When Chris Smith lost his job at WCAX in May, he wasted no time in pining. He quickly got to work to build his dream. Last week he launched a food truck, White Buffalo Food Company, with his wife Tara and his friend Keith Gadwah.
The term “following the white buffalo” “refers to going on an adventure or being spontaneous and walking a path,” says Smith. He’s from Buffalo, NY, but the bovine on the truck logo shares Tara’s Indonesian heritage. The cuisines that everyone grew up eating are represented in the truck’s offerings, as are Gadwah’s native Vermont flavors.
During the truck’s first week of operation, the most popular dishes were a BLT of fried green tomatoes with roasted garlic and tarragon mayonnaise; braised beef rendang on jasmine rice; and beef on a weck (kümmelweck roll) – representing Vermont comfort food, Indonesian street food, and native Buffalo cuisine, respectively. Smith says he was especially surprised to see his compatriots in upstate New York “come out of the woods” for his very regional take on the roast beef sandwich.
White Buffalo typically offers five items at a time, as well as Root Beer Rookie and ginger beer. Smith says his team has about 25 recipes that are perfected and ready to add and remove from the menu.
Diners can find White Buffalo on Flynn Avenue throughout the week, usually parked in front of “the tallest filing cabinet in the world” or closer to Oakledge Park. The truck will move around South Burlington as Smith finds more accessible locations, which he posts on Facebook each day. This week, White Buffalo will be offering a Tuesday night service to Brewing back and walk past the old Vermont Transit Lines building on Pine Street during South End Art Hop (September 11-13).