Restaurant News & Reviews

Cheap Eats: More Triangle food trucks go brick-and-mortar

The Vegan Flava Cafe, which started as a food truck, has a brick-and-mortar location in Durham.
The Vegan Flava Cafe, which started as a food truck, has a brick-and-mortar location in Durham. jleonard@newsobserver.com

A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains. This month, we revisit a trend that shows no signs of letting up: mobile vendors opening brick and mortar locations.

American Meltdown

6910 Fayetteville Road, Durham

919-473-6358

americanmeltdown.org

How they roll: Inventive grilled cheese variations, from Pigs ’n’ Figs (local goat cheese, black mission figs and balsamic) to The Orchard (cheddar, apples, rosemary and ham on Gughhupf bread), now available in the food court at The Streets at Southpoint mall.

Gussy’s Place

2945-121 S. Miami Blvd., Durham

984-439-8455

gussys.com

How they roll: Avgolemono soup and a pita sandwich (chicken, gyro or falafel) if you’re looking for a quick bite, or one of the weekly specials (stuffed peppers, roasted lemon chicken) for a splurge. Either way, spring for the Greek fries with lemon, oregano and sea salt.

Heavenly Smoke

1058 W. Club Blvd., Durham

919-257-7074

heavenlysmoketruck.com

How they roll: Owner Shawn Stanley is especially proud of his brisket and smoked turkey, both of which you can now score at the Northgate Mall food court. Order the Carolina Slammer and you get both, plus bacon and relish on a toasted garlic bun.

Makus Empanadas

1125-304 W. NC Hwy 54, Durham

919-390-7525

makusempanadas.com

How they roll: Argentinean-style baked empanadas with your choice of nine fillings, from beef (made from the owners’ family recipe), to sweet corn, one of four vegetarian options. Don’t miss the house-baked cookies and dulce de leche dip.

Pie Pushers

117-A W. Main St., Durham

919-294-8408

piepushers.com

How they roll: The thin-crusted pizza and fresh local toppings that made this truck a perennial favorite are still available by the slice or whole pie at this new spot above the Pinhook bar. Now you have lots more toppings to choose from, plus an assortment of salads and wings (dry-rubbed or fried).

Vegan Flava Cafe

4125 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham

919-960-1832

veganflavacafe.com

How they roll: “Fish” cakes are worth a special trip on Fridays, when they’re a daily feature. The rest of the week, choose from an eclectic offering that includes chana masala, Creole red beans and rice, ground walnut tacos and “tuna” salad made with shredded carrots.

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