The current popularity of food trucks has been pinned on Roy Choi, the Los Angeles chef who wowed a vehicle-centric city with his Korean tacos. Since Choi in 2010 picked up a "Best New Chef" award from Food & Wine magazine, legions of food truckers have assumed success rides on novelty. In San Francisco alone, there are trucks peddling artisanal artichoke-garlic corn dogs; Reuben tacos, and grits cheesecake.
And then there's Mama Chef, one of the newer food trailers in Charleston.
"Our speciality is sandwiches," co-owner Victoria Rehberg says confidently. "That's all we do. We didn't want to do 20 or 30 things on the menu. Our goal was to set up five or six sandwiches."
The sandwiches are straightforward: Turkey, pastrami, steak and cheese. Rehberg says she and her boyfriend, Carlos Munoz, have received great response from customers since they started parking the truck on Dorchester Road this April.
"So far it's been amazing," says Rehberg, who was inspired to coax Munoz into pursuing his food truck dream after airport construction forced her out of a job at Hudson News. Munoz still works for Southwest Airlines.
Munoz, who previously had a sandwich operation in Orlando, drew on his heritage to create the truck's Cuban and tripleta (steak, pork and ham) sandwiches.
"The Little Star of the Caribbean also sells the sandwiches we sell," Rehberg points out. "They're both good, but ours are different. I don't know if it's the marinade or type of bread we have."
Rehberg says she and Munoz hope to start bringing their truck to events. For more information on Mama Chef, visit facebook.com/MamaChef.sc.