Food Trucks are popping up all over the Shenandoah Valley! This is the seventh in a series of interviews with our favorite local food trucks…
Maybe it’s because the truck looks more like a tiny, impeccable house on wheels than a food truck. Or maybe it’s how the family inside the truck makes you feel like you’ve known them for years with their ubiquitous smiles and friendly greetings. Or it could be the comforting soul food that the team is serving up. Whatever it is, I don’t think a food truck could feel more like home. Angela Rouse and her two daughters, Areyl and Ebony Cleveland, have made Taste of Soul a great addition to the Trucks food truck court. During a bustling day at the truck I was able to steal Ebony away for a few minutes to ask her a couple questions about Harrisonburg’s new food truck.
What is the most popular item on the menu?
EC: The pork chops are probably one of our biggest sellers.
What is YOUR favorite item on the menu?
EC: My favorite? I love the collard greens. They are so good, and they’re my grandpa’s recipe, and I love my grandpa.
Who do you credit for your cooking skill?
We try to use as many family recipes as possible. Mostly grandparents. My dad’s mom is from North Carolina, so we use a lot of her down south kind of cooking. And then my grandparents are from the Chesapeake, Tidewater area.
What is your favorite part of this job?
EC: This is my first time partnering with my family to own something. And I think that’s really cool. I’ve worked for my mom before, but this is the first time collaborating and being involved in the business. You know, getting to [have a say in], “let’s take this off the menu, let’s put this on.” That whole thing. I think that’s really cool.
What is the most unique/difficult thing about working in a food truck?
EC: Our food truck is the space. We decided to go along with our budget, so we tried to make our space as small as possible and then just let it work. And it’s small. And it’s hard. For three of us to be in there is really difficult.
Why a food truck?
EC: Well, it’s definitely trending right now. So we thought about that. And probably secondly, just economically, it was more feasible for us. We didn’t even start planning this until February of this year. And now it’s June, and we’re here. So we were like, “how fast can we get this going.” And this was the easiest way for us.
Why did you pick soul food?
EC: I think that soul food is, first off, good. And I think it just reminds you of home, no matter who you are or where you are. It’s like, “yeah, my grandma used to cook fried chicken. It smells so good!” – you know. We’ve had so many people come up to the truck and say, “you don’t understand, this makes me so happy.”
Want to stop by for a visit? Taste of Soul is located at 1321 South High Street. Keep up with them on Facebook.
Hours as of this post: Monday-Friday 11-7, Saturday 11-8
Planning a soulful event? Taste of Soul caters!