Phillip Foss, one of the pioneers of the Chicago food truck movement with the Meatyballs Mobile, is the latest food trucker to decide the demands of running a food truck business and the desire to pursue other ventures just don’t mesh. In Foss’s case the other venture is his and Andrew Brochu’s restaurant EL, which started as a sort of “permanent pop-up” in his Meatyballs prep kitchen but has proven so successful (its dozen or so seats solidly booked for weeks) that he plans to expand it. But as he told us by email, doing that and running a fleet of food trucks every day was just too much personally— “On Thursday I fully planned on going out on Friday, but after leaving the restaurant at 1 [a.m.] I decided I wasn’t about to be back [in the kitchen] by 5 a.m.”
He continues, “When the day got going I figured the time was right… Just decompressing for the next week or so and excited to focus completely on EL. We’re going to expand a bit, but do so in a manner that isn’t going to jeopardize the integrity of our experience. I have a feeling that once the dust settles I will feel as though a gorilla is off my back.” Foss says the Meatyballs truck may still make occasional “pop-up” appearances from time to time.