Lobster poutine! Harvest fries! What we learned about one of our favorite food trucks

Lobster poutine and mushroom poutine are among the favorite dishes served by Harvest Mobile Cuisine. CONTRIBUTED
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Lobster poutine and mushroom poutine are among the favorite dishes served by Harvest Mobile Cuisine. CONTRIBUTED

Smithsonian Magazine wrote a fascinating article in 2012 detailing the food truck phenomenon. It traced this dining revolution American cities across the country have seen back to its roots in Los Angeles.

Author Jonathan Gold wrote, “At a time in America when finances are shaky, yet even modest big-city restaurant spaces involve multimillion-dollar build-outs, when consumers have wearied of giant chains but still demand food that is novel, inexpensive and fast, food trucks are the new incubators of culinary innovation. The food-truck phenomenon exploded in cities across the United States …”

  

I’m a huge fan of food trucks. They are convenient, affordable and offer fantastic al fresco opportunities to experience something new in quick fashion without a major commitment. The energy at a really good food truck rally is often as delicious as the dishes being served up.

One of my favorite go-to local food trucks is Harvest Mobile Cuisine.

They serve food in both the Dayton and Cincinnati markets and have been making a name for themselves with each plate served up.

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This spring they participated in the Taste of Cincinnati. Prior to the Memorial Day event they participated in a “Best of Taste” competition for all 56 food vendors participating. Harvest Mobile Cuisine entered four categories and placed second for best appetizer with their fantastic, rich and decadent lobster poutine and third for best side with their trademark brussels sprouts. The accolades they earned said it all — they were a must stop at the event.

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Patrick Sartin is chef and owns Harvest Mobile Cuisine along with his wife, Becky. CONTRIBUTED

Patrick Sartin is chef and owns Harvest Mobile Cuisine along with his wife, Becky. CONTRIBUTED
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Patrick Sartin is chef and owns Harvest Mobile Cuisine along with his wife, Becky. CONTRIBUTED

Patrick Sartin is chef and owns the business along with his wife, Becky.

Sartin credits his work in high school at Kohler catering for igniting his passion for food production and the hospitality industry.

“It was the Kohler family who recognized my passion and skills of cooking, and recommended that I attend culinary school to further my training. I attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., graduating in 2002. Upon graduation, I set a goal to travel and learn as much indigenous food cultures of the United States as I could. I was fortunate enough to land positions at prestigious hotels and restaurants across the country cooking with very talented and passionate culinarians, while also having the opportunity to work under two certified master chefs. It was these travels and experiences that molded me into the inspired culinarian I am today.”

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Harvest was a thought the Sartins had in 2008 when the food truck scene was exploding on the West Coast.

“My wife, Becky, and I were working for a large hotel group in the Northeast and wanted to start our own business. Traveling back to Ohio to visit family we noticed that the local food scene in the Dayton area could use a boost and we felt we could make a good impact if we brought our knowledge and experience to the area. After much thought and planning, we decided to move back to my roots, and build a business supporting the hard-working local farmers and producers who were going virtually unnoticed,” said Patrick.

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Lobster poutine and the Harvest Burger from Harvest Mobile Cuisine. CONTRIBUTED

Lobster poutine and the Harvest Burger from Harvest Mobile Cuisine. CONTRIBUTED
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Lobster poutine and the Harvest Burger from Harvest Mobile Cuisine. CONTRIBUTED

“Once we decided that we were going to leave coastal Maine and start our own venture in Ohio, the search for a mobile food truck began. Through this search we found that instead of buying a used unit, it would be in our best interest to build out our own mobile restaurant, designing it similar to the hotel and restaurant kitchens we were familiar with. We were interested in having a unit that could offer catering services as well as quick service meal, while also acting as our prep kitchen and commissary. After much planning, and research, we found a used step van in Indiana and began building our dream with the help of local fabricators,” he said.

Sartin describes the food served out of the Harvest Mobile window as, “eclectic comfort foods produced utilizing seasonal locally sourced organic products, and health-conscious cooking techniques.”

Menus vary weekly based on seasonality and availability from the local farms they source from. For weddings and private parties they build menus to suit the clients vision, dietary restrictions, and suggestions.

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Patrick Sartin recently answered some questions about his 2019 food truck season. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: How would you describe the flavors that guests will encounter when they come to your food truck?

A: Fresh and unique. Our goal is to showcase the fresh local ingredients we are utilizing. By cooking foods to order utilizing modern trends and health-conscious techniques, we feel we create a lasting impression on palates and a craving for more.

Q: What do you think made your food unique and interesting?

A: Utilizing modern trends and techniques, as well as the best locally sourced products we can find. Our goal is to make the local growers' hard work shine. We strive to serve items that make you feel good about yourself and the community you're supporting by sourcing from Harvest. We strongly feel the heartbeat and overall health of a community starts with food, and the folks who grow your food. By sourcing from Harvest, you are truly tasting and supporting your community in every bite. We source from 12 small family businesses in and around the Dayton area who are deeply rooted in providing the best product possible. We are a true local community food establishment. It is the producers and growers of the products we utilize that deserve a good portion of the credit for our success.

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Patrick Sartin is chef and owns Harvest Mobile Cuisine along with his wife, Becky. CONTRIBUTED

Patrick Sartin is chef and owns Harvest Mobile Cuisine along with his wife, Becky. CONTRIBUTED
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Patrick Sartin is chef and owns Harvest Mobile Cuisine along with his wife, Becky. CONTRIBUTED

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Q: What do you think your food truck brings to Dayton’s culinary scene?

A: I feel we provide a unique approach to the food truck scene as we source all our items in season from local vendors. Our offerings are unique to the Dayton market as most are inspired from our travels and brought back to share with the fellow foodies of the area. We used modern techniques to create comfort food items with a twist. We cook all our food with the utmost respect and love for the products we are utilizing. We do not utilize commercial processed or pre-made products and cook all our offerings on site to order for the guest.

Q: What plans do you have for the next year for Harvest Mobile?

A: We plan on continuing to grow our catering services, and hope to find the right location to expand our dining experience into a solid location. Though a few places have presented themselves to us over the years, we are waiting for that right fit to showcase our style and community driven focus.

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Brussels sprouts from Harvest Mobile Cuisine. CONTRIBUTED

Brussels sprouts from Harvest Mobile Cuisine. CONTRIBUTED
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Brussels sprouts from Harvest Mobile Cuisine. CONTRIBUTED

Q: What are your signature and most popular dishes?

A: Lots of guests love our brussels sprouts, lobster poutine, and Land and Sea BLT, all of which have won us numerous awards throughout our years in business. Our Harvest Burger is also very popular. We use Bowman and Landes ground turkey to produce a mouthwatering burger that continues to please folks with its delicious yet simple flavor. Lastly, our Harvest fries are very popular and a crave worthy item by many folks who enjoy the variety of potatoes french fried to perfection with the unique seasoning blend and fresh herbs. The fries are served with a scratch made Sriracha ketchup which adds an additional bonus to those curious palates.

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Q: What has the reaction been from customers since you have opened?

A: Honestly it's been a very mixed reaction. Both Becky and I have a different approach to food and nourishing our bodies than others in the immediate area. We get a lot of folks who tend to quickly ignore us as they don't understand what we are all about, and we don't offer the simple common foods at a discounted price. On the other hand, we have a solid core of customers who adore what we do and follow us around getting all they can of what we offer. For organic local food fanatics we offer a value that is not comparable to anything in the immediate market. To us, it's difficult to find slow food being produced in a fast manner utilizing locally sourced seasonal ingredients and health-conscious cooking. We feel we are just that and a new way to view fast food in our growing culture. Year after year, day after day, we are slowly turning more minds in our direction of a truly fresh local quick service meal.

Q: Any other news to share with readers?

A: We were graced with the arrival of our second child and first son Silas Parker Sartin on May 22. As he prospers, we intend to continue our mission of growing alongside the community with locally sourced food being the forefront. With continued support of the local farmers and producers with our flavorful, sustainable, thoughtful food and uncanny passion for hospitality service, the possibilities are limitless for the future.

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Pork belly tacos from Harvest Mobile Cuisine. CONTRIBUTED

Pork belly tacos from Harvest Mobile Cuisine. CONTRIBUTED
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Pork belly tacos from Harvest Mobile Cuisine. CONTRIBUTED


WHERE TO FIND HARVEST MOBILE CUISINE

Harvest Mobile Cuisine is now in its seventh year operating. Since opening, they have turned more toward private catered events and weddings. They also frequent large festivals throughout the spring, summer and fall, as well as serving at The Yellow Springs Brewery once a week.

Their schedule of events can be found on their website — www.harvestmobilecuisine.com — by looking at the calendar and selecting the "find the truck" tab. They also post our locations weekly on our social media pages via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @HarvestMobile1.

With an event schedule that varies from season to season, there are some staple events they attend annually.

Harvest Mobile Cuisine annual events include:

• SpringsFest Music Festival, July 6

• Union Centre Food Truck Rally, Aug. 9

• Art on the Lawn Yellow Springs, Aug. 10

• Art on the Commons at Fraze Pavilion, Aug. 11

• Springfield Rotary Food Truck Challenge, Aug. 17

• ArtFest Beavercreek, Sept. 15

• Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience Fest, Oct. 5 and 6

• Dave Chappelle’s Juke Joint — Dates and times vary. Harvest Mobile Cuisine has been a part of all the Juke Joints that have taken place in Yellow Springs

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