Saturday was opening day for At-Large Burger Co. food truck in Nevada.
This is a truck that knows the landscape. Last year it was Ida Nady’s food truck, which was hard to miss with its bright pink color. When Nady decided not to continue in the food truck business this year, Jason Sampson — the same guy who is the Nevada Schools transportation director and a Nevada city councilman — bought the truck from her.
“I used to help Ida when she had it (the food truck),” Sampson said on Saturday as he was finishing up the truck’s first lunch outing of this year. The truck is now painted white, and Sampson plans to cover it with a lot more signage. Inside, there are still pink shelves. Looking at those shelves, Sampson said, “It’s still got a little Ida in it.”
Sampson said he does most of the cooking at his home, and has loved to cook since he was a kid.
In taking over the food truck, he plans to be out on Saturdays most of the time, and also plans to hit many local festivals and events. Located in the old Dairy Queen parking lot for his first day, Sampson said he’s also talked to Chris and Tami Ritter about joining them with Ritter’s Smokin’ Critter’s BBQ food truck in ALMACO’s lot from time to time. They get along well, Sampson said.
Sampson will focus on burgers. “Burgers with a flare,” he said. Keeping the protein offering to one thing will be easier to handle. He takes that one thing and tops it in all kinds of ways, as his menu details. He’s even got a burger named after a co-worker at the Nevada Schools, the “Wakeman Up Before You Go-Go” burger, named after Joe Wakeman, school IT director. That burger features a fried egg and bacon on it. Sampson also offers sides and tasty treats, like cotton candy and slushies.
His wife, Marcia, said she’s along for the ride, but she said the food truck is more his than hers. She helped with the food prep for the first day, and she made the guacamole. “I won’t give him my recipe,” she laughed, so he’s likely going to continue needing her for that.
Customer Autumn Smith had a guac burger and loved it. She came to Nevada on Saturday with her husband, Tyler, from the Slater area. Tyler used to work with Jason and the two have continued to be friends. The Smiths wanted to support Sampson on his new venture.
Sampson said he’s going to be in Ames some this summer, too. He will be at the Bandshell Park on June 1 and plans to be at Zylstra Cycles at some point yet to be determined.
He urges people to follow his Facebook page, At Large Burger Co., to keep track of his whereabouts.