If you’ve seen the move Chef, you’ll recognize the euphoric spirit of Feel Good Food Truck. Having cooked at a local pub for over a decade, Christian Schaumann, with his wife, Molly, thought: What the heck? Let’s do a food truck! They found one nearby, bought it, spiffed it up, and in a short time they were serving extraordinary meals unlike any other place in town. They describe their cuisine as “Comfort food with a twist.”
The original menu featured all kinds of creative sandwiches, but as Chef Jim Darby recently came on board, it is now more focused on creative grilled cheese and hamburgers. The creativity is dazzling, but before getting to that, let’s look at the burgers themselves. They are glamorous patties of beef, grilled juice-oozy and crunch-edged — great all by by themselves, with or without condiments. The house special burger adds rich pimento cheese and a plenitude of thick-cut bacon plus, of course, lettuce, tomato, and onion: a magnificent package. If beef is not your taste, consider the Juneau What?! burger, which is a handsome grilled salmon patty — moist and sweet-ocean flavored with a crisp crust, bunned with yogurt dressing and pickled onions. I’ve had salmon burgers coast to coast; none are so scrumptious as this. What I like best of all is the Hamburguesa, which is a very spicy chorizo sausage patty topped with PBR fondue, peppers, and onions. It’s a sensational combination of spicy-hot and creamy comfort food.
French fries are a must. They’re beer battered with crisp, golden skin that is a taste thrill in and of itself, enveloping creamy potato logs. You can have them plain, topped with PBR fondue or — most indulgent of all — covered with what’s billed as New Orleans gravy, which is peppery and chock-a-block with nuggets of sausage.
Although this place is a food truck, it does not serve fast food. It can take a while to wait in line before your turn comes to place an order, then to wait for the food to be cooked. It is all prepared in an impossibly tiny kitchen where dozens of things happen simultaneously. For all the seeming chaos, the staff are happy and cheerful and extraordinarily helpful when they discuss the menu. Miraculously, one of them frequently has time to actually step out of the kitchen to deliver food to customers sitting at the al fresco picnic tables. One day when Christian made one such excursion to deliver a meal, I asked him if the heavy work load bothered him. “I love it!” he responded, spinning around and fairly leaping back into the kitchen to tend the grill.
Note: the Feel Good Food truck is located at 1031 Richland Ave. but sometimes appears elsewhere in town. Check social media to find out where. Note also that indoor seating has been added for inclement weather. Further developments, food and drink-wise, are in the works, which we’ll report as they happen.