The idea of opening a food truck with a walk-up window in Seattle is hilarious to me. I almost wish I had been a fly on the wall when the loan officer at the bank welcomed Matt Lewis inside, sat back and cracked his knuckles to listen to this pitch.
Matt: Hi. I'm a chef. I'm from New Orleans, trained under a James Beard chef in Birmingham, Alabama, and I plan to start a food truck that serves Southern, Soul and Cajun food. I'm going to move it around town every day. People can check in online to figure out where I am … and then come and find me.
Bank Loan Officer: "Son, do you know how much it rains here? You think people are going to trudge with their umbrellas and laptops and morning coffee to come eat gumbo from a plastic bowl in a downpour?"
Matt: I'm a ninja sir. I can make this work. HIYA! (Papers flutter to the floor as Matt strikes a karate pose)
Ok, so I've taken a little literary license in that retelling. However, Matt Lewis should probably wear a ninja outfit while cooking. Seattle's hungry are now addicted to Southern staples, thanks to Matt's ability to cook collards and fry shrimp in 100 feet of space. He makes everything from scratch (even the mayo), packing environmentally friendly containers with house-cured sausage Jambalaya, gumbo, juicy pork chops and sugar-dusted beignets.
"We do shrimp and grits everyday," offers Lewis. "But my biggest seller is the smoked portabello mushroom po-boy. It's what I call 'a sleeper sandwich.' People don't know about it till they try it. And then they dream about it."
Matt's latest dreams? They involve Roux — the new restaurant he's opening in early 2013.
As for his now locally famous truck, you can find it by visiting his website. While the truck does indeed switch locations daily, those parking spots are fairly regular based on the days of the week. Any changes to the route, and Matt lets you know immediately via that little wonder known as The Interweb.