We've always liked guys in trucks, although we never though we'd apply the rule to food trucks. That was until Gourmet Command Center hit the streets in their purple and black, totally pimped out, former-SWAT-surveillance-vehicle now turned food truck.
This roving kitchen demands to be taken seriously, folks. We mean it.
The Business: Gourmet Command Center, Gourmet Mobile Food & Catering Truck
What You Need to Know: Think East Coast inspired cuisine like cheese steaks, hoagies and subs. They're hoping to offer Maryland crab cakes, soft-shell crab sandwiches and shrimp po'boys at catered and special events. Never-fail sides like seasoned and sweet potato fries round out the offerings with deep-fried pickles and fried green tomatoes shoring up the menu's regional flare.
The Owners: Husband and wife team, Bernie Boyle & Cindie Powell-Boyle with assistance from family such as Bernie's brother Mike and sometimes, their kids. Cindie hails from South Jersey and the Boyle brothers claim Maryland roots. Together they're bringing their take on eastern seaboard flavors to the Sonoran Desert.
The Boyles own a candle shop in Glendale, but Bernie's got experience cooking in restaurant kitchens and comes from a family of restaurateurs. They couple say they have a passion for the business, even though it's "no cakewalk." (Despite having air conditioning, Bernie lost eight pounds on his first day working inside the truck's blisteringly hot kitchen - now that's a labor of love.)
Although the Boyles looked for a brick-and-mortar location to open a restaurant, Cindie says they struggled to find a location that fit their menu. Instead, like so many others, they decided to take the food truck route. They learned to appreciate the hands-on business model and immediate feedback from customers.
"We are people-people," says Cindy. "In a restaurant, you can hide behind your servers bit when you have a truck, you're it."
The Ride: Meet, The Beast.
"We definitely wanted it to stand out," says Cindie.
And that it does. In fact, Gourmet Command Center boasts what is probably the most well equipped mobile kitchen in the Valley. Because they make their home in a retired SWAT vehicle, they've got enough space for more gadgets and add-ons than most. Inside their towering vehicle (seriously, it dwarfs most other mobile food trucks) they have not only a 48-inch flattop grill, but also a six-burner stove, two deep fryers and a freezer. An air-powered "food lift" inside the truck will help the couple deliver food down to waiting customers below.
The truck's logo shows two males (inspired by the brothers) brandishing cheese steaks. The front of the truck is designed to look like a "beast," with glaring eyes and a snarling mouth.
Bernie served in the Marines, so Cindie says he's comfortable operating a variety of vehicles - which apparently includes over 17-feet tall transportable kitchens. Gourmet Command Center also offers discounts to police, firefighters, and military members.
In the countless nooks and crannies of the truck they've made small but valuable improvements such as an attached generator and extra power outlets. They hope to add a built-in drink cooler that will be accessible to customers and perhaps, a TV. Cindie says they're trying to figure out a way to be able to show football games from the side of the truck. Yeah, we can get with that.
You can find the Gourmet Command Center at the District Food "Other Side of the Trucks" mobile food court on Tuesdays at the Feed and Seed building from 11 to 1:30 p.m. They also attend the weekly North Scottsdale Farmer's Market from 8 a.m. to noon. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook or visit the Gourmet Command Center website for more information.