Business Excellence Awards
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By Kimberley Donoghue
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – What do you have planned for lunch today? If you’re thinking of heading to one of the local food trucks, a new face has joined the ranks.
Rocket Fine Street Food had its first day in Providence on Wednesday, serving food on Thayer Street for lunch and at the Pawtucket Winter Market for dinner.
The menu consists of many comfort food staples - mac and cheese, grilled cheese, tomato soup and a variety of burgers, including the Parisienne (think caramelized onions, Gruyere, aioli).
Owners Patricia Natter-Meneguzzo and her husband Joe Meneguzzo first opened Rocket in their hometown of Torrington, Conn., in 2010.
Both had been living in Miami, working in marketing and printing, respectively, and wanted to do “something” food-related but, she said, opening a full-fledged restaurant was “a little daunting” - so they quit their jobs and headed home.
“[Owning a food truck] is 10 times more enjoyable than we thought. It’s a whole different dynamic with food trucks. [The customers] enjoy meeting the person that’s cooking their food.”
“In the winter, it’s very quiet [in Torrington], and we really wanted Rocket to be a year-round business,” she said. “It’s a food-truck friendly city; people seem to really enjoy food here – so here we are!”
Other local food trucks – which include Mijos Tacos, Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ, Hewtin’s Dogs, Like No Udder, and Poco Loco Tacos – have been “very helpful” and welcoming, she said.
“We come from the idea that when food trucks get together – it creates a destination … a mini event,” Natter-Meneguzzo added. “We really feel like food trucks are beneficial for cities like Providence … to create buzz when there are activities.”
“There’s a life in [Providence] even in the winter – that was what we were looking for,” Natter-Meneguzzo said. It will be Rocket’s first time as a “true” street vendor, since in Connecticut they used park in a private parking lot and were not restricted to the 2-hour street parking permit limit.