Food truck: Swoop

By
From the September 13, 2012 edition

(Sung to the Ghostbusters theme music)

When your stomach growls,

don’t ya mess around,

Who you gonna call? Swoop food truck!

For professionals,

With cooking expertise,

Who you gonna call? Swoop food truck!

I ain’t afraid of no hunger!

When I first encountered the Swoop food truck, I was inspired to reconfigure a famous little ditty for its clever crew. I did this because the Swoopers themselves specialize in reconfiguring things, and their amusing truck tells you this immediately. See, it’s dressed up like an EMS vehicle, except its “star of life” symbol has “FOOD” written on it, and emblazoned on its visual parody of the Ohio state seal (which features a fork and ketchup bottle in the foreground plus a radiating burger standing in for the sun) are the words “Columbus’ Emergency Hunger Response Team.”

Swoop’s resuscitating cuisine is also a reconfiguration of — and drastic improvement on — classic snacks. While empanadas and roasted Brussels sprouts are sometimes offered (they were out of both when I visited), mostly this takes the form of inspired sliders with attractive textures and bold flavors plus killer, scratch-made tater tots. Here’s a taste (all big-flavored, small-sized sandwiches arrive on slider-appropriate buns — meaning dinky, sweetish, generally forgettable — and are $3 or 2 for $5):

Burger: A smashed and crisped-up-on-the-griddle diner-style beauty, but big, thick and juicy and dressed with mayo, cheese and a brash homemade pickle

BLT: Another delectable and griddle-crisped protein — this time a meaty and hammy hunk of pork belly — detailed with an arugula leaf and a fruity and zingy tomato jam

Rib Slider: Another little crispy slab of pig meat was delightfully aroused by a tangy barbecue sauce brilliantly colliding with another perky house pickle

Jerk Chicken Slider: A thyme-tickled, crackly battered and deep-fried poultry patty had its crunchiness enhanced by nifty pickled carrot. Mayo completed this unusual but must-have mini-munch.

Tots Poutine ($5): Dense, crispy, salty and game-changing fried spud balls that actually tasted like potatoes were sprinkled with cheese curds and bacon lardons, then bathed in a black peppery, thick, opaque (but not creamy) and obviously homemade pan-dripping gravy