as thus is Florida's strange laws that give tax breaks to huge businesses and nickel-and-dime the small business owner
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His food became a fast favorite early on as the truck became a regular at roundups from Jupiter to Miami. Fans flocked for Americanized tacos with Neolithic names. The Cave Dweller wraps a chicken caesar salad inside a hard corn tortilla or a soft flour one, while the Gatherer combines a crispy fried avocado wedge with lettuce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and a spicy mayo.
From University Drive, BC Cafe is barely visible inside a gray professional plaza filled with medical and legal offices. That's not by mistake. After having to hunt for customers for so long, he's glad to have a built-in base.
"The property management company told us that they're at about 75 percent occupancy in the building, and we thought we could appeal to them," he says. "It's nice that you get to see people on a regular basis and build that relationship."
1386 S. Federal Highway
Pompano Beach, FL 33062
Region: Pompano Beach
Blue Willy's Barbecue Market, 1386 S. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach; 954-224-6120. Open Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Brisket platter $10.99
Pork rib platter
Sausage sandwich $5.99
Aunt May's corn bread $1.50
Chiavari never fails to mention how it's a short distance from Broward College and FAU's Davie campus. On weekdays, he closes at 4 p.m. On weekends, he opens at 10 a.m., offering breakfast standbys and "tacos for breakfast" with bacon or steak, eggs, and cheese wrapped in a flour tortilla. The Caveman burger, a specialty on the truck, is available at the café, though it isn't offered on the menu. A quarter pound of burger meat, steak, and braised beef short ribs is topped with lettuce and cheddar cheese, then sandwiched between two hard taco shells and wrapped in a flour tortilla à la Taco Bell's Crunchwrap Supreme.
The truck itself remains a regular at roundups, though Chiavari says he prefers to use it as a mobile catering kitchen.
"If we could be booked up with catering every day of the month, I'd be thrilled," he says. "We've done birthday parties, cocktail hours with passed hors d'oeuvres. I've got a couple of weddings booked in March."
Meanwhile, Elena Pezzo's early plan was to have a fleet of vegan trucks rolling across Florida, not a permanent restaurant.
"If you would have told me a year ago I would have a successful café on 17th Street, I would've told you you had a better chance of hitting the lottery," says Pezzo, of Green Bar & Kitchen. "Broward is not like Manhattan, where you can park in one spot every day. You have to bounce around, and people asked, 'Can you go somewhere where we'll know where you are every single day?' "
After running a food truck for a little more than a year, she and her life partner, Charles Grippo, with investment from one of Tap 42's owners, found a permanent home.
This day, their airy, all-white café in a teal two-story building is packed with beautiful, silky-skinned people clad in yoga outfits. They sip Kombucha, a fizzy fermented green tea packed with vitamins, and nosh on spicy satisfying Buffalo tempeh sandwiches that can convince the most dedicated carnivores to add soy-based protein to their diets.
In retrospect, Pezzo says that having the truck before the restaurant turned out to be great. It let them find customers throughout South Florida while testing the waters for business without signing a lease. Some of the truck's "groupies," as Pezzo calls them, now man the juice and smoothie bar, which turns out drinks packed with superfoods like maca (a ground-up Peruvian root vegetable that's said to be an aphrodisiac) and goji berries (said to be one of nature's most nutrient-dense foods).
Two months ago, the pair sold the $55,000 truck.
"It was too much," she says.