- Jim Ingram
The Dayton-area food truck game isn’t as simple as buying a truck, heading out to rallies and cooking up a few of your favorite recipes.
Eye-catching imagery and an original angle are almost as important as the food itself. That’s why Dayton’s newest food truck owner took nearly three years to research and flesh out the idea behind Mega Bites.
“The original concept was to make food kind of based on video games. The cultural theme I thought would resonate really well,” said owner and chef Joel Farquhar.
But, after various surveys and taste tests, the avid gamer also chose the name to address what he feels is a need by foodies near and far: larger portions.
“One of the frustrations I’ve had over the years is watching prices go up and portions go down a little bit. We want to bring that elevated comfort food and larger portions to the forefront,” he said.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Farquhar earned a degree in Culinary Art from Sinclair Community College before obtaining his chef certification from the American Culinary Federation. At a time when many with similar accomplishments and aspirations would be kicking tires on trucks and planning dishes for the summer, Farquhar felt he needed to earn his wings by serving several area restaurants for a number of years first.
“It wasn’t enough to go to school. (I had) to get into the industry and spend some time and see what works and what doesn’t,” he explained.
Inspired in part by the originality and success of the Zombie Dogz food truck, Farquhar’s concept began to take shape.
“Every item on the menu has a theme that harkens back to a video game in some way. Like our mac and cheese will be called Little Mac and Cheese (Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out). That’s kind of the angle we’re going with,” he said.
Filling out the menu will be pulled pork sandwiches, a variety of grilled cheese options, lasagna and drool-worthy side items.
“Our sides our going to be better than the typical sides, I think. We’re going to have baked potato salad and macaroni and cheese and cheese bread,” Farquhar said.
Before taking Mega Bites out on the road, Farquhar’s research included enlisting the aid of area food truck vets Rolling Oasis Treat Truck to get a better idea of how things work in the highly-competitive industry.
“They have been an enormous help to me. I think it’s important to get in the door with somebody that’s been there for a few years and knows what they’re doing.”
Farquhar says he’s targeting the food truck rally at Laser Web in Centerville on May 6 for the debut of Mega Bites.