What started as a small catering truck has grown to a full-fledged steel pig on wheels. Maximus/Minimus serves a basic menu inspired from pulled pork. The sandwich can be ordered MAXImus style (spicy) or MiniMUS (sweet and tangy). They made number 43 on our 101 Best Food Trucks in America 2013 for their unique style and great food. We caught up with owner Kurt Beecher Dammeier to talk about the inspiration for the truck, plans for the future, and the food.
When did you launch your truck?
What was the inspiration for going into this business?
Honestly, we were just looking for a really good pulled pork sandwich that we could easily get from our office. We had a recipe we loved and there was an empty parking lot near our block. There weren’t a lot of food trucks in Seattle at the time, so we decided it would be a pretty fun adventure to try our hand at it. From there, it didn’t take much for me to want to turn the food truck into a giant "urban assault pigmobile."
What's the story behind the name?
I have three boys, the oldest of which is Max. We started calling him Maximus around the house, and I thought it would be a fun name for the truck (all of my food businesses are named for my boys and my family). I also love the juxtaposition of contrasting food flavors — in this case, spicy versus sweet. So we named our truck Maximus/Minimus — sort of the yin and yang of flavor profiles. Almost everything on the menu can be ordered Maximus (spicy) or Minimus (sweet).
What's the inspiration for your cuisine and recipes?
We have a test kitchen and our office is right at Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. Access to the Market’s amazing ingredients and a lot of creativity in the kitchen is what inspired the cuisine and recipes for the truck.
What's your signature dish? Is it also your most popular dish?
Our pulled pork sandwiches are definitely our signature dish, and what most people order. It can be ordered with Maximus sauce or Minimus sauce, and it’s really a draw for which sauce people prefer.
If you haven't already, would you ever go brick-and-mortar? And if you have, is there anything you feel gets lost in the transition?
From the beginning, it was always in the back of my head that we’d go brick-and-mortar. We’ve bought a building that will house the Maximus/Minimus spin-off — Max’s. Max’s is a blown-up version of Maximus/Minimus. We’ll be serving all kinds of meat and seafood and everything will be prepared over fire. We hope to open in spring 2014.