"We are a little different from the other food carts out there," explains Izzy Schachner, owner of the soon-to-debut StrEat Mobile Bistro. "Technically, we are considered a mobile restaurant, not a food cart. This is a full kitchen on wheels."
The larger and better equipped rig features all the necessary sanitation, prep stations, and refrigeration of a small restaurant kitchen. This obviates the need for a separate commissary, and it means StrEat will rarely run out of food.
Schachner, who also runs Cleveland Corporate Caterers and the Courthouse Café (in Federal Courthouse), says the big rig allows him to do professional production catering for the film industry, including locally shot movies, commercials and corporate production. He got the idea while serving as caterer for the independent film "Freerunner," which was shot in Cleveland last summer.
"West Wing" fans might be interested to know that the truck served as official craft services provider for that show's cast and crew. The $100K mobile kitchen was purchased in Los Angeles and driven to Cleveland.
"I'm a diehard Clevelander," says Schachner, who grew up on the East Side. "I could live anywhere I want to but I want to do this here."
As for the grub, Schachner says diners can expect locally sourced, chef-driven soups, sandwiches, salads and sides. There is a StrEat burger, braised pork belly sandwich with spicy peanut butter, pulled roasted chicken sandwich with red cabbage slaw, grilled cheese with feta, tomato and fresh basil, and mac and cheese. Waffle fries come with a trio of dipping sauces.
Prices range from $4 to $7 for most items.
StrEat Mobile Bistro will be having its soft launch this weekend, Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. outside the Flying Monkey Pub in Tremont. Follow them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/strEatmobilebistro and Twitter @strEatmobile.