Spanglish food truck in Raleigh, Durham a total loss after fire

The Spanglish food truck suffered a fire after its Wednesday lunch service. Owners are unsure when they'll be back.Courtesy of Spanglish

Puerto Rican food truck Spanglish suffered a fire after its lunch service Wednesday afternoon, and owners are declaring it a total loss.

In this tipping point between spring and summer, the owners fear they’ll miss out on food truck season as diners are flocking to breweries and food truck rodeos. The truck will be parked indefinitely as they regroup and plan their return.

Spanglish was parked at a medical park near the airport when a fire started in its mobile kitchen. Owner Doel Gonzales said the fire started in the truck’s generator and quickly spread through the truck.

In a Facebook post, owners said flames spread too quickly to grab the truck’s fire extinguishers, but that all employees made it out safely.

Restaurant fires are a common and costly risk, with so much of what’s needed to produce delicious food, the fryers and flames, also potential hazards.

The owners called it the worst nightmare for a food truck.

“It happens, but we’ll put it back together,” Gonzales said.

The truck’s paint scheme was already a smoky gray, but photos show where the roof was burned through, the windshield blown out from the heat and the cab melted.

Spanglish, which started in 2016, is owned by two married couples, Doel Gonzales and Gretchen Grajales and Antonio Rodriguez and Elizabeth Gutierrez. A successful Kickstarter campaign helped get the truck on the road, raising more than $11,000.

The Spanglish menu features a few traditional and inventive empanadas, including one with buffalo chicken, as well as a take on a Cuban sandwich using slow roasted Pernil and house baked bread. News & Observer restaurant critic Greg Cox raved that any Cuban sandwich lover would approve.

In the meantime, owner Gonzales said they would focus on their sister restaurant, the brick and mortar Pressed Sandwich House, at 10630 Durant Road, Suite 104, in North Raleigh. He said they took over the former Nashers Sandwich House space six months ago and that the purchase was made possible by the success of Spanglish.

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