New Orleans recently added another food truck to its ever-growing fleet of mobile munchies. If you’ve been hanging around Le Bon Temps Roule (4801 Magazine St.) the past couple of weekends, you have inevitably seen Skillet, the new food truck from Jason Vowell and Wylie Whitesides, shelling out late night delicacies on the curb.
“We’ve always wanted [a food truck],” said Vowell, who has been working with Whiteside in the film industry for a few years. “It started out where we threw a lot of film parties at our office,” said Vowell.
After they took the helm as self-appointed chefs for their parties, the two thought, “Maybe we can do this when we’re not working on movies.”
Daydream turned to reality when the film scene quieted, giving the two a chance to focus on food. They purchased a truck, and in no time the wheels were set motion.
“We found the food truck online. It was perfect timing so we went for it. We hit the ground running,” said Vowell.
For the past three weekends Skillet has posted outside of Le Bon Temps Roule and other bars, serving an ever-changing menu of green curry fried rice for vegetarians, boudin burgers for carnivores and a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for the early morning lushes.
“We call ourselves Skillet because we didn’t want to get locked into the grilled cheese truck or the taco truck. Our menu changes,” said Vowell. “We’re still trying to find out what works and what doesn’t work.”
One recurring item that does work is the boudin burger. According to Vowell, their take on the average hamburger brings in a large, eager crowd.
“We pulled up to Les Bon Temps and there were already people banging on the truck for the boudin burger,” said Vowell, adding that it will probably become a permanent item.
The success of the boudin burger can only be matched by the late-night success of the hangover killer, a bacon, egg and cheese with lettuce and a spicy Sriracha cream sauce.
“At the end of the night it always sells, from 2 am to 4 am,” said Vowell.
Skillet also offers an alternative to the BLT, a BLW, which substitutes the traditional tomato with watermelon.
“We’re catering to the drunk food crowd,” said Vowell.
But even drunk food doesn’t have to be unhealthy, or irresponsible. Skillet uses bread from the Boulangerie on Magazine and meat from the Cleaver and Co. on Baronne.
“We are trying to use as many local ingredients as we can and involve the community as much as we can. That’s going to be really important to us,” said Vowell.
Only a few weeks old, Vowell and Whiteside are still working on a set menu and schedule for Skillet, but if you need a hangover killer this weekend, they’ll be parked outside of Ms. Mae’s on Thursday, and Dos Jefes from 7 pm to 11 pm on Friday, until rolling on over to Les Bon Temps for the late night crowd. Saturday, you can find them on Freret in front of the Publiq House from 8 pm to 12 am, and then back to Le Bon Temps, for midnight.
“It’s all a big learning experience for us. We’re used to working with celebrities not cheeseburgers. They’re very similar,” laughs Vowell. “Both are very demanding.”
Correction 12:25pm: The story originally said that Skillet bought their meat from the Claiborne Meat Market. Skillet buys their meat from Cleaver and Co.