The Return of CheddaTruck (Now with Burgers): Owner Says He's Back from Last Summer's Single Night of Success/Disaster

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

On June 30, 2012, Nick Watts' dream of owning his own food truck came true. And then, on the same day, it ended.

See also: L.A.'s Grilled Cheese Truck Makes Phoenix Debut This Weekend Street Eats Food Truck Festival Is Set for January 12 and 13 at Salt River Fields

The 34-year-old, who has worked with notable chefs such as Payton Curry (Brat Haus), Justin Beckett (Beckett's Table), and Jeff Yankellow of the defunct Simply Bread, spent months developing CheddaTruck, his mobile kitchen specializing in signature and build-your-own grilled cheese sandwiches as well as a side dish called Chedda Tots.

On the night of the success/disaster, CheddaTruck made its debut to a huge (and unexpected) crowd at Artistic Tattoo in Central Phoenix. Watts sold nearly 175 sandwiches in three hours, but customers were angry at the wait time (over an hour) and many left or were turned away. The experience stunned Watts, and he closed up shop the next day, apologizing to customers on Twitter and saying he would return, but not without making some major changes.

And now, it seems, Watts is ready to ride again.

Watts tells me he's coming back in the next couple of months and changing CheddaTruck's concept from grilled cheese sandwiches to inventive burgers. He'll keep his Chedda Tots on the menu and add other sides like deviled eggs.

"The concept will be somewhere between the Grill 'Em All and Baby's Badass Burgers [both in L.A.] food trucks," Watts tells me.

Focusing on local sourcing, Watts is planning on offering signature burger creations incorporating ingredients such as homemade chili, truffle cheese, and pastrami. He's also considering a patty melt made with Swiss cheese, purple cabbage, and beer-battered onions.

"With The Grilled Cheese Truck coming to Phoenix, I'm not sure the Valley needs another food truck selling grilled cheese sandwiches," Watts says. "I'd like to keep the name CheddaTruck since I'm still working with cheese, but another idea might be The Patty Wagon."

Watts tells me he's learned a lot since that night last summer (which he says he re-lives in his head everyday), and that this time around, he's better prepared. He's planning on extra people to help out and says he understands the importance of mise-en-place (the French phrase which means "everything in place") more than ever before.

Where will CheddaTruck make its second maiden voyage? Watts says he's currently working another Valley food truck, Old Dixie's Southern Kitchen, on a few ideas. One is renting a warehouse and inviting a few food trucks to serve a four-course "meal" to fifty people.

"I can't say I'm not scared [to return] because I am, but it's like hiking a mountain," Watts tells me, "You've got to keep doing it until you can prove to yourself you can beat it."

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.