Merced fans of smoked meats slathered in sauce may have already made the hike to Ballico to eat at the Tri-Tipery, but this week getting your hands on a sandwich will be easier.
The Tri-Tipery's brand new food truck will make its maiden voyage on Thursday and Friday to Hilmar and Merced, respectively, according to Rob Nairn, who owns the restaurant and its truck with his wife, Jana.
The remote eatery sits in front of the Nairn’s other business, Ag Link, in northern Merced County at 11359 Newport Road in Ballico. The couple has organized the occasional pop-up restaurant to get their tri-tip sandwiches, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, and other offerings out into the community.
"(The truck) is able to reach people that may not come out here," he said. "Although, you'd be surprised how many people from Merced, Modesto and Turlock actually take the drive out."
The food truck, which is covered in a wrap that makes it look like wood paneling, is the latest effort to bring the food to you. The truck would normally set up for about three hours but will be out twice that long each day this week so the staff can work out some kinks, Nairn said.
The plan is to take the truck out routinely to locations in Merced, Turlock, Modesto and any others that make sense, Nairn said. The truck's cooking space is smaller than the restaurant so the menu will be "slimmer," he said. Some of the "more complicated items," like the deep-fried Oreo, won't be available.
But, those delicious barbecued meats will be.
McAuley Motors in Merced will be an eventual destination for the truck once the city issues permits, Nairn said. Here's what has been confirmed this week:
- 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at Hilmar Auto Part, 8120 Lander Ave. in Hilmar
- 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at Garton Tractor, 700 S. Highway 59 just south of Merced