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Dining

Anatomy of a food truck: Fukuburger

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Photo: Beverly Poppe

So how do you fit everything needed to prepare, cook and serve burgers inside one truck? Here’s a detailed look, starting near the front on the driver’s side and working our way around. In this instance, we look at the Fukuburger slider truck:

Fukuburger: Inside the Truck

1. A stainless steel hand-washing sink, less than a foot wide. All hand-washing has to be done here, nowhere else in the truck.

2. A foot-and-a-half-wide freezer is just below the hand-washing station. The truck’s operators never use this because they want all ingredients to be fresh.

3. A 3-foot-wide, stainless steel, three-compartment sink for washing lettuce, pans, utensils and more. A foot-wide space to the left of the sink is used as an ice bath for sauces. The truck’s owners will go through hundreds of pounds of ice per night on ice baths.

4. Underneath the sink is a storage space for cleaners and sanitizers, and overhead is storage for spoons, paper supplies, a first-aid kit and more.

5. A 4-foot-wide, plastic counter for preparing patties and cutting vegetables, with the surface sanitized in between. Just above this is an ice bath compartment for lettuce, tomatoes, daikon radishes, pickled cucumbers and more. Below the counter are two reach-in refrigerators, each a foot-and-a-half wide. These are used for patties and eggs only, all of which are stored in hotel pans with lids and plastic wrap. Even though these are refrigeration units, ice is placed on the bottom to keep ingredients as fresh as possible.

6. A 4-foot-wide steam table is used instead as an ice bath, in which a pan of 30 patties is placed on a bed of 80 pounds of ice. This prevents the cook from having to constantly reach into the refrigeration units, which keeps everything fresher over the long run.

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Truck vs. Truck!
Culinary competition has officially penetrated every level of eatery, from the fine dining folks on Top Chef Masters to the inevitable food truck vs. food truck battle royal. On December 11, Slidin’ Thru and Han Shik Taco will go head to head in front of chef judges Jean Paul Labadie of Marche Bacchus, Kari and Brian Haskell of Retro Bakery and Weekly blogger and Wazuzu chef Jet Tila. As the invitation suggests, head to the Summerlin Lee’s Discount Liquor between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to “eat, judge and eat more.” And to see whose cuisine reigns supreme, of course. —Sarah Feldberg

7. A 3-foot-wide flat grill sits at the rear center of the truck, complete with a grease trap drain and faucet for cleaning the grill. Next to the grill is a 1-foot-wide deep-fat fryer. Above everything is a hood with fans and an ANSUL system, a fire extinguisher for the grill that is activated by pulling a ring in the front of the truck.

8. A 2-foot-wide serving station for fries. Below this is a cabinet for tamales, burritos and chips. Since it’s not needed for that, it’s used for storage.

9. A 2 1/2-foot-wide window, from which food is served to customers.

10. A 5-foot-wide counter with plastic lift-up lids to store candy and chips. When the truck’s exterior canopy is lifted, this section becomes available to customers outside the truck.

11. A foot-wide, 50-cup coffee maker, which has never been used—yet. Owner Colin Fukunaga says he may use it for hot chocolate with the cold winter months ahead, but not much else. “There’s not much call for coffee with sliders,” he says.

12. A 2 1/2-foot-wide door leading from the driver’s compartment to the cooking area. Per health codes, this door must be closed whenever the truck is in business.

13. Rubber mats cover the floor, which is about 3 feet wide.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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