Blazing a Delectable Trail
By Piper Davis Photos by Mollie Tobias
Some of the best new restaurants in Moore County are mobile -- food trucks on the move, and the regional craze is revving up. The entrepreneurial people behind the diverse assortment of food trucks in the Sandhills are changing the way our community experiences “dining out”. From the classic hotdog to an exotic açaí bowl, these restaurants on wheels have something that will satisfy any craving, all the while proving that great food doesn’t have to come from a commercial kitchen. The open road and a favorite food truck schedule posted to social media can turn an evening drive into an international gourmet experience. Here is a sampling of a few chuck wagons to link up to this fall, and the people behind them.
Meat and Greek
Meat and Greek Food Truck was so popular roaming the streets of Moore County and beyond that it took less than a year for owners Brittany and Oresti Arsi to decide to open their first brick and mortar location on W Pennsylvania in downtown Southern Pines. But even with the introduction of the eatery, the young couple has no intention of ditching the truck that started their booming business.
The idea for Meat and Greek came naturally for Brittany and Oresti; Oresti is Greek. He was born in Albania and lived in Greece for many years before eventually moving to Moore County with his family. He comes from a long line of restaurateurs and even met Brittany while working at his family’s old restaurant, Corfu Taverna in Southern Pines.
Now, with four children and a love for travelling, the prospect of opening a business that could keep up with their schedules and lifestyle enticed the couple. After finding a truck and establishing a punny name, the Arsi’s opened Meat and Greek Food Truck in November of 2018. They quickly found the demand for their spanakopita, dolmathes, moussaka and bifteki sliders was greater than a team of two in a food truck could handle, and opened the stationary Meat and Greek Market and Eatery.
Despite the major growth their business has experienced in 2019, the Arsi’s have no intention of slowing down. These entrepreneurial spirits already have a bigger food truck on the way where they will introduce the traditional Greek meat cones of chicken, gyro and pork on rotation to take their menu even a step further. As for the original truck, the idea is to turn it into an all dessert truck, perfect to hire for parties or to satisfy a sweet tooth craving.
Keep up with the truck’s whereabouts on Facebook at Meet and Greek Truck.
Roasted & Toasted
Even before the food truck craze hit Moore County, Fritz Morrissett already had plans of taking her business mobile. Fritz founded Roasted & Toasted in 2014 after making a major career shift. Born in Montana, Fritz moved to Seattle to study interior design where she was introduced to really good coffee. Nearly 10 years ago, she decided to move on from her career in design and focus on another of her long standing passions: coffee. In 2014, Fritz founded Roasted & Toasted, a specialty coffee and waffle shop on S Horner Street in Sanford that dazzles caffeine-seeking customers each time they visit.
Fritz always seems to stay ahead of the trends as within a year of her opening her flagship location in Sanford, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts followed suit with locations right next door. Upping the ante, she decided instead of waiting to have customers come to her, she would go to them. The first Roasted & Toasted food truck opened in 2015 and was such a success Fritz decided to open a second.
Her coffee uses the finest slow-roasted coffee beans, and her Liège waffle mix is imported directly from the source, Belgium. Roasted & Toasted also serves up delicious acai bowls, smoothies and paninis, ensuring that there’s something for everyone.
As for the recognizable mascot and logo of the truck, Fritz knew she had to go with an English bulldog. The tenacity it takes to start and keep a small business running is something that Fritz doesn’t take lightly and an English bulldog is the cutest way to show that.
To find one of the Roasted & Toasted trucks or to order ahead, download their app and experience why customers keep coming back.
Jaya’s Indian Cuisine
For the past five years Jaya and Ekambaram Elamaran brainstormed of ways of introducing authentic Indian food to the people of Moore County. It wasn’t until November of 2018 that their dream materialized with the opening of Jaya’s Indian Cuisine, a take-out and catering kitchen on May Street in Southern Pines. Still, that wasn’t enough for the eager couple. They opened a food truck this past May to literally bring their food to the community.
Jaya admits she didn’t learn to cook until she was 31 years old. After marrying Ekambaram, Jaya attempted to cook chicken for dinner one night and laughs at the memory of it turning into something ghostly white. She was determined to redeem herself by watching her sister, aunt, mother and mother-in-law cook, and she quickly became adept at preparing an array of Indian dishes. Now, it would be impossible to tell she hasn’t had professional training.
Jaya and Ekambaram both came to the area from India; Jaya, although South Indian, was born and raised in New Delhi while Ekambaram grew up in Tamil Nadu, an area of South India. In their cooking, spices reign. Jaya uses an assortment of them and mixes her own blends to ensure the dishes she prepares have just the right amount of heat.
The Jaya’s Indian Cuisine truck is loaded up with food each day before 11 a.m., a difficult feat for such a complicated cuisine. It then goes out to serve the community lunch and dinner, yet their mobile kitchen offers so much more than that; it provides the Elamarans a way to share their culture with others while giving the residents of Moore County an authentic taste of India.
To see Jaya’s menu for the day and find the location of the truck, follow Jaya’s Indian Cuisine on Faceboook.
By the time most of the United States even knew of the superfruit açaí, Bianca Pellicione was already an expert in creating the now popular açaí bowl. Born in Prudentópolis, Paraná, a small town in Brazil, Bianca grew up with the fruits that, to most, are considered exotic. For years, she created superfruit smoothies and bowls for her family, citing the positive health benefits they had. She was building a career in healthcare yet her heart kept returning to the desire to share these superfoods with the community.
In 2017, Bianca decided to indulge her passion and opened Berri Bowlful, a superfood truck. From boosting brain function to strengthening immune systems, the food Bianca serves is as advantageous as it is refreshing.
To experience this healthy and unique option, keep up with Berri Bowlful’s location on their facebook page.
Moore Trucks to follow:
Marketplace Food Truck
Nana and Papa’s Old Fashioned Burgers