Edible Notables

A New Crop of Food Trucks

By Jill Johnson

Photography by Erin Feinblatt


Sugar & Salt Creamery

Jon-Sugar-and-SaltDon’t let the cute little Tiffany Blue ice cream truck with the ornate “swooshie” S’s in the logo fool you. This cool retro-rolling sorbet mobile is serious about creating some mean, powerful flavor punches. Maple Brown Sugar Bacon, Salty Brown Butter Carmel, PB+J animal cracker and Thai Tea are just a few of their offerings. One of their more popular selections, Balsamic Strawberry, uses aged balsamic vinegar and local farmers market strawberries. Many believe these flavors to be “odd couples,” but one taste and you will agree that there is some delicious harmony to be had.

Currently, they are purely mobile with a downtown catering kitchen as their base, but they are planning to expand into local-only Santa Barbara food establishments later in the year.



Sweet Arleen’s Cupcakes and Bread Puddings


Arleen Scavone was doing errands for her “bricks and mortar” bakery when she got the phone call from the Food Network that launched “a thousand cupcakes.” Two televised cupcake championships later, Sweet Arleen’s has put Westlake Village on the culinary map.

Her cupcakes and bread puddings were so well received and the feedback so positive in the community, Arleen decided to expand beyond the well-manicured environs of Westlake Village into the wild unfrosted yonder of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. In order to do that, however, she needed some “wheels.” She turned to internationally recognized West Coast Customs and they created the tricked-out truck known as the Cupcake Suite Mobile. There is no mistaking the Twitter blue and polka-dotted food truck sashaying through the streets.

Arleen has always enjoyed giving back to the communities she serves and she recently teamed up with Handstand Kids Cookbook Company to produce a new kids’ cookbook, Baking Around the World.

Twitter: @sweetarleens
Facebook: SweetArleens


Tiki Taco
(Exotic Fusion Cuisine)
tikitacocroppedLong-time Santa Barbarians will get pangs of Don the Beachcomber and Aloha Burger nostalgia when glimpsing the tropical vibe of this spiffy new tiki taco truck.
Although tiki is the visual theme, delicious fusion Polynesian/Mexican food is the culinary destination, according to CEO Eric Bonilla. Incorporating spices and techniques from both cultures, their food and presentation is unique. Their menu selection includes Tiki Tacos (beef or chicken grilled with a sweet tangy Polynesian sauce with cilantro and onions served up in a tortilla), Wraps (these include the same tasty fillings with lettuce instead of a tortilla) and Voodoo Korn (sweet corn on the cob rolled in a Hawaiian cream sauce with island spices served on a bamboo stick).

Website: tikitaco.net
Facebook: TikiTaco

The New Black BBQ

(Progressive American Barbecue)

In 2011, Santa Barbara transplants Chris Sullivan and Nick Barainca were commenting on the lack of quality BBQ in Santa Barbara. They glimpsed a smoker on wheels at a BBQ venue in Ventura and remarked that “if you towed that thing behind a truck, you’d be like the ice cream man on steroids.” And, with that “off-the-cuff” quip, a culinary idea was born.
The business name refers to the song “The New Black” by the band Every Time I Die. And you have to admit, it does have a certain culinary swagger that entices the taste buds to drool over the anticipation of meat meeting fire and smoke. Although, in The New Black BBQ’s case, there is some serious 24-hour sous-vide action also involved after the initial smoking and searing. They make all their sauces and sides in-house to accompany their meaty offerings of Kobe Brisket (with molasses, mustard seed and bay leaf), Kurobata Pork (with allspice and thyme) and Jidori Chicken (with paradise grains, honey and lavender).


Categories Summer 2012