Some of the best food I’ve had in my life has come from food trucks. It’s not the size of the restaurant that makes a great meal, it’s the love and attention to detail that goes into the food, and that is the case with Northern Smoke BBQ from Delano, Minnesota.
Owned and operated by Nick Helmer and his wife Andrea, it all started when Nick discovered his love of smoking meats. Nick always knew he had cooking in his blood (the men in his family have been great cooks dating back to the 1800’s) but he is the first pit master of the bunch. He gave a smoker a try and the rest is history.
Established in 2016, this food truck is a completely operational commercial kitchen. All the smoking, prepping, plating and serving happens right in his trailer. When talking to Nick about it, he couldn’t seem happier. He said he wakes up early and gets to do all his work right in one place.
So how is the food that comes out of it?
I had the banh mi sandwich. Nick told me himself that it’s the one food he never tires of, and after eating it I can see why.
It starts with a sandwich roll, slathered in mayo, homemade pulled pork, barbecue sauce, pickled cucumbers (which I could’ve made a meal of alone), ginger sesame sauce, shredded carrots, and finished off with fresh jalapenos and cilantro.
The smoky pulled pork, pickled cucumbers, rich sauces, and fresh elements made this the most perfectly balanced sandwich I have ever had. Each element complimented the next, and every bite was a different flavor combination so your pallet never got bored. It’s a sandwich I would eat again and again.
If you ever find yourself in the same area as this food truck, or want to make a day trip of visiting it, I can’t recommend it enough. Pro Tip: get two sides! The cucumber salad and the corn salad. No way I could pick a favorite between the two. It would be like picking a favorite child.
Here’s to a summer full of fantastic food truck flavors!