, even my own restaurant. The Fry'n Pan on 41st," Jensen said.
Bite Me Mobile Bistro has what Safstrom called 'down home cooking,' including crowd-pleasers like loaded nachos and pork sandwiches. Items like parmesan meatball sliders and portobello mushroom sandwiches add a gourmet flare to an otherwise simple truck.
"I grew up in a home where my mother made about two things. When I was ten she taught me how to make them so she didn't have to anymore. A lot of cereal suppers, so no, it definitely didn't come from my mother," Safstrom said.
Safstrom wanted to take her cooking hobby to the next level. She has done catering, but this mother did not want to be tied down to a traditional restaurant. That is what brought her to this eatery on wheels.
"And then I saw boop, boop, boop, they all cropped up and I went, 'You beat me! You beat me to the punch!'" Safstrom said. "I'm excited we're all out there."
Curbside Diamond, Look's Market Food Truck, Mobile Munchies and Curb Belly are other trucks serving fresh and local flavors in Sioux Falls.
The idea of a food truck certainly is not new if you go to cities like Chicago, Los Angeles or New York. They are, for many people in this part of the Midwest, very new. From May to August, more food trucks seemed to be emerging. According to the Health Department, there are 24 licensed mobile food vendors in Sioux Falls.
There is a drawback to this hot trend; the even hotter weather. Even though Bite Me Mobile Bistro was out, Curbside Diamond and Look's Market both took the day off. Triple digit temperatures and cooking in a small space aren't everyone's idea of a good day at work and can be a safety concern.
Though she had nothing but nice things to say about the other food trucks in the area, like the name of her business and the tattooed pin-up girl she uses as her logo suggest, Safstrom has a sense of humor.
"What's a little heat anyway! Seriously, what's a little heat!" Safstrom said.
It is proof that even with an unconventional restaurant, the tradition of good-natured competition is always on the menu.
Menus change daily, so we have included links to each truck's Facebook page within the story.