New Food Cart Serves Up Mediterranean Fare on Dickson
A little bit of flavor has been added to Dickson Street with Nomad’s Natural Plate, a Mediterranean-themed food truck that serves gyros, falafel and other ethnic dishes. The owners, Eric Gallemore and Mitchell Owen, both 23, recently moved to Fayetteville to begin this business venture.
“We were going to school and didn’t really know what we were going to do after school,” Gallemore said, “and what we really wanted to do was open up a restaurant, but a restaurant was way too expensive, so we just stumbled upon this idea, and it took off from there.”
“We just started to make a kitchen in the back of a truck,” Owen said.
The ethnic feel makes Nomad’s unique.
“We had the idea to do Mediterranean food,” Owen said. “I’ve always had family and friends who’ve lived in Israel because I’m Mediterranean, so I’ve had falafel and gyros, and kabobs in Italy, so we’re kind of just bringing all this mixture of flavor in the form of just three or four menu items.”
For those who are unaware of the different types of Mediterranean food, the duo gave an explanation.
“A falafel is more of a vegetarian item,” Gallemore said. “We mash up chickpeas, parsley, garlic, onions and lemon, and we bread it and deep-fry it and put it on toasted pita with sauce that we make in the truck. It has spices like coriander and cayenne. It’s really good.”
The other main dish the cart serves is gyro (pronounced “hero”).
“The gyro is a lamb-and-beef mixture,” Owen said. “We slow-cook it on a vertical rotisserie, and it’s really good, too. We serve both dishes with fries and tzatziki sauce and tomato slices. They have all the nutritional value that you would need. It’s a filling meal for sure.”
To keep things interesting, the menu at Nomad’s won’t always be the same.
“We have three main items that will stay on it the entire time,” Gallemore said. “We’ll always have gyro, falafel and probably risotto bites, but we’ve started doing specials as well.”
Another unique attribute of Nomad’s is that the truck stays open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, so customers on Dickson will have a new option when they get the midnight munchies.
“We were like, ‘Oh my gosh, Dickson. You can’t get any food late at night here except Waffle House and Jimmy John’s,’” Gallemore said.
So the two set flexible hours to make everyone happy. They are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday-Saturday.
Even if Mediterranean food doesn’t sound appealing, a conversation with Gallemore and Owen could be worth a stop by. The two are lifelong friends and are often working the truck together.
“I’ve known him since third grade,” Gallemore said. “We grew up in Hot Springs and went to college together at UCA in Conway.”
“I got a B.A. in English and a minor in art history, and he studied geography,” Owen said.
“So no business backgrounds whatsoever,” Gallemore said.
“So we’ve just been kind of figuring things out,” Owen said. “My dad has owned his own business for a really long time, so he’s been really helpful, and Eric’s family has entrepreneurs as well. We’ve had a lot of family help.”
Although neither has previous business experience, they’ve both had experience in cooking, so they already knew how to make a lot of the things they prepare for customers. From there, they just had to make the connections necessary to start their business.
“We found Lisa (Sharp), the owner of Nightbird (Books), on Facebook, and from there it just kind of took off,” Gallemore said. “We communicated with her while we were building the truck, and it just so happened to work out that when we were done with the truck, she had a spot for us in her parking lot, and we pay a little bit of rent to her.”
The food truck has seen increasing success since it opened.
“Everyone’s been really excited about it,” Gallemore said. “We have regulars now, and people who come to the truck all the time.”
While the food truck is gaining popularity, the owners continue to adhere to their mission of care and consistency.
“We put a lot of care into our food, and make sure, as cliche as it may sound, that each customer is really happy with it, and so far everyone has been,” Owen said. “Everyone’s come back to the window and said it was really good.
“The thing with the food truck is that we can serve things fast, like it’s essentially fast food, but without the fast-food taste. It’s fast but really good food. That’s what our goal is.”