Over the last five years, I have frequently joked with Carmen Cabia that El Tenedor is like watching a clown car at the circus: You can’t believe how many Spanish tapas the Catalan-born chef can cram inside her tiny 1960s mini aluminum camp-trailer.
But on Sept. 2, Cabia will roll into The Star’s September Food Truck Friday with a much larger set of wheels.
The reconditioned 24-foot Barth Mobile Command Vehicle was advertised on Craiglist. Cabia and her business partner Maria Zea gutted the vehicle and rebuilt the inside to include a sink, stove, hood, refrigerator and stainless-steel prep tables.
While the space will certainly allow for more storage and add flexibility in the types of events they can book, Cabia says size will have no bearing on the quality of her food.
Nor does she have any plans to get rid of her tiny trailer: “People ask if I’m going to sell it and I say, ‘No way!’ This is my baby! Always it will be a part of my life because that camper changed my life.”
Despite their size difference, the two vehicles have a unified look with sleek silver siding and white accents. This winter, Cabia plans to streamline her mini camper with an IKEA-style remodel she says will be “clean and practical” and remove any age spots.
El Tenedor’s menu for the 5 to 8 p.m. Friday event in The Star’s parking lot at 18th and McGee streets will include crab cakes, paella, empanadas, croquettes, bruschetta and spicy potatoes.
Other trucks participating in the event include Wilma’s Good Food, Monk’s Roast Beef, Little Italy, ChickHoovenSwine BBQ, Drasko’s Food Truck, The Waffler Truck, Poppy’s Ice Cream, Pip’s Burgers, Deco Street Eats, CoffeeCakeKC and the mobile version of Ollie’s Local.