Food Truck of the Week is our tribute to Chicago’s booming food truck industry. We highlight the people putting the pedal to the metal in the street food scene.
The illusive breakfast of champions — a beautiful thing invented, but not satisfied by, a bowl of Wheaties. By the time you hit the snooze button three times, throw the alarm on the floor altogether, roll out of bed, skip the shower and head to work there is hardly time for any breakfast at all. What if there was a way to get a filling breakfast without turning on the stove or taking out a bowl? Feast your sleepy eyes on the black breakfast-mobile Eastman Egg Company. It has the balanced breakfast thing covered with egg sandwiches, fresh juices and hot or cold coffee right outside the office.
The 1988 step van is on about its fourth life – it takes a lot of gas and coffee to keep it going. It had been a catering truck in Arizona and a Vietnamese slider truck in San Francisco before transforming into Eastman Egg Company. Outfitted with a flattop griddle, the truck has been on the road since June. Prep-work has been perfected to an art so the truck can start slinging sandwiches at 7 AM. Down the road, the truck may serve late-night, delivering sandwiches to tipsy travelers to help ward off tomorrow’s hangover. For now, they are satisfied serving the downtown office crowd and Wicker Park’s new weekly food festival, The Nosh.
The foundation was a basic egg sandwich served on every street corner in NYC. The sandwich got a Chicago twist with a pretzel roll and finally evolved into the three versions currently on Eastman’s menu. The signature Eastman is made with egg, ham, cheese, cucumber and sweet chili sauce. The vegetarian Fairfax is topped with cheese, sautéed bell pepper, wilted spinach and house green goddess sauce. Finally, The Scoundrel is served with Slagel Farm smoked turkey, white cheddar, wilted spinach and house spiced honey mustard on a Labriola pretzel roll. Enjoy each sandwich with Dark Matter Coffee or freshly squeezed orange juice.
“I was always searching for the perfect breakfast sandwich,” said Hunter Eastman Swartz, a triathlete who lived in New York City and San Francisco. This quest led him to partner with a New York City restaurant industry vet, Michael Schoenfeld, to open Chicago’s first cook-on-board breakfast truck. The duo didn’t just want to make any old breakfast sandwich, they wanted to make one using farm fresh eggs, Hormone free meats and cheeses and fresh baked bread. “People make their breakfast decision when they set their alarm the night before,” Schwartz said. Eastman Egg Company makes this decision easy.