With fast-food and chain restaurants becoming increasingly abundant across the country, the amount of highly processed food that many Americans eat is substantial. For those, however, who enjoy fresh, ripe and delicious food, The Purple Carrot Truck brings a welcome change to the Lansing area. This mobile dining destination, which opened on May 6th, 2011, brings ingredients straight from the farm to the truck, where they make scrumptious brunches, lunches and dinners for patrons.
The brainchild of Nina Santucci and Anthony Maiale, The Purple Carrot Truck is all about bringing fresh, seasonal ingredients straight from local farms to diners. Both Nina and Anthony developed an enthusiasm for fine food early on. Anthony followed his passion by attending the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute and working as a chef in many prestigious restaurants. In one of these restaurants, he met Nina, who started out as a server and most recently was General Manager of Philadelphia’s Marigold Kitchen.
Nina and Anthony first became infatuated with the food truck scene in Austin, TX, and continued their interest as they moved across the country, in cities like Washington DC and Philadelphia. The pair decided in January of this year to bring the incomparable quality of locally grown produce and goods combined with the exciting atmosphere of the food truck to Michigan, Nina’s home state (she was born and raised in East Lansing).
And with Michigan being second only to California in agricultural diversity in the United States, what better place to come back to in order to utilize local produce? The farms that Nina and Anthony purchase goods from, though geographically similar, are fairly diverse; Wildflower Eco Farm, out of Bath, has over 60 types of fruits and vegetables, while Spartan Country Meats, located in Webberville, specializes in poultry, and Roma Bakery in Lansing provides homemade baked goods.
As for specific menu items, they are even more diverse than the farms their ingredients come from. With the menu changing as much as a few times a week depending on what looks best at the market daily, those who frequent The Purple Carrot Truck will certainly never be bored.
Reading the menu is enough to get your mouth watering; the basic fall menu includes soups (Titus butternut squash bisque and vegan broccoli “chedda” soup), salad (warm smashed potato-bacon), and several sammy’s (including beef bulgogi tacos and a Spartan Country chicken sammy). Soups will run at about $4, salads are $6 and sammy’s cost $7 a piece. For those who think choosing a favorite amongst the mouthwatering choices to be an impossible feat, the Purple Carrot Truck provides an out: pick a combo of any two items for only $7.50. Don’t forget to save room, if you can; the Purple Carrot Truck sells carrot cake, apple crisp and chocolate-peanut butter cup cake pops for only $1.
Make sure to check out The Purple Carrot Truck website for more info (here’s a link to take you directly to the truck’s daily locations if you’re already sold!) or to contact them about catering an event. ~Hayley Serr, Feature Writer
Enter to win a FREE Lunch from Purple Carrot! Visit our contests page!