After I return from the porcine playground of Chicago, I receive this email from Zany. The subject matter is a first for Culinary Types and requires no commentary on my part, except to say that some of the images you are about to see may be highly disturbing to small pets.
T.W., I hope you’re sitting down for this one.
Let me start by saying that Chicago is on the cusp of summer, and on the day of this story it was a beautiful Friday afternoon. Luigi and I decided to cap the work week by taking The Boss for a leisurely walk to the dog park.
The sun was shining, The Boss was meeting new friends, and Luigi and I were having a light-hearted debate about what to do for dinner. And then it went off. Luigi’s voice was suddenly tuned out like Charlie Brown’s teacher as my radar went wild. The bright yellow truck was slowly making its way around our rectangle park. From a distance I could see writing and graphics on the truck’s side, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on the mysterious vehicle. It LOOKED like a food truck – had I slipped on my daily monitoring and missed that a new truck was in town?! Impossible – Mad would’ve had my head.
As the truck turned the corner, my focus remained on it and I stood up. “What is that?” I said to Luigi.
Luigi, who was still rambling about macaroni, turned and said with a little excitement, “Is that a food truck?!” (He’s starting to catch on!)
“Yes it is…for The Boss,” I replied in a small voice. It was a food truck for dogs.
The truck made another turn and the sign “Fido To Go” became very clear. The driver and I made eye contact as she sped along. With a big wave she shouted, “We’re going around the park. We’re going to stop at the coffee shop!”
The yellow truck rolled down the street to make another loop. My eyes continued to follow. “Luigi,” I said slowly. “Do you have your wallet?”
“Yeah,” he replied.
“And your iPhone that has the camera?”
The Boss was going to have to play with the Maltese later. Within 30 seconds he was leashed and rushed out of the dog park.
Luigi, who had never been on any type of food truck adventure before, started to break out in hysterics. “I wonder what they HAVE. You should call Mad…no, call T.W.!” he exclaimed as he marched toward the coffee shop, with The Boss’ leash stretched behind him. As far as The Boss knew, we cut his playtime short and he was not going to cooperate.
We finally made it to the parked truck as the side window propped up and the ladies inside were open for business. Before we could even think about looking at the menu, Luigi and I had many questions. What? How? Why? The truck’s co-owner beamed as she explained her partnership with a friend. They both have deep experience in the pet industry and a love for dogs – mixed with a booming food truck scene in Chicago and they had a business model!
I picked up The Boss to examine the snack options as Luigi looked over the menu.Bones, treats shaped like squirrels, ice cream cones and much more, all in different flavors! The truck even designated one snack a “treat of the month” with proceeds going to a local shelter. And of course, there was doggy yogurt.
While The Boss wouldn’t have minded, I couldn’t exactly use the T.W. “one-of-everything-please” strategy for my 16 pound Chihuahua. So with a little help from the ladies, Luigi and I selected the “puppizza,” the (dog-friendly) chocolate covered squirrel, and a cup of the peanut butter banana yogurt.
We walked back inside the park and offered The Boss a taste of one treat. He pawed at the pizza first, so that’s what he got. He didn’t exactly follow the slow, savory approach to eating the treat, but he quickly turned up and looked for “MORE!”
As we walked back to the apartment, Luigi pulled out the insert in our Fido To Go shopping bag. “You can hire them for dog birthday parties, photo shoots and more. I guess the recession is over,” he cracked.
Later on in the evening, The Boss had samples of the squirrel and the yogurt, both of which also received favorable reviews. And while he couldn’t verbally express his satisfaction after a good food truck experience, I think this picture says it all.
©2011 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved