Originally Published: November 14, 2014 6:04 a.m.
You've heard about food trucks being the latest culinary trend, and you're looking to find one?
Then check out Soldi, across from Prescott College on Grove Avenue just off Gurley Street.
OK, so they had to take the wheels off the truck in order to get city permits. (The City of Prescott is not a huge fan of food trucks.) Even so, Aimee Novak stresses her Soldi - a hit with "foodies" since it opened two years ago - is a food truck, not a traditional restaurant.
In the food truck landscape, Soldi is more than a little different, with vegetarian selections and other healthy/non-greasy options.
"It's a gourmet food truck," Novak says.
Lunch items include the likes of Pad Thai Chicken Taco (three mini-street tacos with roasted chicken, grilled mushrooms, chopped peanuts, $6.50) and Autumn Pasta Salad (chopped apples and pears, dried cranberries, candied walnuts and celery mixed with pasta, $9).
For breakfast, Soldi serves up such treats as Croque Madame Muffins (two bread muffin cups layered with ham, gruyere cheese, an egg topped with Mornay sauce then baked, served with seasonal fruit, $9) and Pumpkin Apple Muffin (with pecan streusel topping and seasonal fruit, $5).
"I can't quit coming!" says one regular, who ordered a Spanish roasted veggie sandwich ($8.50).
"It's all gourmet," adds another regular, "and affordable."
In addition to breakfast and lunch, his Tuesday through Friday eatery has a "small plates Friday happy hour."
Soldi patrons order at the food truck window, then take a table, either on the outdoor patio or indoors.
Novak's menu changes weekly, and is all over the map.
"The food is quite eclectic," said John VanDomelen, enjoying potato and beer-battered tofu street tacos. "You never know what's going to be on the menu. Which is part of the fun."
Novak took time from prepping for a lunch service to answer a few questions.
Q: Where does the name "Soldi" come from?
A: It's Italian and has several meetings - it means "dough," it means "loose change" and it means "beer money." We wanted to offer gourmet food on a budget.
Q: Where did you get the idea for a food truck?
A: I was traveling a lot and ate at from food trucks all over. I thought, "There aren't any food trucks in Prescott - let's start the revolution here."
Q: What's your most popular menu item?
A: When we bring in street food from around the world. Two weeks ago we had a sandwich from Poland. And the Vietnamese Bahn Mi is always popular. Our most popular draw is usually something from another country.
Q: How about a "menu bomb" that you thought would be great but didn't sell?
A: The first time I made falafel I didn't sell one for an entire week. I didn't bring it back for half a year, then my husband said we should try it again. The next time I brought it back we couldn't keep it.
Q: What's the Friday night thing like?
A: We call it small plate happy hour, from 5 to 8. You can bring your own bottle - one bottle (of wine)
per person or 40 ounces of beer. It turns into a little more full service.
Q: What does "food truck" mean to you?
A: It means casual. You order at the window and we bring it out to you. It's fast, casual, friendly. You stand and wait in line and wait to order, it's all part of the novelty of having a food truck in town. I change my menu every week, partly because I am so limited on refrigeration space.
Q: Favorite area restaurant that's not yours?
A: I'm an old timer, I'm going to say Iron Springs.
Q: Future plans for Soldi?
A: We will expand hours next year. We recently did a survey on Facebook. We asked what the people wanted. The greatest response was they would like a brunch and another evening.
- By Tom Scanlon