Where Elvis makes a regular appearance
Next, we go for some traditional American fare at 1 Up Burger. The colorful truck belongs to Michael Friend and his girlfriend Tammy McCarthy. The couple moved down from Michigan two years ago after Covid shut down their pawn shop business. With help from Tampa Bay Food Trucks (the company who organizes this rally and many other opportunities for food truckers), they purchased, branded, and outfitted their truck.
It was a big leap of faith for the pair, who both worked in food service when they were younger. “We sold everything we had. We used our entire life savings to do this,” Michael says. Now, based out of Port Richey, they feature burgers, chicken strips, and fries. Everything is fresh, never frozen, Michael tells me. “If they don’t like it, I’ll make them anything they want on the menu, guaranteed,” he adds.
Of course, we’re here for adventure, so when I ask what we should try and Michael tells me “the Elvis Burger,” I already know we’re in. It’s a quarter pound patty with sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, honey, and peanut butter.
I think I may have misheard him, but no. It really does have peanut butter. He got the recipe from a fellow food trucker who had it on their menu and raved about it. “I was like, no way. I took a bite out of courtesy and said, ‘Can I put this on my truck?’’” Michael recalls.
I have a similar reaction. The peanut butter adds a certain je ne se quoi to what is basically a great bacon cheeseburger. But I’ll let our taste testers tell it.
“Somehow the flavors go together.”
“It’s really good. Unexpectedly good.”
“I have the same feeling as when I first put a fry in my Frosty.”
“I’m sad I haven’t tried peanut butter on my burger before.”