101 Best Food Truck Feature: The Buttermilk Truck

As you might be able to guess from the name of her food truck, Gigi Pascual, owner and founder of The Buttermilk Truck, loves breakfast. In fact, it's her favorite meal of the day. So what better way to indulge herself than starting her own food truck that specializes in breakfast foods such as red velvet pancake bites? This truck came in at number 12 on our list of 101 Best Food Trucks in America 2013 because it celebrates one of the most important, but most often skipped meals of the day. The Buttermilk Truck makes all of their menu items fresh each day so you can enjoy breakfast morning, noon, and night. We caught up with Pascual to talk about her love for breakfast, no matter what time of the day it is, and her truck.

When did you launch your truck?

November 2009.

What was the inspiration for going into this business?

Inspiration came from the few great trucks that spurred the revolution in Los Angeles such as Kogi, Marked 5, and the NomNom Truck. They made amazing food from their truck based from inspired recipes. I always wanted my own breakfast spot and the truck was more financially feasible. I wanted to create an inspired breakfast menu, made from scratch and based on American breakfast favorites.

What's the story behind the name?

One night my best friend and I were thinking of names for my breakfast truck. We wanted a name that resonates and represents breakfast. Buttermilk brings images of warm, creamy, fluffy and also is used as an ingredient in a lot of breakfast foods. All our food is made from scratch batters of buttermilk, including our donuts, waffles, red velvet pancakes. We also marinate our fried chicken in buttermilk and make our biscuits with buttermilk.

What's the inspiration for your cuisine and recipes?

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. It's a meal often skipped by many people rushing to work or school in the morning. Therefore, breakfast is often craved all times of the day and weekends. I wanted to bring breakfast to LA morning and night. I based all my recipes from breakfast favorites.

What's your signature dish? Is it also your most popular dish?

Our signature dish is our red velvet pancakes bites. This has been our most popular item from the day we opened. We have just created a red velvet pancake mix sold in retail stores such as Bristol farms, Sur La Table, and Surfas. We also are selling our mix online. Across the nation, families can make their own brunch memories at home with our delicious red velvet pancakes!

How did you come up with your truck's design? Is there a designer you'd like to give a shout-out to?

Elaine Gomez is our graphic designer and has done an amazing job with our logo and all branding materials. 

What model truck do you have?

2008 Workhorse.

What's the most challenging thing about running your food truck?

Truck maintenance can be costly and can prevent making money as well if the truck is under repair. Finding quality locations and lots in Los Angeles has been difficult with the saturated market.

Any new upcoming dishes planned that you can tell us about?

We have seasonal pancakes as well as seasonal items. We currently have our fruit shortcake on the weekends using fresh fruit, our cream cheese frosting, and vanilla biscuits. We also will feature our lemon ricotta pancakes for July.

Any new plans on the horizon you can share?

We are very excited for our recent launch of our Red Velvet Pancake mix June 15. It's available online through us, Surfas, Sur La Table, and Bristol Farms. We also are partnering with Hotel Shangri La in Santa Monica to serve our pancakes on their brunch menu on the weekends. We also are working with Isabella's Cookies in LA. We have worked together to create a Vegan Red Velvet Cookie with Vanilla Drizzle! It's available online at Isabellascookies.com and in their retail store partners.

Lots of things happen when running a restaurant, and that probably goes double on the road. As such, be it weird, funny, good, or bad, what's one superlative or particularly outstanding moment or story that's ever occurred with your truck be it with customers, in the kitchen, or just in general?

When we first started we booked a private event in Malibu. At the time I did not think to map the particular location. We are a mobile kitchen so we took the catering opportunity. It ended up being in the Malibu canyons and we were driving our huge truck in the pitch dark, windy roads. I did not think we would make it. I really thought we may have died in that experience due to the absolute danger of driving that large truck in along the narrow, windy canyons. Thankfully, we made it and from now on we make sure all our locations can accommodate the truck in travel and parking.