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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Food Truck Roundup deals diverse street eats


Sally Lugo / Arizona Summer Wildcat

A patron orders food from Jackie’s Food Court during Food Truck Friday at the Downtown Clifton on June 5.

Tucson families gathered around picnic tables to devour scrumptious local food at the Tucson Food Truck Roundup on Father’s Day.

Cuisine ranging from delicious Mexican fajitas to authentic Neapolitan-style pizza transports roundup-goers from the hot desert sun to far-away locales with exotic foods.

For Luke Smith, co-founder of Fiamme Pizza Napoletana, his partner, Scott Volpe, had the privilege of apprenticing under a Neapolitan master pizza maker, or pizzaiolo, born and raised in Naples, Italy. Volpe wanted to open his own pizza truck after training for two years.

“We both have always been really into food; we both really love cooking,” Smith said. He and Volpe decided to team up together to bring the Tucson food truck community an authentic Italian pizza.

Fiamme’s Neapolitan pizza is made with flour and tomatoes imported from Italy, dusted with fresh basil and cooked in a portable wood-fired oven.

“There’s none of this in Tucson,” Smith said.

The couple’s menu boasts a variety of options, including pizza Bianca, traditional pepperoni and the ever popular margherita. All of the pizzas are made with natural wild yeast starter culture, ensuring a high quality dough that won’t leave you bloated. With their business expanding, the two are in the process of creating a business plan to open a restaurant in the next two years.

After Ashlee Ryan and her mother, Jackie Ryan, were laid off during the recession, the two were inspired to become a part of the food truck community upon seeing a lone hot dog stand for sale. The result: Jackie’s Food Court.

The Ryans desire to keep their family traditions alive and incorporate family recipes into the American foods they enjoy creating.

“We couldn’t find a really good cheesesteak in town,” Ashlee Ryan said. “We took a family recipe and twisted it a little.”

With family roots in the East Coast, the two decided to take their family’s recipes and create their own cheesesteak by taking their cream cheese sauce from a stuffed mushroom recipe and adding it to the cheesesteak meat. As a result of their culinary innovation, the two were able to create a unique cheesesteak that tastes like no other.

The Jackie’s Food Court menu is all-American with a Tucsonan twist, boasting hamburgers, Sonoran hot dogs, fries and jalapeño poppers. By incorporating their family recipes with all-American foods, customers are given the sense of a traditional home-cooked meal.

With interest in food trucks on the rise and founders becoming more creative with their styles of food, Tucson locals are able to experience the foods from various countries and cultures all within one roundup.

The Tucson Food Truck Roundup changes locations and incorporates different trucks every week. The roundup setting has become a great space for families to gather to experience a unique food community. Join the various chefs at Sycamore Park for Date Night Food Truck Roundup on Saturday, June 27, at 5 p.m., or find their Facebook page for updates on future endeavors.

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