One of the great advantages of food trucks is that owners are on the truck daily. This brings a tight bond between the owner and their hungry patrons. Since many of us only get that small time between ordering and grabbing our food, I wanted to help bring us together. That’s when I got the idea, Behind The Wheel. Gets me back to telling the story and further enjoying – being around food trucks. This week I highlight Wright Up Ur Galley.
First in Flight.
First in Food.
First Triad truck featured in Behind The Wheel.
One feature that really takes off with this food truck is its approach to local. From the name of the truck down to the food source, local is apparent. Wright Up Ur Galley took flight in November 2013 and has been soaring since. It’s hard not to notice the truck with its purple dominant color scheme with yellow and reddish-orange highlights, its no surprise it won a design award.
The truck is a family-oriented business owned by Dan and Robert with Robert’s son, Shawn, and Nikki, Shawn’s girlfriend, operating it. Both Dan and Robert’s spouses are involved with Robert’s wife keeping track of scheduling and events and Dan’s wife preparing homemade falafel, hummus, and occasional desserts. While Wright Up Ur Galley landed at Potent Potables, I leaped at an opportunity to get Behind The Wheel (maybe cockpit for this installment).
A question everyone seems to ask, what is in the name?
Seems like an obvious question, but there is more to it than first perceptions. Yes, it is play on Wright Brothers’ First Flight in North Carolina. But the premise really comes from the saying “Right up your alley”. The saying exemplifies the food options the guest can expect. With a cuisine that ranges from healthy, vegetarian items to classic, traditional items – the guest should think its up their alley. Changing the words to more aeronautical puns is based on Dan and Robert’s appreciation to aviation. Further a galley is right up your initial thoughts. A galley is a the ship’s kitchen that is laid out efficiently with longitudinal units and overhead cabinets. With a food truck’s operating space having to be efficient its space, the galley easily came to mind.
In addition to the name, how else is the area tied to the truck?
Talking with Shawn, I really enjoy their local focus. One place they shop for ingredients is E.G. Forrest, which Shawn described as a smaller, regional distributor. When they can, they also like to go to the farmers markets and purchase local produce. Shawn also likes to use that produce at the same markets where it was purchased to highlight the local farms.
Where did you guys start?
Shawn started working in the kitchen for 12 years for a country club. And then, he wanted a new experience, a new challenge. Then he landed Wright Up Ur Galley, which he enjoys. It gives him something different each day and he has opportunity to introduce new items, or specials. He really enjoys the cooking side, which is why most guests will see Nikki when ordering. Nikki’s experience comes from the front of the house with serving experience. Comfortable talking to others as well as operating their POS terminal, the two of them work well on the truck.
I see cheesesteaks, paninis and falafel. How do you describe your cuisine?
Is it American cuisine with a Mediterranean twist or Mediterranean with an American twist? If you ask Dan: the choices are a diverse menu with a focus is on gourmet sandwiches consisting of traditional American favorites and a strong Mediterranean influence. Either way you look at it, the menu opens opportunities for great food with healthy and vegetarian options. A great example of this Mediterranean-American fusion is the Greek Philly (a mix of the classic Philly and a Greek Pita). If Mediterranean fusion is in your no-fly zone, there is chicken souvlaki for the traditionalist. Another example of the American/Mediterranean twist is Shawn’s choice of ciabatta bread for his burgers over the current trend to use a brioche bun. I don’t know why, but something about the texture and density of ciabatta just seems delicious.
What have you learned over the year?
Running a food truck takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and long hours. They also noticed North Carolina’s diversity based on the food people eat from the truck.
They learned about how to manage large events. During large events, they limit the number of outstanding tickets to five. They decided this after responding to Facebook comments where guests relayed their displeasure of long wait times. Since the change, guests have been more satisfied.
They also enjoy being a part of the food truck boom that they feel is redefining the food and beverage industry,
What is your favorite menu item?
The Chipotle Panini is one of Shawn’s favorites. It started as a special. And like all specials in the food industry, they eventually make the cut to the menu. The panini includes chicken, bacon, provolone cheese, avocado, and a chipotle-adobo sauce. My most recent visit explored the Southwestern style burger, a special similar to Shawn’s favorite. This a burger with chipotle sauce, pico de gallo, avocado, jalapeño, bacon, and provolone. I really enjoy the subtle heat that didn’t turn on the afterburners on my taste buds.
What is next?
With the truck almost paid off, the next step can be either another truck or perhaps a commissary location to share among other local food trucks.
What do you do for fun?
Note: I may have to retire this question, because most food truck operators look at me with the “Are you nuts” look or perhaps “Free time? What free time?
Shawn is originally from Michigan. So he cheers for Michigan (“Go Blue”) and Detroit-area teams. He did make time to see the Lions play the Panthers in Charlotte and will make time for the Red Wings when they play the Canes this season. Otherwise, its spending time with Shawn’s dogs, Nikki with her daughter, or prepping late at night for the next shift.
Where else do you land?
Mostly in the Triad area. You can catch them at Potent Potables on Mondays and frequently at North Carolina A&T’s campus. They are also at most Triad food truck festivals and events.
How to get them on your radar