CBSNewYork is paying homage to New York City food trucks this week by spotlighting five of our favorites: The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, Korilla BBQ, Wafels & Dinges, Kelvin Natural Slush Co. and Schnitzel & Things.
By Siobhan Wallace
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Oleg Voss, the owner of famed New York City food truck Schnitzel & Things, originally had plans for a career in investment banking.
A French Culinary Institute graduate, Voss’ position in the finance industry took him as far away as Vienna, where he admits he “ate loads of schnitzel.”
“That’s really where the idea [for Schnitzel & Things] was born,” Voss told CBSNewYork.
When the global recession forced him back to New York in early 2009, he fell back on his culinary roots and hit the road with Schnitzel & Things.
“Our goal was to always serve fresh and delicious food to New Yorkers on the go,” he said.
With such a unique fare, it was no surprise when Schnitzel & Things developed a very strong following and ended up winning the 2009 Vendy Award for Rookie of the Year. In fact, demand for the goods were so strong, that in early 2011, Schnitzel & Things opened up a brick and mortar location in Midtown.
But opening the store doesn’t signal the end of Schnitzel truck.
“Inherently we’re a street food business and we would like to remain that,” Voss said.
Voss said he also prefers to park his truck in Midtown when possible.
“[It gets] really tense and hectic because of the huge lines, but we thrive under the pressure,” he said.
Recently, the city has initiated a crackdown on street vendors — much to the displeasure of office workers, tourists and others. For food truck owners, the future could be bleak.
“Whatever initiatives are attempted in the future, they have to include scenarios of keeping food trucks on the streets of NYC,” he said.
“It’s all about making people happy.”
Siobhan Wallace is the co-founder of BlondieandBrownie.com.