Interview with Billy Ross of Taste Buds ExpressJuly 13, 2013 3 comments Print Article
EatDrinkJax.com talks about Taste Buds Express with Billy Ross
15. What's the most popular item on the truck?
Most of our customers mix and match tacos for lunch, but we do have some favorites like our Oriental Chicken Wrap, big 12 inch Flauta, Chimi-chumgas, Burritos, the ridiculously Big Ass BBQ Sweet Potato and our original Southwest Poutine.
16. The flauta isn't on your menu is it?
It was just added. It's a fairly new item. But it's popular and if something sticks I'll keep it on the menu.
17. What's your favorite item?
I love all of it! If I had my choice I'd go with the Billy’s Favorite Steak Taco. That's one of my favorites with mushrooms, bacon, blue cheese and grilled peppers.
18. Do you have really formal recipes, or do you cook more by feel?
I do have recipes but I’ve made these recipes so many times I can add a pinch and a splash of that and it always come out fantastic.
19. What's your cooking background?
I have no culinary training; most of what I’ve learned was self taught, experimentation and watching cooking shows since I was a kid. It's something I've always enjoyed; cooking has always been a part of my life in some form or fashion.
20. What's been the reaction to food trucks that you've seen?
Generally, it’s been very positive. Due to cable programs and local media buzz, people are willing to give us a shot. That’s why it’s so important to make sure the product is consistent and very good. Otherwise people won’t be willing to come back. Again, it’s been very positive.
We have also seen some push-back from brick-and-mortars trying to amend city codes to forbid trucks in the downtown area. I don’t see much support for that kind of reaction.
21. Is catering a part of your business?
We do offering catering. However, as a growing business we are focusing mainly on our daily commitments. But we have done a number of catering jobs. We will grow that aspect of the business over time.
22. Who's your main audience for catering?
At this time we are focusing on smaller parties and gatherings, specifically, weekend birthdays and daily office meetings.
23. What do you like most about owning a food truck?
Interaction!! As owner-operator I have unlimited contact with our customers. This is very important when growing a new business. I get immediate feedback. Obviously, I get a huge thrill when I put a smile on someone’s face after they’ve tasted our food.
24. What are your hours?
We typically serve lunch between 11 am and 2 pm. As of now we are at the corner of Main and Forsyth downtown on Tuesdays. Wednesdays and Thursdays we are at the corner of Park and Roselle in Riverside and we are open at Metro Cantina and Patio at 849 Willow Branch each Friday at 8 pm and Saturday night beginning at 9 pm.
When we are vending at festivals, special events and fundraisers we typically post it on Twitter, Facebook or our website, TasteBudsExpress.com
25. Anything else?
Simply that it is our honor to serve people food that they will come back for. We invite everyone to give us a shot. We’re very confident they’ll come back again and again.
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About the writer
EatDrinkJax.com interviews are conducted by Jacksonville Beach resident Gerry Glynn. When Gerry isn't talking with restauranteurs he is working for a local software company, training for his next road race, and hanging out with his wife and dog.