How cold is it? Cold enough that the water line to Roy Osborne’s food truck froze this week – adding a kink to his opening week plans at Pioneer Business Park, in East Syracuse.
Even if that hadn’t happened, subzero is too cold to be working in a food truck – and too cold for people to want to come out. Temperatures in the twenties will seem positively balmy compared to this frigid snap. Besides, the extra time allows Osborne to think about the special events he’ll drag his trailer to in the months ahead – when the weather is warm -- even hot.
Osborne, of Clay, owns and operates the Ossie’s StrEATery food truck, which made its debut last fall at the Connective Corridor Food Truck Rodeo in Syracuse. His breakfast and lunch menus offer breakfast sandwiches and burritos, a pulled pork sandwich, chicken Riggies and a soup of the week.
But the specialty of the house is Osborne’s handmade, “cake’’ donuts – or fried cakes, as they are sometimes called. They’re made on the truck and available in plain, cinnamon sugar and apple cinnamon - $1 for a single, $5 for a half-dozen and $10 for a dozen.
“They smell great, they taste great and people will wait in line for them,’’ Osborne says. He’s serving Cafe Kubal coffee, because “donuts and coffee just go together.’’
Osborne, 52, spent 15 years as baking director for Penn Traffic, which operated P&C stores in Central New York before declaring bankruptcy. So he knows donuts. He’s made yeast donuts, he’s made cake donuts – thousands, if not millions of them. He prefers cake donuts, especially for the food truck. “They’re not fluffy, yeast-raised donuts.’’ The dough doesn’t need to rise.
The 8-by-12-foot trailer contains a 20-quart mixer and a commercial fryer that lets him cook 24 donuts in two minutes. It also contains a grill, where he cooks the meat for breakfast sandwiches and wraps and lunch sandwiches. He’s serving Taylor ham (also called pork roll), which he says is New Jersey’s favorite breakfast meat, and a twist on “Michigans,’’ hotdogs topped with meat sauce that are a staple of the North Country. For those, he’s using Hofmann franks.
“It’s different. It’s fun and and it’s challenging. It’s mobile,’’ Osborne says of his food truck.
Ossie’s StrEATery is parked at the Pioneer Business Park, on Campuswood Drive (off New Venture Gear Drive) in East Syracuse. When the weather allows, it will be open 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Credit cards aren’t accepted, so be sure to bring cash. The food truck is also available for catering and private parties. For information, call 315-575-0998.