When Hunger Monkey hit the road for its launch last Friday, its truck was sans logo, but when that logo does appear sometime later this week, it will feature a purple monkey.
Why a purple monkey? "Because I hadn't seen one," says owner Adam Hardy.
Hardy, who was born in Memphis, recently returned after working with restaurants in Nashville and elsewhere.
He noticed the upswing in food truck activity and wanted to be a part of it, he says. He also saw an opportunity to fill void by providing a healthy alternative for vegans and vegetarians and those following the paleo diet, who often don't have many options when it come to food trucks and fair food.
Hardy created a menu of sides — kale orzo, couscous, roasted okra, collards with sauteed mushrooms, hummus, etc. — that can be built into plates, with four sides for a vegetable plate ($8) or two sides with honey-glazed chicken ($8) or sweet & sour flank steak ($9). All is served on lemon-jasmine rice.
But back to the purple monkey ... One reason Hardy says he chose the name Hunger Monkey was that it did not pin him to one type of cuisine and so he could create a day's menu depending on that day's venue and crowd, be it melon gazpacho for folks enjoying the day at Shelby Farms or nachos for festival-goers.
Hardy bought his truck from a man in Mississippi, who had converted an old church van into a food truck. Hardy says the truck was pretty much ready to go, though he added some equipment and made cosmetic changes. The truck has a smoker for barbecuing.
Hunger Monkey is scheduled to be at Humphreys Blvd. near Baptist Hospital on Tuesday; and at the Ridgeway Loop on Wednesday.
Images courtesy Hunger Monkey