Brand new food truck Craft Mobile Kitchen opening in St. Paul

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Photo courtesy of Craft Mobile Kitchen

The summer food truck season may be well underway, but most would agree that the weather has hardly been on anyone's side for its duration so far. It seems like perfect timing, then, that Tri-City Restaurant Management has just announced the debut of a brand new food truck, Craft Mobile Kitchen -- Craft being their in-house catering company -- set for its grand opening this weekend at the Chocolate Garden of St. Paul's Dr. Chocolate's Chocolate Chateau.

For those who have not been fortunate enough to venture a visit to the Chocolate Garden, there is hardly a more picturesque patio in the Twin Cities. It seems like prime real estate for a food truck.

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Photo courtesy of Craft Mobile Kitchen

"We do a lot of outdoor catering and stuff like that," says Ben Berry, the restaurant director for Woolley's Steakhouse, Craft Mobile Kitchen's sister establishment, of the Craft tradition. "For us, the Craft Mobile Kitchen is a way for us to get out to the local businesses and a lot of the people who were hiring us to do outside catering."

On that note, the Craft Mobile Kitchen isn't your average food truck. Its menu is distinctly new American, featuring sophisticated salads and sandwiches and gourmet burgers. There's a cheese plate appetizer and -- get this -- a full bar with craft cocktails, plus beer and wine. In a food truck!

"It's almost more like a pop-up restaurant," offers Berry. "One of the cool aspects of the food truck is that for every meal we sell, we donate a meal to Feed My Starving Children."

The burgers seem to be the prize-winning meal at Craft Mobile Kitchen. The menu offers five versions, each featuring a house-seasoned blend of chuck and short ribs -- including something called the Infusion Burger, a hefty eight-ounce delight infused with duck bacon and wild mushrooms. There's also a kimchee and short rib quesadilla, an elk sausage baguette, a chocolate bread pudding with Irish cream, a small kids' menu, and a cocktail called Everything Zen -- featuring Damrak's gin, St. Germain, cucumber, and clover honey. Talk about being at peace.

The Craft Mobile Kitchen team has quite the grand opening scheduled for this weekend, featuring live music, specialty keg tappings, a variety of wine tastings, and 50 percent off all burgers from Thursday through Sunday. Check out their event list:

Thursday, June 27
3 p.m. - 11 p.m.
5 p.m. - Majestic Wines Tasting
6 p.m. - Live Music from Nick Folk

Friday, June 28
3 p.m. - 11 p.m.
12 p.m. - Summit SAGA Firkin Tapping ($3 Pints)
5 p.m. - Majestic Wines Tasting
6 p.m. - Live Music from Corey Lawson of Munqs

Saturday, June 29
11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
$1 - Pints ALL Day of Summit Summer Ale
4:30 p.m. - Live Music from Sarah Laske
5 p.m. - Wirtz Wine Tasting
6 p.m. - Live Music from Ryan Bergeron of Snowbank

Sunday, June 30
11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
$1 - 16 oz. PBR Cans all day
6 p.m. - Live Music from Garrison Grouse of Breakfast Anytime
12 p.m. - Deschutes 'Fresh Squeezed IPA' Tapping ($3 Pints)

For patrons who we expect will fall in love with the delightful menu of Craft Mobile Kitchen, the good news is that even after food truck season is over, the Tri-City team has a Part II in mind.

"Craft Mobile Kitchen is kind of an extension of a concept we're opening in Woodbury in January," divulges Berry. "It's called Craft Beer Hall and Kitchen. We start construction this September."

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Photo courtesy of Craft Mobile Kitchen

For now, food truck gourmands can enjoy the (hopefully) beautiful weather every week, Thursday through Friday. For full details on Craft Mobile Kitchen's weekly hours, check out their Facebook page.

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