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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Smashing onto the scene: Grimm Burger food truck debuts Saturday

Burgers and fries are all the rage at Grimm Burger, a new food truck parking this Saturday at Flying Machine. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Grimm Burger)

WILMINGTON — Nearly burnt edges, juicy thin patties — that’s what Grimm Burger is all about. The new food truck will launch Saturday at Randall Parkway’s Flying Machine Brewing Co.

“Smash burgers cook really quickly and still have a lot of flavor,” owner Matt Grimm told Port City Daily Tuesday.

Grimm and his wife, Sammy Jo, have been preparing to launch their truck for a month or so after purchasing it from another operation based on a popular handheld: CheeseSmith (the grilled-cheese operation announced in April it would become stationary as a brick and mortar on 17th and Queen, set to open soon). In fact, CheeseSmith owners Brandan and Molly Curnyn suggested their pals take over the trailer.

“I was saying how I wanted to buy a food truck, and Brendan said, ‘Well, we’re selling,’” Grimm recalled.

Few updates were needed on the truck. It’s currently being wrapped with new art work, as designed by local artist Jarred Weinstein, another friend of the couple.

“It’s a Grim Reaper holding a hamburger,” Grimm explained. 

Grimm said he wanted to open the food truck because he hasn’t been satisfied with finding the perfect smash burger on the local scene since moving to Wilmington in 2019. So he decided to create it himself. 

“I don’t think there will be any kind of competition,” he praised of his product. “I always prefer a thinner smash burger with those crispy edges. You don’t really get it with a thicker burger.” 

Flipping burgers is at the foundation of the Grimms’ relationship going on the better part of a decade. The two met in 2012 while attending Virginia Tech and working for the fast-food chain Cookout. They ended up loving the restaurant industry so much they worked their way into management. 

“I personally just enjoy cooking,” Grimm said. “I enjoy hands-on type work — and I’m definitely not as much of a sit-at-a-desk guy.”

Much like the food truck’s mobility, the Grimms also are on the move constantly; they both have day jobs and are rearing a 2-year-old. Thus Grimm said they will run the food truck on weekend nights only.

“For now, it’s something we’re doing in our spare time,” he said. Long-term plans could involve opening a brick and mortar, but first they want to gauge its popularity.

So far, Grimm has filled the food truck’s schedule through September. “I think I have, like, one open weekend over the next three months,” he said. “We already have two or three private events booked too.” 

Mostly, Grimm said his public events will be at local breweries and distilleries: “I mean, burgers and fries and beer are a pretty good combination.”

Grimm Burgers feature 5-ounce thin patties, served two per burger — “probably right at a quarter pound once you cook it,” Grimm detailed. The menu will offer a triple size, even a “clog burger” (four patties), all hand-patted with chuck beef that’s house-ground.

Diners will be able to build their own burgers with traditional toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles) and condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise). However, the Grimms also will have homemade buttermilk ranch, honey mustard and their special “G” sauce. Burgers will be served on Martin’s potato rolls. 

Grimm devised a specialty menu as well. The Grimm Burger will come with onions, pickles, lettuce, and “G” sauce. There will be a pimento, bacon and French-fry-topped version served at the truck’s debut on Saturday, but Grimm hasn’t hashed out the full menu for the weekend launch quite yet. 

“We just got our permit from the health department literally yesterday,” he said. “We plan on adding more items, like coleslaw and mac and cheese, but right now we are sticking to burgers and fries.” 

Grimm has been prepping out of the truck’s commissary kitchen in Tavern 14 all week. He plans to roll and pat 250 burgers, which equals around 500 patties for Saturday. That should cover it for the 200 people he’s expecting to show out.

“We’re used to high-volume sales,” Grimm said. “We’re pretty seasoned, as far as being in the food service.”

Still, high interest in the burger’s launch has Grimm assessing how to pull all the extra help he can. Even his parents aren’t in the clear yet. 

“They’re coming to visit and wanted to be here for the launch,” Grimm said. “I’ll ask my dad to hand out orders if I need to. We’re just excited to get up and running.”

Grimm Burger prices run $4-$10. The truck will be set up Saturday, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., at Flying Machine. 

More upcoming dates include:
July 9 — Seagate Bottle Shop
July 17— End of Days
July 23 — Seagate Bottle Shop
July 24 — Mad Mole
July 30 — End of Days
July 31 — Edward TeachAugust 6 — Seagate Bottle Shop
August 7 — Wilmington Brewing Co
August 13 — Wilmington Brewing Co
August 14 — End of Days
August 20 — Mad Mole

Times vary between 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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