Boise’s mobile eateries offer tasty treats
There’s something special about a chef on a food truck. When Kevin McIntosh decided to give up truck driving, he knew he liked food and wanted to cook for people, but he also loved interacting with the people enjoying his food. That’s why operating a food truck was a perfect fit for him.
McIntosh dedicates almost every day of the week to his truck, whether he’s serving food around the Treasure Valley, cleaning the truck or prepping food. He keeps it simple, and despite requests for salads or sides, he does one thing really well: fish and chips. Of course, he understands not everyone is a fish person, so he also offers chicken prepared in a similar way. He gets his fish directly from Alaska, and perhaps the best compliment he ever got was from six visitors from Scotland who all gave his fish and chips a try. When he asked for their critiques, they said it was spot on except for one thing—it’s supposed to be wrapped in newsprint!
The Kilted Kod goes the extra mile for customers, which is why they frequently return. McIntosh supports the men and women in uniform and never lets them pay; he says he feels lucky that he can give back through good food. Be sure to look for his truck around town, including at his regular post at Sliding Rock Brewery most Saturdays.
When Joe Bailey suggested to his wife, Amy Bell-Bailey, they should leave their day jobs and open a food truck she thought, “absolutely not.” He soon convinced her it was a good idea, and two years later, their supporters throughout the Treasure Valley have proved that it was, in fact, a great idea. Joe always loved to grill and smoke meats in the backyard, so they immediately gravitated towards a barbecue truck when putting together their plan.
Everything is made from scratch, including their coleslaw and baked beans with bacon. This is a testament to how Amy sees the food truck scene changing—people are finally catching on that food trucks are more than cheap, fast food. Many, like Urban Smoke, are offering carefully made, high-quality food offerings.
They have some regular spots around town every week, but they can also be found at breweries, food truck rallies and festivals. The Triple D sandwich is not to be missed by any meat lover, as it is a hot link piled high with bacon and pulled pork.
Il Segreto Pizza
Paul McClanthy traveled the world doing merchandise for big rock bands before deciding to set up camp in Boise and start a business. Through his travels, he was able to try some of the best food big cities offered and wanted to bring some of these flavors back to Idaho. Il Segreto Pizza emphasizes his love for wood-fired pizza and having a base that supports his creativity and love of experimenting with food. Though the traditional pies are his most popular, you may want to be adventurous and try the Philly cheesesteak pizza complete with provolone and mushrooms or perhaps an alfredo pizza.
The light and airy crust is what makes these Neapolitan-style pizzas special, puffed up perfectly in the wood-fired stove he can set up just about anywhere. Il Segreto can be found around town, including every Saturday at the Boise Farmers Market where he obtains many of the fresh veggies and meats he incorporates into his pizzas. He can also be found at Telaya Wine Co. on occasion, where you may find that his pizzas go perfectly with a glass of pinot. McClanthy hopes to get more into catering, but enjoys meeting people and educating them about the possibilities of food. As Boise grows, so will the palates of the people seeking more than just your typical commercial pizza.
Brown Shuga Soul Food
Yvonne Andersen-Thomas has a passion for food, and after closing her restaurant in Mountain Home to move to Boise, she soon realized she missed cooking. She now runs one of the most tenured food trucks in town, Brown Shuga Soul Food. Though operating the truck is hard work, she doesn’t intend on opening a brick-and-mortar store anytime soon. The mobility of a food truck allows her to visit various events around town, including one of her favorites, the Miner’s Jubilee, in Baker City, Oregon. Brown Shuga doesn’t have a regular setup during the week like many of the other trucks, but she remains busy through events including lunches, school festivals and big estate sales.
Her food has won many awards through the years, and after trying her popular pulled pork sandwich, you’ll understand that it is well-deserved attention. She focuses on Southern and Cajun foods, such as mac and cheese, jambalaya, gumbo, collard greens and po’boys. On a good day, you may even get a chance to try her homemade bread pudding. In the very little spare time Andersen-Thomas has, she works with the students in the culinary program at Renaissance High School, attempting to pass on both the skills and passion she has for good food.
Slow River Coffee Co.
Sid Gauby was a pastor for over 20 years and living in Indiana before he moved back to his hometown of Boise to open his coffee truck. He had inadvertently gotten into the coffee business through his ministry, and when he decided he needed to be closer to family, he followed his passion for good coffee.
Many people are surprised he has a high-quality espresso machine and coffee equipment on his truck, which is even more proof food trucks are evolving into vehicles delivering sophisticated flavors. Though he doesn’t operate at too many festivals or events, he does maintain a good spot at the corner of Sixth and State streets where regulars stop by each morning for their favorite cup of coffee or a tasty mocha. Some employers hire Gauby to provide coffee for their employees or clients as a token of appreciation. He loves working with these people, especially when he can say, “Order whatever you want!”
Gauby was one of the initial founders of SIFTA, the Southern Idaho Food Truck Association, and truly cares about both the experience of the customer as well as those serving the food. Food truck drivers love their customers and their food, and when cooking on a food truck, Gauby says, people can see you care about what you’re doing and you’re putting your heart into it.