WILMINGTON — After some arm-twisting by a few of his regulars, Detour Deli & Cafe owner Al Snyder has set up a “satellite” food truck at midtown’s Flying Machine Brewing Company.
The truck will offer a condensed menu featuring nine of Detour Deli’s most popular sandwiches. While Snyder feels out demand in coming months, for now, the truck will serve exclusively at the brewery during lunch hours from Wednesday through Saturday.
The idea was hatched when neighbors Jay Tatum and David Sweigart, owner of the Brooklyn Arts Center and co-founder of Flying Machine respectively, saw a mutually beneficial opportunity. Both lived near Detour Deli’s brick-and-mortar shop on Red Cross Street and had become regulars over the years.
“They asked me what I thought about the idea, and to be honest I had no interest in doing a food truck,” Snyder said. “But what they proposed sounded perfect. I love the location and I love what these guys [at Flying Machine] are doing. So I thought it was a perfect pairing.”
Tatum was inside the brewery’s taproom Wednesday for the truck’s opening day, ready to order one of his favorites — the Break O’Dawn Italian sandwich.
“Their sandwiches are always on point — fresh veggies, fresh meat; bread’s on point,” Tatum said.
Sitting beside him was his facilities manager, Eric Flore, also a regular at the original location.
“His food is tops — best sandwiches around,” Flore said, after taking a bite from the Paradisaical charcuterie special. “It is legit.”
The Detour Deli crowd
The brewery’s assistant taproom manager, Zack Bennett, said the new food truck had already drawn customers to the taproom.
“This whole crowd [today] is the Detour Deli crowd — they’ve been waiting a while for this food truck to come,” Bennett said. “And it’s good for the business crowd to come over and have a good craft sandwich with their craft beer.”
Marisa Dransoff was making an order on the outside patio using a tablet (with the guidance of one of Snyder’s employees).
“I live downtown so I walk to Detour and get their sandwiches all the time,” Dransoff said. “It’s nice to have another venue to go get their sandwiches with some good beer.”
A ‘working-class’ sandwich
For Snyder, it was the brewery’s location and his exposure to another area of town that sealed the deal.
“[There are] a lot of people who live in the area, a lot of new businesses over here, the college nearby — all sorts of possibilities,” Snyder said. “We’re hoping people will like our sandwiches here and be interested in the expanded menu at our brick-and-mortar.”
Snyder said his shop’s menu includes more than 40 sandwiches that appeal to a broad spectrum of people’s appetites, but at the core is his concept of providing sandwiches like tortas — common among Mexican street food vendors.
“Not necessarily street food, but working-class sandwiches, international sandwiches,” Snyder said.
As for any future plans, Snyder said he hopes to also serve one or two nights a week at the brewery. But with limited staff and limited personal energy to expend — last week he said he worked 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days straight — don’t expect to see the truck elsewhere around town.
“We have a dependable crew, and that’s what has made this possible,” Snyder said.
Flying Machine Brewing Company is located at 3130 Randall Parkway. Detour Deli & Cafe will be on-premise during lunch hours from Wednesday through Saturday; its brick-and-mortar location is at 510 Red Cross Street.
Mark Darrough can be reached at Mark@Localvoicemedia.com