Thursday’s Dish: Mueller Eats
When we moved into Windsor Park in December 2004, the city had just approved plans to develop the site of the old Mueller airport into a mixed-use space featuring high-density residential property, retail space, green space, and so on. It’s been nearly eight (!!!) years and it has been fascinating (and exciting) to see the little village sprout new features every few months or so. We love the park and the pool, and I have spent a fair amount of time on the greenbelt, trying to exercise off the unwanted effects of enjoying this city’s incredible food scene.
Of course, Mueller Eats makes such an endeavor that much more difficult, given the food trucks that have taken up residence at the Browning Hangar to feed the hungry denizens of Mueller and the surrounding neighborhoods. What’s extra cool about these trucks is that a couple of them are owned by folks who live in my neighborhood, which makes it that much more important for me to support them as much as I can.
The variety of cuisine on offer at Mueller Eats is a major plus, and each truck’s hours of operations means that there is something for your hungry family for every meal. In the morning, you can stop by the Elixir truck on your way to work for some coffee, dispensed out of an extremely cool, refurbished 1950s pickup truck. Elixir carries Fara Coffee and baked goods from Quack’s (can’t go wrong there!).
mmmpanadas is probably the longest-running food truck on site at Mueller Eats (fun fact: when they first got started back in 2007 or so, I realized we were neighbors when I spotted their bright red truck on a driveway on our street). As the name of the truck suggests, the menu here features handmade savory and sweet empanadas (I recommend the Argentinean and the S’more empanadas), all in the $4 or less range.
Short Bus Subs is probably my favorite truck on site. While I’m not a huge fan of the connotations invoked by the use of the term “short bus,” especially considering that all the sandwiches are named for school-related archetypes (The Cheerleader, Teacher’s Pet, the Lunch Lady), I am a sucker for a really good sandwich, and these guys have nailed it. The scratch-made bread is a wheat-white blend and is super tender (my Achilles heel – I would eat sandwiches for every meal if they were on the perfect bread, and this bread is darn close). On my most recent visit, I got the Spring Break, a flavorful combination of turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Ranch dressing. DELICIOUS.
The most recent addition to Mueller Eats is Fresh Off the Truck, featuring an Asian-fusion menu that includes katsu boxes, pork buns, banh mi, and Japanese potato croquettes called Korokke. Everything here is extremely fresh (that’s code for “if you don’t call ahead, be prepared to wait about 20 minutes or more for your food”). While I wasn’t super thrilled with my tofu banh mi (it was blandish and the battered tofu balls were too large and unwieldy), my friend graciously shared a bit of her Bruce Lee-mi (with barbecue pork and fried egg), and I was immediately plunged into a state of extreme sandwich envy.
As the days have grown hotter, my family and friends and I have been a bit more hesitant to visit trailer parks for dinners out because it’s summer and therefore quite hot, but the powers that be at Mueller recently erected some much-needed shade over the picnic tables so that visitors can enjoy their meals in a bit more comfort than before. There is a small play area for the tiniest tots, but if you’ve got restless kids, you may be better served taking your food across the way to the playground. Which, come to think of it, may be the best argument for mixed-use development out there: One-stop shopping for hungry families with energetic kids.
Written by Melanie Haupt