Sunday, June 19, 2011

Foodtrucking Gone to the Dogs?!

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?”


“Let’s MOVE.”

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


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

These people are on to something. Dog parks are everywhere now, and why shouldn't the pooches have their own chuckwagons?! (If anyone spots a cat treat food truck in Providence, Rhode Island, please let me know.)

Julia said...

I thought I saw on the menu, "cookies". Wouldn't it be nice if they offered a few treats for the human-folk.

Zany said...

I can't tell everyone how addicted The Boss is to that doggy yogurt. He gets VERY upset when he can't have the whole cup. Needless to say, I think he is also a food truck fan!

Luigi said...

First of all, I don't 'ramble' about macaroni, I speak with purpose and passion. Second, the good people at Fido are very helpful and have made several trips to our little dog park. Luckily for The Boss, I don't think we'll run out of tasty treats anytime soon.

Kalyn said...

I shouldn't be surprised because in LA I've seen dog bakeries and dog health food stores. But this is a new one for me!

Mary said...

It took a moment for me to get the cast of characters straight. I struggled a bit to determine who in the group actually walked on four legs. Once on board, I really enjoyed the post. I think this is a wonderful concept and "dog" trucks will be the wave of the future. Have a great weekend, T.W. Blessings...Mary

veron said...

oh my! that's an amazing idea, wonder when the doggy food truck will get to RVA?

alfred p said...

I was sitting on my porch enjoying a scoop of Breyer's rocky road this afternoon and reading your recent post with great interest. There was something very familiar to me about this canine truck. I rung up my old manservant, Kim, who immediately confirmed my suspicions: this truck idea was actually originated many years ago in Korea by a man named Lee. As I feared, the "canine treats" on offer were, in fact, actually canine and meant for a distinctly two-legged clientele (hence the name, "Fido to Go"). Now, I am sure these two Chicago ladies are well-intentioned, but what if this is really a secret plot to fatten up all the local Chicago hounds for some other illicit purpose (memories of sausage and that excited chihuahua in Seoul are still fresh in my mind). I would advise your friend to keep the Boss within sight at all times from now on.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Amazing! The food truck revolution is reaching new heights. Hopefully one of these dog trucks come to NYC.

~~louise~~ said...

I doubt we'll be seeing any Fido to go Trucks in central PA, I haven't even been able to locate a good old fashioned ice cream truck as of yet.

The concept could feather out into my corner of the world if only they had "chuck wagons" for horses. I'm in Amish land over here and in these dog days of summer, they sure could use a watering hole.

Thanks for sharing, Zany...

lostpastremembered said...

My Petunia would LOVE a treat truck, honestly, could you go wrong with it? I think it is a thrilling idea and it looks like they did a superior job... great graphics and goodies. NYC next, I wonder???

Mad Me-Shell said...

How come The Boss gets his own food truck before my dream of a margarita truck becomes a reality!? That doesn't seem fair.

It's actually pretty amazing to see all the love and attention to detail that goes into each of the treats (even if I can't enjoy them!).

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

That last photo could be an excellent candidate for a "no words required" post. Don't think I've seen a more satisfied pooch. I was thinking that maybe that's how you felt T.W. after your last food adventures in Chicago with the girls.

Barbara said...

Fidotogo? Why not? Doggie bakeries have been around and if the doggie food truck makes the rounds of parks, I imagine it will be a smashing success!

Velva said...

I am smiling ear to ear. Such a clever idea!!! This would be a hit in NYC too- I think you should partner up with a dog lover, and cruise by the dog parks.

I noticed in NYC a couple of food menus that included treats for Fido too. Amazing.


P.S. I was unable to chase the NYC food trucks (sigh). It's back on my list when I return.

Gloria said...

I saw many times cookies dogs, but this! is amazing!
My dogs are country side dogs so please dont tell tehem about this!!
Rex (the most old of my dogs) love yogurt I dont know why but if I eat some yogurt I have to share with him, huggs(nice post) gloria

I really love my dogs!

Trix said...

Ah, I love this idea! My Franka would really love a food truck marketed to her; alas, I don't anticipate one coming to my neck of the woods anytime soon. Fun post!

tasteofbeirut said...

Ah! My neighbor Mary would love this; after fighting a winning battle to create a dog park in our neighborhood, now she could push for a dog truck! Love this idea, even though I am a cat person. These people have a rosy future ahead for their business, globally!

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

What a riot! I bet these catch on. People love their dogs!My brother and I have teased our mom she loves the dog more then us!