Lafayette, IN: Need food now? Emergency Munchie Truck Rolls into Town to Answer Call for Fast Eats

The Nutty Monkey is banana slices with Nutella or peanut butter grilled with two waffles and sprinkled with powdered sugar. / By John Terhune/Journal & Courier

Lauren Sedam | JCOnline.com

The Nutty Monkey is banana slices with Nutella or peanut butter grilled with two waffles and sprinkled with powdered sugar. / By John Terhune/Journal & Courier

Get ready, Greater Lafayette. A different kind of EMT is pulling up, and the people on board are set to attend to all of your munchie needs.

The Emergency Munchie Truck opened Nov. 24, and it is giving the local scene a taste of the national food truck craze. But though the truck currently caters to the late-night crowd with cheesy comfort foods, owner Amber Davis, originally of Francesville, is looking to change the perspective on fast food — with an equal focus on health and delicious eats.

“I would like to show them that eating vegetarian could still be yummy,” she said.

Davis always loved cooking, and when she was younger, she would help her grandmother make fresh noodles. As she grew up, she kept that passion for simple, fresh ingredients, but she went into the family business with her mother, Debbie Bucher, of Brookston, and her grandmother, selling corrugated pipe and metal.

“We do really well, but I think her passion was really with this,” Bucher said.

When Davis saw the food truck business taking off in Indianapolis, where she now lives, she decided it was time to go after her dreams.

She and her mom began looking for a truck, and eventually, they stumbled across an old ambulance that had been converted to a food truck. Davis loved the idea of college students calling in the EMTs for a late night food fix, and because she grew up nearby and Greater Lafayette didn’t have much food truck exposure, she settled on the area.

Debbie Bucher, left, and Amber Davis stand outside the Emergency Munchies Truck (EMT) Thursday, November 29, 2012, in Lafayette. Bucher holds a bowl of hot chili and a Nutty Monkey, banana slices with Nutella or peanut butter grilled with two waffles and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Davis holds the Triple M, macaroni and cheese and munster cheese melted with two waffles and covered with a secret sauce. / By John Terhune/Journal & Courier

Davis is a vegetarian, and in her own kitchen, she experimented and came up with new ways to make foods that fit her diet. She took that experience and what she picked up from cooking shows, especially those focused on food trucks, and started developing a menu.

She made sure the food was tasty, but she worked without trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and yes, meat. She even has some vegan options. But the food isn’t just for vegetarians.

Davis serves hearty chili, poutine — French fries covered in a homemade gravy and cheese crumbles, and mac and cheese cups. She also serves a “Nutty Monkey,” Nutella and bananas between two homemade waffles.

But her signature truck treat is the Triple M — the Mac Munchie Melt. It’s macaroni and cheese and two slices of melted cheese between two of the whole wheat waffles, all topped with a special sauce. It sounds quirky, Davis said, but it’s a combination of the things she loves.

And it all falls into what Davis finds really important — homemade, wholesome food served fast.

“I want to serve everything not like it has been sitting in a pot for hours,” she said.

Bucher said she loves watching her daughter do something she cares about so much, and she thinks the local community is ready for this.

Davis said even though EMT hasn’t been around for very long, she’s already seeing a response. In the future, she hopes to expand further, too, working the lunch scene and adding more products from local sources come summer.

Until then, she said people can look for the truck in the Chauncey Hill area on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and track the truck’s location via Facebook and Twitter at EMTfoodtruck.

“It’s getting more and more important,” Davis said. “With all of the fast food options out there, people want things quick. But if we can produce it quick and without all of the bad stuff, why not try it?”

http://www.jconline.com/article/20121204/ENT03/312040017/Need-food-now-Emergency-Munchie-Truck-rolls-into-town-answer-call-fast-eats?odyssey=nav%7Chead&nclick_check=1