Monte Cristo, the fledgling food truck of the impressively pedigreed Danielle Custer, emerged early in the New Year with hopes of launching this summer. But, laments Custer, that time frame may have been a bit ambitious.
"I finally found the truck at the end of April"—these things can take a while —"and then we spent about six weeks doing design and the last two weeks tweaking a few final details. We are starting the build of Monte this week."
"I’m working on finalizing commissary location and health department next and figuring out locations," Custer added. (Also not an easy process.)
Not for nothing is Monte, Custer’s first foray into mobile dining, one of the more anticipated trucks out there. Before this venture Custer was director at Taste restaurant, and earlier in her career garnered accolades from Food & Wine and the James Beard Foundation. But perhaps most importantly, the woman is all about cheese.
"The assortment is classics to bold to esoteric," she says of the selection of five cheesy sandwiches she has planned. "Grilled, griddled, or open-face." Those, plus several soups, mac and cheese (of the classic and gourmet variety), fried cheese curds, and "some interesting sweet ideas."
Custer also hopes to tender wares from local purveyors, such as Deluxe Foods jam or Firefly Kitchen kimchi, and has intimated at a relatively novel concept for local food trucks: acquiring a liquor license. The permit would allow her to serve beer and wine for catering purposes, and possibly retail bottles. But, Custer hastened to note, she’s filing that away for phase two. "Once the Washington State Liquor Control Board settles down after all the changes, and Monte is running smoothly."