Brisbane's newest food van ... Neil Gladwin with The Pasta Cruiser. Photo: Natascha Mirosch
Brisbane's newest food truck is to hit the streets this week.
The Pasta Cruiser is the brainchild of former finance and mining worker Neil Gladwin.
“I was made redundant and spent several months thinking about what I should do. I'd been travelling a lot and didn't want to do that any more. The food truck concept has really taken off in Sydney and Melbourne, then we saw the Bun Mobile and how popular it was here. I have a friend who has a pasta factory, so I made the connection and thought it was a great opportunity.”
The truck, which Gladwin bought in Melbourne has had many incarnations he believes, including a stint as a former Smith's Chips truck. He's kitted it out, but says it's been a fairly simple operation.
“Really the pasta cooker is our main thing- we don't have deep fryers or fat or anything, so it's pretty low risk.”
The Cruiser's pasta is freshly made and cooked to order in just 3 minutes, Gladwin says. Varieties will change, but staples will include spaghetti, linguine, pappardelle as well as specials such as ravioli. There are also home made sauces, changing according to whim and popularity but might include roast pumpkin with feta and sun-dried tomatoes, a chorizo, chilli and tomato or beef and pulled pork bolognaise. All sell for $9 per bowl with packets of the fresh pasta also available to take home, for $6 which would serve four. Diners will also be able to pick up dessert, with a selection of Pat & Stick's ice-cream sandwiches.
The search has been on for suitable sites as mobile food vans are required to operate on private property.
“I'd chosen a few sites but then when I actually picked up the van on Friday and drove through the city, I realised that they weren't actually suitable for a van,” Gladwin says.
He has however locked in a few, with first service scheduled for this Thursday from 11.30am to 2pm at CarZoos on Ipswich Road in Woolloongabba. You can follow the Pasta Cruiser on Twitter or Facebook to find out where they'll be on a daily basis. thepastacruiser.com.au