Andrae's Kitchen, wildly popular with Walla Walla-ites, is slated to serve fish tacos, jerk chicken sandwiches, elotes, and mini-burgers at this Sunday's Mobile Chowdown in West Seattle. The mobile unit, owned by chef Andrae Bopp, represents the totality of the wine-making city's food-truck scene.
"I'm it," Bopp says. "I don't mean that in any arrogant way. There are taco trucks, but they're not designed for quality. I'm the only guy doing what we're doing."
Bopp ran a restaurant in Boise for five years, but an expired lease and concerns about the city's struggling economy inspired him to relocate to Walla Walla, where he'd cultivated contacts through his restaurant's wine dinners. He spent a few years catering and working at Dusted Valley Vinters before purchasing his truck last summer.
"Being a classically trained chef, this is fun," he says.
On most weekends, Bopp parks his trucks south of Walla Walla, where there's a cluster of wineries but no food options for tourists. "If we're out there, it benefits all the wineries," he says.
Bopp took Andrae's Kitchen to the Sasquatch Music Festival, but hasn't yet ventured further than the Gorge.
"This is the first time we're coming to your side of the mountain, so I'm stoked about that," he says.
Bopp's menu includes downsized renditions of his phenomenally successful fish tacos--"they've kind of taken on a life of their own"--and custom-ground burgers (80 percent angus beef, 20 percent chorizo) topped with pickled local cucumbers, local tomatoes, and local bacon, served on a local bun.
"I'm not going to call it a slider," Bopp vows. "That way it doesn't seem like I'm trying to jump on the bandwagon."
He'll also serve a grilled corn salad, made from corn shaved off the cob and mixed with aioli.
"The corn we're getting in Walla Walla is so sweet right now," he says. "We're just looking to bring a little of Walla Walla to Seattle."