|Erik and Kimberly Banks, owners of the food truck The Tasting Spot. Times-Mirror/Karen Graham |
For visitors on the wine and craft beer trails in and around Purcellville, finding good food to eat has become part of the fun. Of course there are many wonderful local restaurants to check out, but now food trucks are bringing meals directly to consumers.
At Corcoran Brewing Co. at 205 Hirst Road in Purcellville, The Tasting Spot recently inked a deal to be their sole provider of food each weekend.
The owner of The Tasting Spot, Erik Banks, of Columbia, Md., built his truck from scratch earlier this year. He has had a lifelong passion for cooking, having completed culinary school and then taking a different career path into the sales recruiting industry.
However, he has always dreamed of being a full-time chef, and was encouraged by friends and family who have enjoyed his cooking over the years.
Banks looked into opening a brick and-mortar restaurant. But then he began frequenting food trucks and found the concept intriguing, as many of the trucks were offering good gourmet food, which is what Banks wanted to do.
In January, he bought a truck and began overhauling it with a friend. They outfitted it with a kitchen, water tanks, and all of the things he would need to take his show on the road.
“I owe my friend who helped build this so much. He really made it happen for me,” Banks said.
Banks said even though he took all of his savings to put into the business, his wife, Kimberly has been supportive and travels with him as his sous-chef.
Banks’ connection to the Corcorans goes back many years, and he's thrilled to be working with them at their brewery.
“I am happy and loving this,” Banks said. “You don’t get the opportunity to do what you love very often, and I get to do it.”
So far, it's more work than he thought, but business is going well. Banks said he is getting great reviews from customers, describing his cooking as American grill comfort food.
The biggest sellers on the menu so far are the short rib sliders, which are slow cooked for 14 hours, and chicken and waffles.
“I like to work outside the box,” Banks said. “Everything is made fresh, using the best quality of meat. I use fresh Maine lobsters for the grilled cheese and lobster sandwich,” he added.
“This is a huge passion of mine and I am so blessed to have an opportunity to do this.”