Todd Barrey picked the perfect name for his newborn food truck: Kräv. It's clever and a little bit foreign — just like his food. "We have sort of a Mediterranean feel: a little Italian, a little Greek, some Latin and Korean flair," he says. Even the truck's exterior, featuring views of the French Rivera, takes diners on a trip.
Last week was Barrey's first at downtown's Walnut Wednesday, and he brought enough Korean sausage and homemade kimchi to feed more than 100 people. Yet he still sold out midway through the lunchtime rush. His Greek seasoned chicken and orzo salad eventually sold out too.
The New York-trained chef cures and smokes his own pork belly, meaning sriracha sliders will eventually be headed to the menu. And a Ko' (Korean) Boy — instead of a Po' Boy — might make a cameo too.
But for now, Barrey is using a set menu, just to get his feet wet. He hasn't cooked professionally in almost 11 years and got the idea for Kräv only eight months ago.
"One day I came home and told my girlfriend, 'Hey honey, let's buy a food truck,'" he laughs. After a trip to Florida and a lot of customization, the culinary couple had their mobile kitchen.
Even though Barrey's cuisine comes from other countries, he has a lot of love for Cleveland. "I buy most of my product locally," he explains. "You can get almost anything in Cleveland, and that makes the city a great melting pot for cuisine. I think we start some trends the way we're cooking."
From the turnout last week, Barrey has already started one of his own. Selling half a roasted chicken for $10 doesn't hurt either. — Christina Sterbenz