Mortar & Pestle food truck sets up show on the banks of the Wachusett Reservoir

WEST BOYLSTON – There is another option for those looking to eat overlooking the Wachusett Reservoir. A new food truck – Mortar & Pestle – is now set up, joining Captain Ron’s. Leslie Cardenas and Dan Solis are the team behind the new truck.

Cardenas is from Guadalajara, Mexico and moved to Las Vegas when she was 12. She moved to Seattle Wash., and started her restaurant journey in her early 20s, starting as a busser in a restaurant in Seattle. From there she was always looking for new restaurants that would give her the opportunity to learn and practice new skills.

She went from being a busser to a sous chef at a high volume hotel and said she is still always looking to learn. Solis is originally from Northborough and started working in restaurants as a teenager and always has enjoyed the hustle of kitchens. He went to culinary school at Johnson and Wales in Providence.

He has since lived and cooked in Houston, Texas, and Seattle Wash., where he met Cardenas.  “Running a food truck was something we have always wanted to do. When the pandemic hit and we lost our jobs, it gave us the push to finally make the food truck a reality,” Cardenas said.

“The menu is a collaboration of different cuisines and cooking techniques that we have both learned over the years,” Solis said. “It consists of flavors we enjoy and dishes we love to cook. We also believe in fresh ingredients and making everything we can ourselves and if we can’t make it then we like to source it locally.” So far, they said their most popular dishes have been the sweet pea falafel, the kalbi ribs and noodles and their weekend barbacoa tacos.

“But everything on the menu is delicious and worth trying out even if you have never had it before,” Solis added. The pair were recently approved to set up at the Triangle, overlooking the reservoir and the Old Stone Church. The area is famous for Bob’s Hot Dog truck, which set up there for years.

“Dan’s grandmother and grandfather used to frequent Bob’s hot dog truck that was there years ago. When we moved back to Massachusetts with the food truck in mind, we knew that spot would be a perfect place to start,” Cardenas said. “I grew up in Northborough and my grandparents lived out in western Mass. and when they visited us in the fall time they loved going to Bob’s truck and check out the reservoir scenery,” Solis added.

He said no one has yet used Bob’s catch phrase, “have a salubrious day” with them yet, “but that has a nice ring to it.” The pair said the reaction from diners has been positive. “Everyone seems to be enjoying the food and welcoming the variety that we bring,” they said.

Ron LaFlash, who is in his second year setting up Captain Ron’s truck at the Triangle, has been “amazing,” the pair said. “He’s been great to us and offers plenty of help and expertise in running a food truck with all of his experience,” Cardenas said. “We started this truck with the idea of doing seasonal menus with the ever-changing weather of New England.

So customers can expect different menu items throughout the upcoming months with in-season delicious ingredients,” Solis said. The truck will be set up Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. People can keep up to date with news on the truck on Instagram, @MortarandpestelFT.

A website and Facebook page are under development.

“We are so excited to have the opportunity to cook the food we love and sharing it with everyone,” Cardenas and Solis said.