Tales from the truck: Gloria of Annapurna’s Thali
Food trucks are multiplying in Maine this summer. The net effect is more variety, not just tacos and tacos. We’ve got Indian, gourmet paninis, mini donuts, Austrian food and something else: entrepreneurs with attitude and style.
The people driving this trend — truckers and truckistas — have backstories worth knowing.
I came across Gloria Pearse setting up Annapurna’s Thali outside Maine Craft Distilling in Portland Wednesday. Open only a week, her hot-dog-cart-turned Indian street food machine is ready to take your taste buds for a spin.
Specialty thali, which means plate, is served in a jiffy. Pearse piles high four kinds of curries, lentils, chickpeas to your heart’s (and wallet’s) delight.
Samosas, the empanada of Indian fare, are either sweet: cinnamon banana with Maine maple syrup and peanut butter sauce, or savory: spiced potato and coriander chutney. Served in a parking lot in Yeast Bayside, Annapurna’s Thali is a vegantarian’s mirage.
“I spent six weeks in India learning to cook,” said the 24 year old. Her Kickstarter campaign backs this up in vivid and delicious detail.
The fashionable chef rides her bike from Woodford, towing her supplies to prepare these nourishing meals for us, the great unwashed. So you can feel good about this fossil-fuel-free cart. (How she does it in fishnet stockings and silk without breaking a sweat is fooder for another post).
So wash these authentic street eats down with soy milk, ginger tea or mosey over to the tasting room a few feet away. Local rum and Indian dim sum? Doesn’t get better than this.
Annapurna’s Thali is at Maine Craft Distilling,101 Fox St., from 12 noon to 5:30 p.m. Wed. through Sat.