1. Yardy Eugene 263 Mill St., YardyEugene.com.
2. Tavern on Main 338 Main Street, Springfield, 458-201-7936. TavernOnMainSpfd.com.
3. Forrester’s Bar and Grill 1190 City View, 458-201-7044. ForrestersGrill.com.
Located at Coldfire Brewing, Yardy Eugene’s bright yellow food truck stands out. For three months, Yardy Eugene has been dishing out West Indian-inspired dishes with a Pacific Northwest twist. While the main dishes usually feature skillet-fried chicken, owner Isaiah Martinez writes a new menu at the beginning of each day, working different sides — like Caribbean pumpkin stew or collard greens. He also combines elements and flavors from separate dishes, such as using leftover gravy from a lamb roast as a curry infused dipping sauce for the next day’s chicken dishes. Martinez says he learned this while cooking in California. He says it keeps things fresh and sets Yardy apart from many other local restaurants.
“If you’re passionate about something, it doesn’t matter what it is, you’re going to excel,” Martinez says.
Martinez is using his food truck as a platform to celebrate Black foods and chefs from underrepresented groups. Foods like fried chicken are stereotypically associated with Black culture, and many follow the notion these foods should be cheap and fast. Martinez hopes to dispel this notion by creating quality dishes with creative twists on traditional foods. — Clayton Franke