Duos: Mobile Kitchen Doing Slow Food Fast

Chef Becky Hostetter of Indy's "Duos Food Truck".

By Kent Erdahl | Fox59 News

Chef Becky Hostetter of Indy's "Duos Food Truck".
Indianapolis — A trend sweeping the country is now really beginning to hit Indianapolis this spring. There is an influx of new mobile food trucks that are offering food that could compete with some of the best restaurants.

A new food option rolled into the Fountain Square neighborhood just in time for lunch on Wednesday.

“We just happened to drive by and see this was out here and wanted to try it out,” said Melissa Oesch who bought a sandwich from a Duo’s Slow Fast Food truck.

Becky Hostetter got out of the restaurant business years ago, but decided to launch Duo’s Slow Food Fast in December.

“We try to keep it seasonal,” Hostetter said. “As much local product as possible.”

This spring the food truck is showing up more and more, offering a rotating menu that always includes some eye-catching options like a vegetarian cornet sandwich.

“Shaved fennel and carrot, avocado, chive, marinated onions,” Hostetter said, describing the sandwich.

Duo’s isn’t the only new food truck catching people’s eyes, so has a big blue bus featuring a painting of a woman known as Amelia Love. She is the spokeswoman for Hoosier Fat Daddy Bus Cafe.

“If we had five bucks for every picture that’s been taken of Amelia,” said Tom Rockwell, owner and operator of the food truck.

Rockwell has plenty of picture worthy eats too, such as a pork tenderloin sandwich and chicken salad gyro..

“I’d been a nurse for 20 years and wanted to try something different,” Rockwell said.

He got the confidence to move forward with his idea, in part, after seeing the success of West Coast Tacos, a food truck that brought a Los Angeles tradition to Indy last year.

“They’ve drawn a lot of attention and I think it’s really great,” Rockwell said.

“West Coast Tacos sent us a note and welcomed us to the neighborhood… to the streets,” Hostetter said.

The new food trucks have found success through self promotion on social networking sites like facebook and twitter. Now a search of those sites reveals at least six different new mobile food options in Indy. They include: www.hoosierfatdaddybuscafe.com, www.duosindy.com, www.mableonthemove.com, www.byrnespizza.com, mylunchboxindy.com, www.tacoswithoutborders.com and www.thebestdamntacos.com.

One of the reasons why we haven’t seen more food trucks on the road in Indy is that they have to prepare their food in commercial kitchens, which can be tough to afford. However, that’s beginning to change thanks to a community kitchen in Indianapolis simply called Indy’s Kitchen.

“It would have been hard for this many trucks, I think, to hit the streets this quickly without Indy’s Kitchen being there,” said Linda Gilkerson, one of the owners of the kitchen. “Just because there wasn’t space just dedicated to rental.”

Becky and her partner say Indy’s Kitchen is one of the secret ingredient behind Duo’s success. They’re not the only ones.

“We have four trucks working out of here,” Gilkerson said. “And there’s a lot of interest.”

The food truck owners say there’s also a lot of interest in the new options from customers.

“Indiana has been pretty much a meat and potatoes place for as long as I’ve known,” Rockwell said. “The idea of trying things that are just a little bit different is just fun.”

Customers agree.

“I think maybe people will be able to try things we don’t have as much of in Indianapolis,” said Laura Henderson who enjoyed a picnic lunch from Duo’s on Wednesday.

“I had the chicken curry sandwich,” Melissa Oesch said. “It’s awesome. I think it’s fantastic.”

Owners say another reason for the surge in food trucks is because they know there will be a lot of demand for more food options during the upcoming Super Bowl in 2012.