In a time when it seems like the entire city and culinary world have gone gaga for food trucks, no matter how good the trucks’ wares are, it takes a lot to show culinary restraint. The city’s still not allowing actual cooking to go on inside these trucks, but that may change. The A.V. Club is committed to staying on the cutting edge of the cutting edge. Thus, The Street Eat Beat.
In Japanese culture, many believe that turtles stand for longevity, tigers symbolize invincibility, and the duck is a symbol of good luck and served on holidays and during special occasions. Duck N Roll food truck owners Amy Le and Bing Zhou hope to share this good fortune with hungry Chicagoans across the city Thursday, Oct. 27, with the debut of their new mobile eatery at the Illinois Press Photographers Association Annual Gallery Show. Duck N Roll’s menu will feature Le and Zhou’s take on Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, sweets, and other fare that Le considers a moving tribute (literally) to her mother. With this concept, the co-owners are hoping to bring a mix of traditional recipes that boast “elemental-influenced yin and yang of flavor notes typically found in Asian food.”
Although Zhou is the more known of the two as owner of Chen’s and Koi Chinese And Sushi, Le is no stranger to the restaurant industry. She grew up in the kitchen of her mother’s restaurants in St. Louis, starting as a dishwasher when she was barely tall enough to reach the sink. Before she came to Chicago to study at Loyola University, she was managing the front and back of the house and over the years worked hard to perfect many of her mothers family recipes. Le and Zhou formed a business relationship when she worked for Zhou and his wife as an event planner for Chen’s and Koi’s, before eventually leaving to lead the social media and public relations for GrubHub. It was there that Le was inspired by the entrepreneurial drive to open Duck N Roll.
The banh mi sandwiches that the duck truck will peddle are made with a baguette holding pate or varied meats and garnished with fresh herbs and vegetables, with the 5-spice duck roll of the truck’s namesake as the menu’s standout. Also featured are miso-braised short rib banh mi, Shanghai pork belly banh mi, and Thai chicken curry banh mi. Food truckees with a sweet tooth will be happy to find an azuki bean cinnamon donut, Vietnamese iced coffee, and homemade soy milk. The full menu is available on the Duck N Roll website. Follow Duck N Roll on Twitter or Facebook for more information.