By Cindy Rowland
When you live in Connecticut, food trucks seem more like phantoms that foodies in Los Angeles and Chicago get to gush about. But not us. Sure, we have a few excellent trucks run by bakeries. But where’s the Hawaiian Korean barbecue? Or the designer falafels? Well, if you’ve been feeling left out of the innovative street food phenomenon, breathe and sigh of relief and get yourself over to Torrington. Yes. Torrington.
Since August of 2010, the Rocket Fine Street Food truck has graced the streets of Torrington, and can often be found at the Torrington Farmers’ Market or Bantam Lake. In the past year the truck has developed an avid following including folks who make a special trips from well outside of the northwest corner of Connecticut.
The food served from the Rocket truck surpasses most restaurants in the area because its owners strive to maintain the highest level of quality using local and organic ingredients as often as they can. They shy away from added hormones, antibiotics, and high-fructose corn syrup. Everything is made from scratch using natural ingredients.
The owners’ insistence on quality ingredients and preparation makes itself apparent in the most unassuming of dishes. For instance, the Chickpea Salad, tucked at the bottom of the menu, is a most pleasant surprise. The beans themselves are superb and are perfectly dressed with fresh basil, parsley, lemon, olive oil, and parmigiano cheese. It’s the kind of food you can’t stop eating even when you’re full; and even when you don’t consider yourself a fan of chickpeas.
Other offerings of note include the Green Chili Cheeseburger, the Chicken Taco, and the Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwich with Basil Oil, and the Mom’s Baked Mac ‘n Cheese. The portion sizes are perfect for a hearty snack or a light meal. If you’re really hungry, you’ll be lucky enough to fit an entrée or two and maybe even a side into one meal. And then you might have to get a humongous chocolate chip cookie for “later”. However, the menu tends to change with the seasons. So once you are lucky enough to find the truck, come with an open mind and enjoy whatever it happens to offer on a particular day.
Co-owner and chef, Joe Meneguzzo, grew up in Torrington. He’s worked in restaurant kitchens far and wide. When he partnered with Patricia Natter, an avid baker, and convinced her to move back home with him, the stage was set for Rocket Fine Street Food. The truck’s website offers details of the truck’s latest exploits, pictures of the truck superimposed at the recent NASA shuttle launch, and most importantly, updates on the truck’s actual whereabouts. You can also keep tabs on the truck through Twitter and Facebook.
Cindy Rowland (@fixmeasnack), lives in Granby, Connecticut. When she isn’t chasing down food trucks, she is developing healthy snack recipes and chronicling her family’s snacking adventures on her blog, Fix Me As A Snack.