Oak City Hustle
Keep on Truckin’: Dump Pho King Truck

OakCity Hustle

Ming Liu

Keep on Truckin’: Dump Pho King Truck

I hope you’re excited about this new series, Keep on Truckin’.  We’re going to spend some time getting to know the food trucks of the Raleigh-Durham area.  Let me know what you think.  And let me know which of YOUR favorite food trucks you want to see on here.
What’s up RALEIGH!?  Oak City Hustle had the chance to meet the two ladies behind Dump Pho King Truck, Sunny and Sophia.  What is Dump Pho King Truck?  You’re about to find out.  We caught up with them last week at Packapalooza 2014 and asked them a few questions.  Be sure to check their schedule out at dumpphokingtruck.com to see when they’re going to be near you!
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OCH: Who are the 2 girls in the truck​?

Sunny: The truck driver, graphic designer, ​the dog lover. ​ After being uprooted all over the world by ​my parents, I am happy to call Raleigh home.  I graduated from NC State with an Engineering degree and grew a love for fixing and tinkering with cars and motorcycles. When I’m not sweating in the truck, I am sweating while playing soccer or rock climbing!

​ Sophia: I’m the sarcastic subtle and sweet dumpling queen who loves cats. I’ve lived in North Carolina my entire life and am a die-hard Tarheel fan who loves football more than basketball (odd, I know). I have always had a strong commitment to service and my community and the truck has been an awesome outlet to do it so far.

Oh and just to clarify – while we may bicker like it we are neither related, nor married. Just work wives 🙂

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How did you get started in the food truck business?

We first met in high school at the North Carolina School of Science and Math. Through the power of Facebook, we stayed in touch. After finishing college, we ended up in the same city, Raleigh, where we started scheming up the idea for the truck. The truck actually started with our unconventional name. Once we had the name, we knew we had to do it! There is so much in this life that can be mediocre – when possible, we strongly believe that food should not be! After all, we eat our way through first dates, through travel to new places, through religious experiences, and even through boredom. Food is our way to connect to our surroundings and connect with people.

How did you come up with the name?

​We love awful cheesy puns​. Awful cheesy food puns. (get it?!?). And making people giggle.

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What inspired your menu?

Sunny: The menu is a reflection​ of who we are, proud Asian Americans​ that were embraced by the warmth of Southern hospitality. We wanted to bring the two cultures we love together with food.

Sophia: Nature and Nurture. Our heritage and the traditional Chinese food that we grew up with, plus growing up in North Carolina. How could you not want to put together those two tasty cuisines.

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I’m a first time customer, what should I try?

Sunny: CHEERWINE BULGOGI SLOPPY JOE! A one of a kind sandwich ​that is the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and heat.

​Sophia​​: Dumplings have always been close to my heart. I grew up making dumplings with my mom, grandma, and my aunts and it always reminds me of home and family dinners. Once I started living with roommates, we continued the tradition and dumpling nights became requested more and more! Our pork and chive are my favorite – and as I always claim – so good you don’t need any sauce. Boom.

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If your truck were a movie, which best describes it?

Sunny: ​The LEGO Movie – Everything is Awesome

Sophia: Obviously either Transformers or Knight Rider.

What’s the Raleigh food truck scene like from an insider’s perspective?

​Sunny: The friendliest and hardest working group of people! As a new truck, I was relieved at how everyone has been so helpful and accepting of us!

Sophia: I agree with Sunny – it’s been so much fun being inducted into the community. Everyone is a blast and it’s been such a fun way to continue exploring the area. There are so many great trucks already rolling around and even more trucks starting up each month – it’s such an exciting time to be a part of the industry.

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How fast can your truck go?

Sunny: “Baby Girl” is her name. I believe the fastest it can go is around 60​ and has a surprisingly impressive turning radius!

Sophia: I dunno…when Sunny is driving she seems to go faster than 60 *wink wink*.

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Favorite bar in Raleigh?​​

Sunny: Person Street Bar is a new favorite.

Sophia: I don’t go out very often any more and can’t choose favorites, but you gotta love Raleigh Brewing, Big Boss, and Calavela.

Any favorite food truck (except your own, duh)?

​Sunny: Bulkogi – So happy they are BACK!​ ​Sol Taco – BEST fish taco in town. Deli-licious – everything is so fresh!​

Sophia: So hard to pick, but man Waffalogy, Not Just Icing, and Hanu Truck are amazing.

With the growing popularity of food trucks, why are food truck owners treated like rock stars?  Do you have any stories of crazy fans?  Or just interesting and quirky people showing up to order food?

Sunny:  The closest thing to rock star status is people recognizing me from our Kickstarter video. It still surprises me the reach of the video to our local community!

Sophia: We have awesome fans – and yea some are quirky and interesting, but we love that. When we first started, we were nervous people wouldn’t like us or be offended by the name. Turns out people are much more accepting and laid-back and generally get a good giggle out of us. We’ve had one customer pay us in Euro (it was the end of the night) and gave us way too much, a loyal fan who started a trend of eating pho with a bubble tea straw, and a woman who came up to the truck and said “Thank god I found you, I was on my way to Taco Bell”.

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Any big plans for the rest of the year?

​Sunny:  I am trying to convince Sophia to make another video when our schedule slows down a bit! he he. Sophia and I are always thinking of ways to be part of the community and how to give back. When food truck season slows down, I hope that we can have more time and flexibility to play with those ideas!

Sophia: I need to go skiing and snowboarding. Thankfully the seasonality of the food truck industry should allow for that hopefully.  As for the truck – I’d love to make that video Sunny keeps talking about and revamping some things inside the truck and as always coming up with new ideas for food!

Any shout outs?

CHARLES WEATHERSBY! A saint, A legend, with a heart made of gold. The truck would not be running without him… literally. We love him so much.  And to the Triangle – Thank you for making us feel so welcome! We love you all.

 

I hope you enjoyed their answers.  We really enjoyed their food when we were out there.  Sunny is right, the Cheerwine Bulgogi Sloppy Joe is goooooood, and everybody who reads my posts know how much I love pho.  Be sure to check their schedule and follow them on social media (check out the picture below).  Give them a visit!

 

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Ming Liu

Ming Liu, video producer by day, food blogger by night. Not a "foodie" in the traditional sense, his only training is watching healthy portions of Food Network with his girlfriend. And his love of good food. His tastes range from NC BBQ (he grew up in Raleigh) to authentic Chinese (where he was born) and everything in between. Join Ming as he explores the best food Raleigh has to offer.


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