By Sally Pollak | Burlington Free Press
A food truck that will serve Indonesian street food and all-American fare with roots in Buffalo, New York, will open Sunday on Flynn Avenue near Oakledge Park in Burlington.
White Buffalo Food Company is housed in a 27-foot former bread delivery truck that Chris Smith and his business partners found on Craigslist and bought in Rhode Island. After its run as a bread truck, it was a food truck called Clam Jammers.
Smith and his partners, wife Tara Smith and friend Keith Gadwah, spent much of the summer behind the old bus station on Pine Street cleaning and fixing the truck and its equipment.
On a 95-degree day, with the sun baking the rig from both sides, the White Buffalo crew peeled away the sticker that covered the truck in Clam Jammers’ words and logos.
“Clam Jammer, that’ll fly down in Rhode Island, with tons of seafood restaurants,” Smith said. “We get it back to Vermont, we start getting all these looks.”
People think with a food truck you “roll it and go,” Smith said, adding that’s not the way it works.
“No, man, no,” he said.
The truck was converted from a bread truck to a food truck in 2010. It operated for a couple of years, before sitting idle for three until its recent purchase.
Smith is pretty sure the last time someone drove the truck, they rode around without covering the fryolaters. Two inches of vegetable oil pooled in a corner of the truck. Paper plates were stewing in the slick.
The truck is now running well, “gleaming and immaculate,” Smith said. He estimates the cost of the truck, plus repairs, cleaning and getting it in reliable shape at $45,000.
White Buffalo menu will include food from Tara Smith’s native Indonesia, including steamed buns with homemade sweet chili-garlic sauce. From Buffalo comes an “American classic” called beef on weck, Smith said.
That’s short for kummelweck, a Kaiser roll sprinkled with kosher salt and caraway seek. The roll is filled with roast beef in jus with horseradish.
“It’s real simple,” Smith said. “But amazing.”
White Buffalo is a return to the food business for Smith, who cooked at restaurants — including two in Stowe — in high school and college But he and his wife owe their culinary skills to their mothers and grandmothers, Smith said.
The couple met in a Zumba class. They got together over the food at Zumba potlucks.