A new food truck has been taking several San Diego neighborhoods by storm. The unique approach from co-owners Levi Munlow and Matilda Ferguson of Tulips Fancy has some local business owners concerned.
“We offer familiar comfort food in a modern, echo-friendly, sustainable mobile dining environment,” said Munlow.
As the duo passes out food to hungry customers in a busy Mission Bay parking lot, most are happy to wait in a long line. “The secret menu on Tulips keeps things interesting. You never know what the special of the day is going to be. It’s pretty exciting,” said Tulips patron Astrid Monroe.
According to some of those upset with Tuplips Fancy, the secret menu is to blame. “Are you kidding me? They’re not cooking a goddam thing,” said Dave, a nearby restaurant owner who asked to remain anonymous. “If you speak out against these turds, their followers bury your Yelp page in negative reviews. We can’t win.”
“Yes, we reasonably source food pre-assembled food combinations, deconstruct them in our food truck, and add a level of comfort in a safe eating space,” Ferguson explained. “We live in a social world. Can I help it if our fans don’t react well to these corporate business people attempting to negate our creativity? No. Will I help it? Absolutely. Is it fair? You tell me.”
“They take an order, text a restaurant, pick up the food, add it to a plate decorated, and mark up the meal by 35%. What is that about?” Dave added.
“The process isn’t that simple. But, it’s essentially correct,” admitted Munlow.
A Tulips Fancy favorite, breaded chicken wedges with pepper mustard seed sauce, comes from a familiar place. “Once the chicken wedges are ordered, a service is called to deliver what’s more commonly known as Chicken McNuggets from McDonald’s. We use a small hatch in the food truck to crawl out, pay the driver, crawl back, and then we elevate the meal with our plating techniques,” Ferguson said.
“Yeah, these ingredients are out there in the world. Anyone can make a chicken nugget. But only a few can elevate the dish. That is the true genius.” Munlow said.
“I’ve heard about the outsourced ingredients,” said Tulips customer Mary, “but I’m not sure. Even if it is true, what does it matter?”
Tulips Fancy operates in several south county San Diego locations on most weekends.