Last fall, a stylish food truck called Fundaro’s Foodstream hit the roadways of the North County and started putting quite a few taste buds into overdrive.
Part of the name should give you an idea of what this rig looks like: It’s a classic 1971 24-foot Tradewind Airstream trailer. However, instead of beds and benches inside, this one’s got a flat-top grill, fryers, steam tables and refrigeration units.
Fans of the Paso Robles restaurant scene will recognize the other half of the name as belonging to Tom Fundaro, executive chef at Villa Creek. However, he admitted he had no intention of getting into the food truck business until an exploratory letter quite literally landed on his desk.
Jack Flynn, the Airstream’s owner, had relocated from Orange County (a move he’d been planning for some time) and was looking for a business partner who could bring some torque to the food aspect of the truck. Fundaro had already been exploring options for collaborating in some fashion with caterers Mike and Aaron Dean of Dean Brothers Smokehouse, and eventually the four got together to see what it would take to get things rolling with a food truck.
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After several months of planning and putting the concept in gear, the Foodstream crew quietly put the rubber to the road, parking at a few wineries. Now, the truck has an active weekend schedule, with locations, times and menus posted on its social media pages.
For Fundaro, the decision to lend his name to the venture meant a commitment that the truck would represent an extension of his culinary philosophy: quality food, seasonal fare and respect for ingredients.
In addition to that, everyone involved wanted “to offer something the area doesn’t have, things that are different — such as the authentic barbecue of the Dean Brothers,” Fundaro said.
Though the handful of menu choices change on any given weekend, the sandwiches are really revving things up so far. Recent offerings have included the Miso Porky with smoked pulled pork and miso-lemon kale slaw, the Dirty Bird with smoked pulled turkey and roasted Anaheim chiles, and the Green Eggs & Hamburger — a grass-fed beef patty topped with arugula, Hatch green chile pesto, a fried egg, onion and pork belly.
Other options might range from barbecued wings, to a chopped Santa Fe salad with smoked chicken and kale, and even to Green Poutine — a Canadian concept that gets a Southwestern spin here by topping hand-cut fries with Hatch chile gravy, Cotija cheese, onions and cilantro.
Not surprisingly given the overall approach, the Foodstream crew is also making items such as dressings and sauces from scratch, as well as their linguica and andouille sausages, said Fundaro.
For spot-on breads, they’re turning to a local bakery and to the baking talents at Villa Creek (which serves as the truck’s main kitchen), because “if you’re going to do a sandwich, the bread has to be perfect.”
As summertime approaches, the menu will shift gears a bit. Among the ideas being tossed around so far are authentic ramen bowls, ceviche, and finger food platters that can be shared, but all options are on the flat top.
“Because of our Foodstream name, we’re not tied into any particular style of food, so the possibilities are unlimited,” said Fundaro. “Basically, we want to put out good, fun food that people really like.”