Milwaukee Venture Savors Soup, Served Up Roadside
The food truck phenomenon was a bit late in arriving in Milwaukee, compared to some cities, but there is an apparent renaissance underway. Buying food from a vendor on the street here is about more than lukewarm hot dogs – it’s gourmet cuisine, ranging from Asian, to pizza, to West African, to now – soup.
Steve Perlstein is optimistic that Milwaukeeans will enthusiastically slurp his tantalizingly sumptuous savory liquid concoctions. His enterprise – the Simmer Truck – comes off the back burner and to a full boil this weekend. He co-founded the truck with his wife, Jennifer.
Perlstein, who brought along some tomato basil soup to the Lake Effect studio recently, says it wasn't his initial plan to start a food truck. The former journalist-turned-chef originally planned to start a traditional, bricks-and-mortar restaurant, but the costs were daunting.
For a fraction of the price, he had a mini-school bus retrofitted to serve soup and sandwiches, and in the process, started a business that's far more flexible than a conventional restaurant.
"You know, if we don't want to run the truck on a particular day, we don't take it out of the garage, and we don't open. If a location isn't working, we start the engine and drive away and find another one." - Steve Perlstein
The Simmer Truck was started in part with crowd-sourced funding through a Kickstarter campaign, which in turn received a boost from an endorsement by Milwaukee musician - and Lake Effect alum - Trapper Schoepp: