Mobile Meals in Rhode Island: Pat's Pastured & Acacia Truck
For years, farmer Pat McNiff dreamed of opening up a food cart to complement his stand at the Hope Street Farmers’ Market. Now, he operates the first and only farmer-run, farm-to-fork cart in Rhode Island, offering breakfast sandwiches, burgers, nitrate-free hot dogs, kielbasa and bratwurst made with his own free-range eggs and pasture-raised, grass-fed meats.
Best thing on the menu? A duck egg, bacon and cheese breakfast sandwich served up on a flaky cheddar biscuit. It’s rich and savory, a mouthwatering treat that persuades me to take home a dozen eggs and McNiff’s famous maple hickory smoked bacon. Keep an eye out for the launch of a Pat’s Pastured food truck, which McNiff plans to use for special events and burger nights at the farm.
—Elizabeth A. Davis
Vehicle: Custom-made cart from Top Dog Carts
Owner: Pat McNiff
Chef: Oliver Williams
Follow on: Twitter @PatsPastured; Facebook; PatsPastured.com
Favorite hangout: Hope Street Saturday Farmers’ Market
Most popular dish: Egg, bacon and cheddar breakfast sandwich on Foremost Baking Co. brioche or Seven Stars Bakery cheddar biscuit
Rain or shine: Yes
Most Served: 300+ weekly at the farmers’ market
Fall events attending: Hope Street Saturday Farmers' Market, September and October Burger Nights at the farm
Local purveyors: Wishing Stone Farm, Arcadian Fields, Zephyr Farm
A peace flag flutters from the window of Little Compton’s Acacia Café Food Truck, where Chef Dawn Brooks-Rapp fixes up gourmet sandwiches with mouthwatering international flavor.
“My truck is green,” says Brooks-Rapp, and it’s true: the jade-painted truck supports Rhode Island farms and small businesses, sourcing ingredients and supplies from East Bay farms, ecologically friendly
purveyors and family-owned Cambodian and Korean markets. Popular sandwiches like the “India in Vermont” (Indian-spiced grilled chicken, cilantro and cucumber salad, raita with sweet and spicy glazed naan) and the signature Vietnamese style Banh Mi (grilled pork or tofu on a baguette with a pickle of daikon, carrot, fresh cucumber, lettuce and lime mayo) are made with local, natural and organic ingredients—some of which are grown in Brooks-Rapp’s very own garden.
Vehicle: A repurposed New Jersey electrical contractor’s truck
Chef/Owner: Dawn Brooks-Rapp
Follow on: Twitter @AcaciaFoodTruck; Facebook; AcaciaCafe.com
Favorite hangout: Rhode Island’s East Bay!
Signature dish: Banh Mi Vietnamese-Style Sandwich
Rain or shine: Sunny summer months only so far
Crowd Favorite: Black Bean Burger (“I made it a million times to get it just right!”)
Fall events attending: Mount Hope Farmers’ Market and East Bay area festivals
Local purveyors: Skinny Dip Farm, Asiana Foods Market, Provencal Bakery