Buzz about an organic vegan food truck has been building around Moab for a month now, but what exactly is the Food Tank, and how can you get in on “plant-based eats and healthy treats?”
Moab native Elizabeth Jimenez said the Food Tank is an emerging local hot spot aimed to provide quality food and “simplicity at its finest.”
Jimenez started organizing a menu and preparing to open the truck as soon as the project fell in her lap months ago, from long-term resident Helene Rohr.
“(Helene) just put full faith in my ability,” said Jimenez, who held the soft opening for the Food Tank at 239 W. Center St. on Sunday, April 30.
“It was really cool. People came to check it out because they’d heard about it through the community,” Jimenez said. “We decided to only be open Sunday at first since that’s the day everything else is closed. We started with one day so we don’t overwhelm ourselves and we have time to work out the kinks.”
The Food Tank is now open on Tuesdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for special events, and is cash only.
“We are trying to step away from everything that’s complicated,” Jimenez said. “The atmosphere and payment and everything is stress free. We use our days off to go get fresh produce and put time and energy into preparing it to provide beautiful healthy food for our community.”
Jimenez has been working in the restaurant industry for 13 years.
“I genuinely love serving food, but I have a hard time serving food I don’t believe in,” she said. “Finally – I get to serve food I’m excited to provide.”
Foodies and hungry folks who make their way two blocks west of Main Street can expect to find a bright pink food truck, painted with colorful vegetables. The Food Tank is currently serving a different soup, salad, and tea every day. Regular items include locally brewed kombucha and a number of specialty items. The “Truben” – a spin-off the popular Reuben sandwich – is Jimenez’s specialty vegan wrap, filled with marinated tempeh, sauerkraut, red cabbage and vegan cheese, served with a special sauce.
Rohr said that another specialty that can continue to be expected is the “Tater Teasers with the BFH sauce.”
“We started serving them with mushroom sauce too, which is also a big hit,” Rohr said.
The Food Tank is parked at Rohr’s office – a warehouse and wooded area under development on West Center Street. She calls the space the “Heli Pad.” Resident Amy Stocks came up with the name, referencing the taking off of ideas from meetings and gatherings held there.
“I want (the Heli Pad) to become a space where people feel comfortable just popping by to see if anything is going on,” Rohr said. “Maybe there won’t be – and they’re welcome to hang out and say ‘ah – sweet serenity!’”
Jimenez and Rohr said the Food Tank has big plans to host featured chefs, such as Kaye Davis, who has catered around town for events such as the WabiSabi Thanksgiving meal.
Jimenez said the Food Tank will cater one event a month at the Heli Pad that benefits the community of Moab in some way. The first of these events was held on May 21 in alignment with Mental Health Awareness Month. The Food Tank raised $222 to put toward mental health awareness next year, and catered to a full day of activities bringing awareness to the issue, including yoga with Tiffany Moyer, a prayer flag exercise, and a powerful speech from Stacy Hernandez.
“Talia Keys played the event for free,” Jimenez said. “She inspired me to do the event – people really respond to her.”
Jimenez said that locals can expect the truck to expand its hours and services.
“Keep an ear out,” she said. “We will have another community event in June. Right now we are just feeling it out to see what sounds like the community needs.”