Dayton’s growing food truck scene has given birth to some places that serve pretty fascinating foods. Chef Andrew Payne has brought in one of these new ideas, launching Hunger Paynes Food Truck last September, an experiment in new American cuisine with some interesting inspiration from French sources. You’ve probably heard the name a few times before you stumbled on the place, they seem to have an active marketing presence and they’ve started showing up all over town. But the food is worth a try.
So Hunger Paynes specializes in croquettes, which are items of French origin which are typically balls of meats, bread, veggies and spices minced and rolled into balls and then fried. Hunger Paynes comes up with themes to the croquettes and builds them from a bunch of other ingredients. Texturally, they remind me a lot of hush puppies. Among them:
- Reuben: corned beef, sauerkraut and swiss cheese with rye bread crumbs and thousand island dressing.
- Buffalo chicken: Chicken, hot sauce, celery and cheddar cheese topped with ranch dressing.
- Mac and cheese: macaroni, cheddar cheese, gouda cheese and bread crumbs topped with garlic sauce and green onions.
- German Sliders: Shredded corn beef topped with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. Heavy like a Reuben, but it’s nit quite the same thing. Corned beef sandwiches are usually piled high with meat, but these sliders are heavy without overdoing it.
The croquettes are interesting, and they’re pretty economical, too, with four and some accompanying chips going for just $5. You also have the option of some pretty great sliders which change themes now and again, chips, pretzel bites and salads, too.
Really, Hunger Paynes does the theme of heavy snack foods and light lunches pretty well. The truck’s staff are always friendly, and they seem to have an easy time turning around orders in volume and getting out food very quickly with a smile. I recommend it!
- The food truck has a calendar on its site where you can find where it will be on any given day.
- If you’re an especially big fan, you might also consider bringing them out to an event.
- The food is good, and very cheap, but it’s also somewhat light, so keep that in mind.