Sep 26 2012

Red Truck – Truckee’s local lunch secret


Red Truck Truckee

Red Truck caters during the Labor Day consignment sale at Start Haus.

As the northern gateway to Lake Tahoe, or the last California town before the casinos of Reno, Truckee gets a fair amount of visitor traffic. As such there are a lot of restaurants that cater to the natural ignorance of a visitor and survive when they wouldn’t otherwise. While locals tend to guard their secret haunts for fear of them being overrun with tourons, my inclination is to share some of them so they survive.

Red Truck is one of those gems that I have little fear of losing to tourist overload for a couple of reasons. First, because they began as a restaurant on wheels, hence the source of their name. It’s a big red truck that used to be a regular sight on the busy side of Truckee during weekdays for lunch. Secondly, being mobile, they aren’t always in the same place. In fact they’ve become a bit scarce lately as word has leaked out and their presence is being requested elsewhere. :-(

Their menu fare is Asian in persuasion, with a strong leaning towards dishes from India like samosas, and their ever delectable Naan-wich, a scrumptious taco shaped meal wrapped in naan bread and filled with your choice of falafel, adana pork, keema beef, or chicken tikka-masala, and smothered in hummus, libneh, fattoush, hilbeh and tahini yogurt. Oh, I forgot, that’s my fave – you’ll hate it – try something else, like the naan-dog or something “safe” like a taco or burrito. ;)

Red Truck cuisine at Truckee's Runway Cafe

Red Truck cuisine at Truckee’s Runway Cafe, a hit for the airport business park.

Red Truck does more than lunches, it does a healthy business catering as well. After two years building a strong local following they won the contract for the food concession at the Truckee airport, so now they have place where locals can grab lunch year round; the truck hibernates from November through April.

Their strategy of offering healthy food on wheels has created a bit of competition with one of the better Mexican restaurants in town, Tacos Jalisco following suit with their own food truck. It isn’t direct competition based on the cuisine, just another option for lunch munchers who are in the know and so far, the only other food truck in Truckee.

About the only thing not to like about Red Truck is their mobility makes them somewhat elusive and hard to find if you don’t know their schedule. For the moment, their Facebook page is the best way to know where they will be and when. Or you can order up lunch at the Truckee Airport building, seven days a week from 9am – 3pm.

While their hours are somewhat limited, if you plan your ski tour right you can satisfy your hunger when you get down from dawn patrol as long as you don’t need to be to work until 10am.

Hey locals – what’s your fave dish on Red Truck?

Red Truck Truckee

© 2012