Pulling up to a food truck or trailer for the first time is sort of like gambling. You could be a winner and pick the perfect sandwich. If you pick the wrong sandwich, well, at least you were brave enough to try something different.
I sincerely doubt there is anything on the menu at Culver Creek Eatery that is not in the perfect sandwich category. These selections are on the menu because they are proven winners. I recently visited this food trailer for the first time, ordering a Memphis Belle. This is a pulled pork sandwich with a coleslaw topping. It comes on a hardy bun. You get a side (I chose baked beans), some pickles and a drink for $7.50, including taxes.
The real surprise came when I opened the to-go box in my kitchen at home. This sandwich was enormous. I took a sharp knife and cut it in half. I ate half of the beans, which were spot on, and half of the sandwich. There was more than enough here to feed two people or one person twice. The pulled pork was moist and tender. The slaw gave it some crunch. The meal comes with a small container of barbecue sauce. Next time, I will ask for two of those.
Most of the menu items are in the range of $7.50 to $10. There's the Whole Hog sandwich, which features smoked bologna, pulled pork and slaw. It's topped with a hot link. The Blues King sandwich features smoked chuck roast, barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese. You can also get barbecue tacos and nachos made with beef or chicken.
This food trailer was custom-designed by its owner Jarren Tupper, who has lots of experience in food preparation and catering. You know it's got to be good when people are standing in the rain to place their orders.
The trick here is to be on the lookout for Tupper's black truck and trailer. It makes regular appearances at 320 S. Kenser Court, which is near the Flying J Travel Center on East 32nd Street. It also has been spotted at Jugz Liquor and Microbrew, 1605. E. 20th St., and on Highway 96 in Oronogo. Plans call for a location downtown. This traveling food option is open, rain or shine, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Check out culvercreek.com for details.
There's one other thing. Food trucks and trailers are inspected by the health department just like any other food vendor. In fact, Tupper needs three different licenses in order to operate in Joplin. These places are highly regulated.
All American Motorsports and Powersports, owned by Shane Werberger, of Joplin, has opened in the former Bob's Texaco service station at 3227 S. Main St.
All American specializes in late-model, low-mileage vehicles. Financing is available. Every vehicle is thoroughly cleaned and serviced before it goes on the lot. The vehicles are detailed in two bays that are part of the Texaco station. All American does outside detailing.
Bob's Texaco was operated until recently by Bob Goodson. He sold the property after owning it for more than 40 years. Werberger said Goodson has visited the station and has complimented him about the improvements that have been made, including the addition of hot water to the bathroom.
Some might not think of this place as part of Joplin's history, but it is. It is a slice of Americana, representing a time when standalone service stations were everywhere. This station, as an example of that, appears to be in mint condition. Details: 417-385-7711.
The Artwalk, now in its 12th season in downtown Joplin, resumes on Thursday. There will be eight to 10 inside art venues within walkable distances of one another. Hours will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
For this art walk, a back room at the Joplin Avenue Coffee Co. will be used as an artisan market. The Ozark Bards will perform. The front room will feature Philip Ledbetter’s "Chicago Life'' in black and white photography. Haley Jarrett will play the guitar.
The Urban Art Gallery will have a reception for painter T. Crowe Semler with his abstract paintings. Aljah Jones will perform. Local painter Andrew Batcheller will be at the Infuxion Vodka Bar, and painter Mark Vanslyke will be featured at Club 609, where the Scott Eastman Trio will perform.
Spiva Center for the Arts will host the George Washington Carver National Monument celebration of "Art in the Park'' coming in April. Several shows of drawing and layered mixed-media works will be featured upstairs. Don’t forget it’s trivia game night. The buy-in is $5.
Mardi Gras is the theme. It might be a bit dark outside and possibly chilly, but don’t let that hold you back — grab your beads and masks and walk the art.
If you have news about something that’s happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, call 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; email email@example.com or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 417-623-8598.