The secret’s out. NoDa Brewing Company and the TIN Kitchen are partnering to bring a food truck menu featuring NoDa beer-infused dishes.
Menu items from this food-truck collaboration, called “Somethin’s Brewing,” will be served starting July 1 at NoDa Brewing’s NorthEnd taproom (at 2921 N. Tryon St.). Suzie Ford, owner and president of NoDa Brewing, said, “We’re not chefs, we can cook at home, that’s about it. We don’t want to take our focus away from making good, consistent beer.”
So, in lieu of a kitchen, the brewery is bringing in Bessie, the TIN Kitchen’s original food truck.
What to look for
At first, the food will be rolling out of Bessie (who got this name because, as David Stuck, executive chef and co-owner of TIN Kitchen puts it, “She looks like a big old barnyard cow.”). Bessie will be onsite seven days a week beginning July 1.
But by late summer, a new food truck, named Wilbur, (yes, like the pig in “Charlotte’s Web”), will be parked outside with a logo blending the orange colors of NoDa Brewing’s branding with the rust tint of the TIN Kitchen’s branding to top off the food-truck/brewery partnership.
Ford said Wilbur will be at the taproom each evening, and all day on weekends, but during the day you’ll see him around town. (No, beer will not be served out of the truck since NoDa brewing has the ABC license, not the TIN Kitchen.)
Stuck is still working to prepare a seasonal menu incorporating NoDa’s brews like CAVU, Hop, Drop ‘n Roll and Coco Loco into sandwiches, wraps, nachos, tacos and desserts.
“David Stuck and (NoDa head brewer) Chad Henderson are great at beer pairings,” said Ford.
Two items to expect: (1) Pulled Pork Sandwich boasting smoked pork shoulder with NoDa Ramble On Red BBQ sauce and pineapple-red-cabbage slaw on a brioche roll, and (2) Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich featuring pan-seared rib eye with sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms, nacho cheese sauce and NoDa Woody & Wilcox au jus on a brioche roll.
“My favorite part of everything that we do as a company is when we get to create new stuff — menu items, specials,” Stuck said.
He said his team starts with a brainstorm, usually over beers to get the creative juices flowing, then makes some variations of a dish. When it comes to adding beer, they might, for example, be working with a spicy dish and try pairing it with a light, crisp, refreshing beer to alleviate some of the heat.
Regardless, he said, “We drink beer and we talk about it and then we make it.”
A vegetarian option in the making is a black bean slider. “We’ll probably drink another beer and make it,” said Stuck, who now has a working draft of the full menu.
TIN Kitchen’s normal menu will be running off of Bessie while the team continues to experiment with the beer-infused dishes as the summer goes on.
“The guests out here can check it out and let us know what they think,” said Stuck, who wants to to focus on incorporating both hot and cold elements, plus a blend of textures.
“We try to have some contrast to make the dish a little more interesting,” he said.
Once Wilbur hits the streets, 100 percent of new menu items will roll out as well.
More to come
Right now, NoDa Brewing is busy growing grass at their NorthEnd location, too. Their expanded patio (within walking distance of the food truck) is likely to be complete by the middle of July, with sun shades, disc golf baskets, a bocce ball court and plenty of grassy picnic spots. The brewery will even have blankets on hand for picnickers.
Ford’s suggestion: “Grab a beer and just sit out there and enjoy the sun… a little bit away from the real world.”
Photos: Jenn Harrison, Centerfold Agency, NoDa Brewing