If you’re going to throw your hat (or perhaps bun) into the highly competitive world of the burger biz, you’d better have a unique concept to grab attention.
One of the latest concepts literally rolling around Los Angeles is the Patty Wagon Truck — combining a yesteryear feel with today’s latest mobile food trend — ultimately setting the stage for a food truck with a conscience.
The Patty Wagon is the brainchild of Studio City resident Matt Roth, an actor best known for his roles in Roseanne (as Laurie Metcalf’s onscreen and offscreen husband) and Desperate Housewives. Partnering with fellow thespians Jeff Klein and Stephanie Childers, Roth’s inspiration came after reading the writings of Michael Pollan about the industrial food chain. Roth’s explained that the Patty Wagon “is a tribute to the 1930s and 40s when eating sustainable food was just the way things were” — as opposed to today where eating sustainable means making an effort to find food grown and raised consciously.
All the Patty Wagon beef comes from a friend of Roth’s who raises grass fed cattle in Teton Valley, Idaho — that means no steroids, growth hormones or antibiotics. Grass fed beef is also touted to be lower in fat and higher in Omega-3s. The rest of the ingredients used in the making of the burgers and the sides are seasonal and come from local farms and markets. There’s always a chalkboard on side of the truck that lists the whereabouts of such items as cheese and vegetables.
The burgers are called “minis.” They are slightly bigger than sliders and all are named after songs from the 30s and 40s — in fact, tunes by the likes of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter can be heard from speakers on the truck.
The patties are round, thick and juicy with savory flavors. Menu choices include: Mood Indigo with bleu cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms on a toasted ciabatta roll; I Get A Kick Out Of You has roasted jalapenos, pancetta, provolone cheese, and mayo on a toasted hamburger roll; Keep Your Sunny Side Up On comes on toasted ciabatta, spread with homemade gremolata (garlic, lemon, parsley butter); You’re My Everything combines sauteed sweet peppers, onions and garlic with swiss and mayo on a toasted hamburger roll. A classic cheeseburger is also available for not-so-adventurous palates.
There are daily and weekly specials written on a chalkboard, such as La Vie En Rose (my personal fave) with gruyere cheese and onions carmelized with vermouth and thyme on toasted ciabatta; and Summer N Smoke with Soledad goat smoked cheddar, roasted apricot chutney, and a slice of Maui onion. Added to the top of every burger are homemade pickles cut in circles which have been been marinated in a special brine.
Fries are homemade and hand-cut from organic potatoes. Available two ways— with sea salt or tossed with garlic and rosemary, they are different than most fries because they are flattened into almost a crisp. Coca Cola is imported from Mexico and is without corn syrup. Burgers are $$2.25-$3.25 each. Combo deals with two burgers, fries and a drink are $8-$10.50.
The Patty Wagon can often be found various Studio City locations, including Studio City Park (Beeman), near Menchies on Laurel Canyon, Radford Avenue near CBS, and at the Farmer's Market. Check the website or twitter for the daily schedule. Have a location to suggest? Send an email. The Patty Wagon also caters.
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