TURLOCK — Prepare to be saucified, or at the very least feel full.
The newest gourmet food truck to begin rumbling around Central Valley streets is Saucy Girls. The Turlock-based restaurant on wheels debuted at the Turlock Farmers Market early this month. The brainchild of husband-and-wife team Marty and Kari Hernandez, the truck serves up sliders, hot dogs and more, slathered with their signature specialty sauces.
Kari Hernandez has been cooking most of her life and developed many of her recipes with her mother, Jackie Taha. Hernandez and her husband bought the food truck last spring, but it took almost a year to get it refurbished and renovated to be up and running.
Saucy Girls debuted their food at the Turlock Farmers Market last season, where they had a booth and smaller menu. Now they have a bright-purple truck with the slogan "Prepare to be saucified" that parks near South Broadway and A Street each Friday morning to feed hungry marketgoers.
"I think it's a neat idea," said Turlock resident Claudine Pacheco, who stopped for a quick bite with her children Friday afternoon. "It's a fun thing to have a food truck and follow where they are. And I love the food."
The menu ranges from Angus beef, pulled pork and falafel sliders to bacon-wrapped hot dogs. The most popular item is the OMG (Oh My Goodness) beef slider with its OMG sauce. Kari Hernandez has about seven specialty sauces to choose from, ranging from homemade barbecue to chipotle and cilantro aioli.
"I just have a passion for cooking," she said. "I'm a big foodie. When my son was born, I threw sushi parties. I just love cooking all kinds of foods."
She said she chose sliders and hot dogs because of their popularity and versatility. She uses local bread from Frost Bakery for her buns, area farm produce for her ingredients and Nathan's Famous Beef Franks for her dogs.
"I just want to make good quality food," she said.
Hernandez's mother, Taha, has helped with service and makes all the baked goods the truck carries.
A lot of work
Getting the business on the road has been a long process. The couple purchased the 1988 Chevy food truck from United Samaritans last April for $10,000. Since then, Marty Hernandez has worked on renovating the vehicle and they sunk an additional $40,000 into it for everything from a new hot-water system to an updated sink, refrigerator and plexiglass.
The Hernandezes reached out to another popular area food truck, The Cupcake Lady, to get tips. She helped them find a good designer to create and install the logo wrap-around for the outside of the truck.
The couple have been experimenting with traveling a route, but ultimately would like to find a permanent place (or places) to park and serve breakfast and lunch each day. Marty Hernandez said they'd like to stay in the downtown Turlock area but are open to any place with good traffic.
Customers can find Saucy Girls at the Riverbank Farmers Market starting in June. They also hope to get approved to park at the Modesto Certified Farmers Market. The truck is available for catering and private events, too.
Reception so far has been good. The truck sold out of food at the first Turlock Farmers Market. Market Manager Derek Griffin said he's heard positive reviews from attendees.
"Everyone seems to really like the food," he said. "So it's good to have them back."
For more on Saucy Girls, visit www.saucygirlstruck.com or find them on Facebook.
Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2284. Follow her on Twitter, @TurlockNow.