Beyond the Big Green Egg
An Atlanta food truck may be the only truck in the world with a Big Green Egg, but that isn’t the only way they are making a difference
For those that don’t know of the Big Green Egg, there is some confusion when they approach the Happy Belly Curbside Kitchen food truck, which has the Big Green Egg logo on their truck. Some ask, "Do you put eggs on your food?" However, for the followers of the popular kamado-style grill, Happy Belly food truck is their curbside calling.
Terry Hall, the owner, partnered with the company and his food truck is the only one in the world that grills with a Big Green Egg inside the kitchen. "I have always been a huge fan and the flavor that it gives food cannot be done any other way, a little smoky, very tender."
Beyond the benefits of having Big Green Egg’s flavor in all his menu items, the mutual partnership centered around Happy Belly’s values to support local whenever possible. Big Green Egg is a local Georgia-based company. The ingredients Hall uses on his food truck support the local community: bread from chef Linton Hopkin’s restaurant Holeman & Finch, grass-fed beef from Verger Farms, and fries that are aged for 70 days.
That’s right, 70 days. They come out of the ground and are incubated for 60 days to decrease the sugar level, which also reduces the complex carbohydrates. Then Happy Belly hand-cuts the fries and on the 70th day they are ready for customers to order, fried in 100 percent pure soybean oil, free of gluten or trans-fat.
"That shows a statement of a commitment to what we do, if we’re willing to go that far with french fries," Hall says. "I think there was a mentality for food trucks to see how cheaply and quickly things can be done. But we decided to put the highest quality products out there, charge a fair market value, and we’ll build customer loyalty based on flavor. And that worked. Sure we have a $9 hamburger, but it is the best ground beef you can get your hands on. We called the farmer on Friday and get the cow on Monday. There is no middle-man. It goes straight from the farm to the table."
Or in this case, farm to curb. Hall and his wife Dawn, who is co-owner, built the company out of the frustration of trying to find fresh, made-from-scratch food on the go. He found a gap in the food truck market and realized no one was serving organic, natural foods, and no one focused on special diets. If you look at Happy Belly’s menu, you’ll see listings beside each item for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and paleo options.
"It gives me pleasure to know that we don’t have to turn anyone away, we never have to say we can’t accommodate any request for special diets," said Hall.
New on the menu for summer is a pulled pork sandwich with bourbon BBQ sauce, sliced mango, and peach chutney and a vinegary slaw on a rosemary ciabatta bun. For the leaf eaters, a "superfood salad" with kale, blueberries, oranges, strawberries, apples, walnuts, and sage dressing is sure to give you a powerful kick of antioxidants.
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