As with most food-related new businesses in Chicago, The Slide Ride had some setbacks with launching its food truck, but now that owner and executive chef Nida Rodriguez has passed all of her inspections, the truck is ready to hit the road. The Slide Ride will make its Chicago debut at Food Truck Tuesdays tomorrow night in the CB2 parking lot at the corner of North and Halsted between 4 and 7.
The truck, which will focus on selling a changing menu of sliders, will launch with a classic ribeye with provolone, caramelized onion and horseradish; a caprese with tomato and mozzarella; and a chicken tomatillo. All the sliders will cost $3.50. Other trucks in the parking lot tomorrow include Meatyballs Mobile, Sweet Ride, Haute Sausage, 5411 Emapanads, Taquero Fusion and Arrf Scarf dog treats, according to Mobile Cuisine's twitter feed.
On Wednesday, Rodriguez plans to hit the road officially and thinks she'll first park the truck at 600 W Chicago Avenue at 11:30 a.m. since her off-site kitchen is located nearby in Ukrainian Village. She otherwise plans to focus her attention, at least for the first couple of weeks, on hitting the Loop and then branching out, possibly also to the Ravenswood Corridor. Eventually she may add a second afternoon run to feed students at DePaul and Northeastern Illinois universities, where people have requested she make stops.
Moving forward, Rodriguez will continually rotate her slider menu, incorporating sandwiches from various cultures, including a Korean BBQ slider (Korean braised short ribs with kimchi); Southwestern black bean slider; a mini pork banh mi slider and a chicken pesto slider with prosciutto and provolone. The truck will also sell Jiminy sweet potato chips, red velvet truffle balls and mini bottles of soda.
"We want to do affordable fun food on the go," Rodriguez said. "We're exploring different ethnic cultures and we'll change it up. I'm trying to get my bearings and start small by doing three to four sandwiches on the truck at a time."
While she has spent the last decade in corporate America, Rodriguez has always wanted to cook. Last month, she left her jobs as a senior analyst for Brunswick and before that, stopped pursuing her MBA in marketing and finance at Northwestern to focus on the Slide Ride. Since she doesn't have a formal culinary education, she tapped longtime friend Stephen Reyes of X-Marx to help develop the menu.
The Slide Ride [Photo: Facebook]