Wednesday, August 25, 2010


It was not long ago that mention was made by this blogger regarding the need to popularize Indian ethnic foods outside India, emulating the success of Mexican foods promoted by the two restaurant chains in the US, Taco Bell and Chipotle. The initiative by one of the reputed chefs in California to start a mobile restaurant peddling some Indian foods to American consumers, suitably modified to suit the local palate is commendable. The Food Truck phenomenon seems to be catching up with consumers probably because of the convenience, unique taste, reasonable cost, easy access and the simplicity.

Chef Sumant Pardal may hold the food truck speed record for concept to execution. Ten days after he decided to bring Indian food to the streets of Southern California the India Jones Chow Truck was on the road. Food quality wasn't sacrificed to speed, however; Pardal has been in the restaurant business for over 30 years and he has created a menu that's fast, functional, and delicious. The best example of this approach is the Frankie, which is India's answer to the burrito. Beef, lamb, cheese, fish, or shrimp are combined with cilantro tamarind chutney, chopped onion, and egg and wrapped in a roti, which is kinda like a thick tortilla. Chef Sumant also puts his own twist on non-Indian dishes with the Samosa Spring Rolls and Mango Baby Back Ribs, but if you're more interested in that ubiquitous item from the Subcontinent, the curry, you can choose from one of four different varieties. Whether you stick to the traditional Indian offerings or get more adventurous, it's hard to disagree with Cathy from the blog gas·tron·o·my when she calls India Jones "Simply delightful!"

Probably more such entrepreneurs may enter this line of business because one can start the business with low capital investment, quick start up and minimum over head costs. Relatively short time needed to launch the venture is another advantage. Being a chef with local experience has its own advantage and credibility. It is becoming difficult for Indian entrepreneurs in the US to establish new restaurants in most of the big cities because of high real estate cost and food truck mode recommends itself for a quick beginning and establish reputation within a short time. Also a truck has the wherewithal to shift the operation to different localities and by relying on the tweeter mode of communication, clientele can be kept informed about the location promptly.


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