101 Best Food Truck Feature: The Cinnamon Snail
Number eight on our list of 101 Best Food Trucks in America 2013 isn’t like most food trucks. In addition to his truck's full vegan menu, Adam Sobel is devoted to making sure that no animals are harmed in his business. He even gutted his food truck to replace the grill with a new one that has never touched animal flesh. His goal is to create a seasonal menu that serves "food to help you transform into a being of pure light who can serve all living creatures simultaneously and eternally." The menu features everything from breakfast to raw food to pastries. There are even burritos with scrambled tofu and refried beans. And of course, the cinnamon snails (aka cinnamon rolls). We caught up with Sobel to talk about his truck, his inspiration, and the food.
When did you launch your truck?
Valentine's Day 2010.
What was the inspiration for going into this business?
I always wanted to bring bold, flavorful, decadent vegetarian food to the street, where people who otherwise wouldn't go into a brick-and-mortar vegetarian restaurant can get their minds blown. Before building the truck, I worked in vegan restaurants for a decade, dreaming of doing a vegan food truck.
What's the story behind the name?
Well, amongst a lot of other things, we also make cinnamon buns (aka cinnamon snails). Also, it's a cute name and it rhymes with "Guacamole."
What's the inspiration for your cuisine and recipes?
Making vegan food that has enough balls and bold intense flavors to impress the most unwilling carnivore. A lot of our food is inspired by flavors I have experienced traveling in Asia.
What's your signature dish? Is it also your most popular dish?
We offer a lot of exciting food, but maybe our signature dish is: lemongrass five-spice seitan with curried cashews, arugula, Sichuan chile sauce, and wasabi mayo on a grilled baguette.
Our most popular item is probably our vanilla bourbon crème brûlée donuts, which we make with a Makers Mark bourbon-based custard. We won a Vendy Award for these back in 2011 and haven't been able to take it off our menu since.
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?
Maybe I'd do brick-and-mortar, but with a different really exciting concept I have in mind, that isn't too similar to our truck (other than being vegan).
How did you come up with your truck's design? Is there a designer you'd like to give a shout-out to?
Worked with a tight budget and the help of a lot of our friends on the interior and exterior design and layout of the truck. Big ups to our friends, Greggie, Bruce, Billy, Michael, and Frank.
Does your truck have a vanity license plate? And if so, what does it say?
Our Vanity Plate Reads "FederalBootSnark302."
What model truck do you have?
1991 Chevy p30.