Up for trying something different, food-wise, this weekend? I’ve got an idea: hit Boone & Crockett (818 S. Water St.) for some eclectic street food by the couple who operated Mina at the East Side’s Crossroads Collective.
Ryan Hoffman and Patrice Gentile are giving diners a taste of what they’ll offer at Gavilán, a food truck they’re soon to open with Ricky Ramirez, owner of Bay View bar The Mothership (2301 S. Logan Ave.). The truck will be stationed outside The Mothership, with a targeted roll out of April (maybe sooner). The Gavilán truck has been repurposed from its previous use as … a popular mobile food source, Foxfire Food Truck, which ended its run back in November. Ramirez bought the truck with a business partner.
As for the pop-up this weekend, Hoffman and Gentile will be offering up pizza rolls, Spam fried rice and other offbeat dishes at the Taco Moto truck parked outside Boone & Crockett. They’re serving Friday-Saturday March 18-19, from 6 p.m., and Sunday March 20, from 11 a.m.
A little background on Hoffman and Gentile: Transplants to Milwaukee from Illinois, the couple ran Mina – which itself had an eclectic, changing mix of offerings including a smash burger, pierogis, Italian wedding soup and braised beef cheeks – in the East Side food hall for about a year and a half, before closing it near the end of 2021. Following that, they briefly offered Mina Finish At Home Meals available for pickup in Bay View.
This new endeavor is a significant change from Mina. The Gavilán menu is inspired by several things (The Mothership’s wide-ranging drink menu, for one, featuring tiki drinks to Hamm’s beer) and it will evolve. “We’re at the starting place,” says Patrice. They plan to rotate menu items and offer daily or weekly specials.
This weekend, look for dishes grouped under the headings “Finger,” “Hand,” and “Tool” – reflecting size and how you eat it, whether by hand or utensil. Among the eats they’re doing this weekend are pizza rolls (yes, Totino’s) jazzed up with garlic butter and served with marinara; smashed potatoes served with toum (Lebanese garlic sauce); artichoke Parm; chicharrones de harina (a wheat-flour snack shaped like wagon wheels); a breakfast sandwich; garlic noodles; and the aforementioned Spam fried rice.
“It’s a fun project,” says Patrice. “We’re finding it both challenging and exciting to have it be whatever we want.”