Street Eatin'

How a Barbershop Challenge Spurred the Creation of Lick Food Truck

The story of—and what to expect from—the soon-to-debut mobile vendor.

By Christopher Werner November 5, 2010

Look for Lick food truck early in the New Year.

It all started at Major League barbershop in Renton. There a barber named Adrian threw down the gastro gauntlet and told a Michael Darby he didn’t believe the recently laid off businessman could cook. Darby took it as a challenge.

He returned to the barbershop, samples of his Asian-soul-Caribbean cuisine in tow. People liked it—"You’re about to be a rich guy," they told him. So the next day he brought in more—people liked that, too. Word spread of Darby’s delicacies, the phone calls came flooding in, and soon Darby was running a de facto catering biz, feeding nearly 10 barbershops and beauty salons.

That was October of 2009. One year later and Darby is partnering with Yoli Chisolm for the mobile corollary: Lick. The team is currently working to meet the city’s (possibly relaxed) pavement laws, and is negotiating on the purchase of a truck. They hope to hit the road early in the New Year.

When Lick does, try what Darby deems the signature item: the "Itus," a play off the po’boy but with grilled chicken. The name, he says, refers to that sleepytime feeling you get after gorging on food. (Maybe he means this?) Also look for a deep-fried pancake with blueberry compote and a po’boy-esque Moroccan shrimp sandwich—an example, Darby notes, of the sort of flavor melange Lick plans to offer up.

"Seattle is a big, eclectic place" and Lick will follow suit with something for every taste, he added.

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