July 8, 2014
By Jim Moore
AOPA has lined up a gourmet convoy to serve up lunch at the Plymouth Fly-In July 12. The food trucks tapped for this important duty were recruited with help from a consultant whose marching orders were to make mouths water with the finest mobile kitchens in the region. Each of the trucks chosen has earned a reputation for quality, serving up scrumptious goodness in the Boston and Cape Cod regions, along with nearby Providence, Rhode Island.
“We didn’t want to go with just any food vendors,” said Chris Eads, AOPA director of outreach and events. “We sought out the best local cuisine.”
Eads and his event planning team have lined up seven gourmet kitchens on wheels with additional options on standby in case of a last-minute surge in registrations (that’s a hint, by the way: If you plan to attend but have not yet signed up for meals, including a $5 all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, and a lunch that is free to members, now is a great time to do that.) With a schedule packed with seminars, exhibits, a Pilot Town Hall with AOPA President Mark Baker, and plentiful opportunities to meet and mingle with fellow AOPA pilots (not to mention a location with plenty of history, scenery, and attractions), this third AOPA Fly-In of the year will have something for everyone. That goes for the food, too.
Captain Marden’s Seafoods Inc. is a four-generation family-owned operation that serves up fresh seafood at the retail and wholesale levels, supplying many fine dining establishments in the Greater Boston area. The family operates a restaurant and fish
market in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and a mobile operation dubbed “The Cod Squad” that will be on the field July 12, serving up a choice of classic fish and chips (hand-cut fries) with fresh-made coleslaw, or a hand-cut filet of poached salmon served over locally sourced seasonal greens with creamy mustard seed dressing on the side.
Kevin and Ryan McGuire are the brothers behind Pennypacker's, which is deploying two trucks to Plymouth Municipal for the AOPA Fly-In. The McGuires also operate a restaurant in Somerville, Massachusetts, and focus on fresh ingredients, sourced locally in season.
They will serve up a total of four entrée choices: pulled pork or pulled chicken barbecue, served with a choice of sweet potato salad or coleslaw, and a choice of chicken sandwich or caprese sandwich served from the second truck.
Sweet Tomatoes Pizza Truck serves up Neopolitan style pies with a thin, crunchy crust, juicy and chunky tomato sauce, and premium toppings including pepperoni, pesto splash, or barbecue chicken. Members get two slices in any combination of toppings (plain cheese is also an option).
“We believe in fresh, vibrant food to warm your soul,” reports Elysha Bemis, one of three owners of Sweet Tomatoes, a trio that also operates restaurants in Newton, West Newton, and Needham, Massachusetts.
If pasta is more your style, The Pasta Pot will serve up Cavatappi pasta (a type of macaroni) with homemade marinara sauce and meatballs made from recipes handed down from the current owner’s great-grandmother. A garden salad and grilled garlic bread will round out this lunch option.
Of course, being so close to Boston, it was only fitting to line up the famous Fenway Frank as another lunch option, served by the Fenway Sausage Works. This truck will offer two options: a pair of Kayem brand hot dogs (the official brand of the Boston Red Sox) or an Italian sausage sandwich with (optional) peppers and onions, each served with a choice of potato salad or chips.
Radish, a food truck launched by students at Johnson and Wales University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Brown University, is on a mission to promote healthy eating and culinary creativity.
“We would like to reward our community by acting as a hub for artists and pioneers, and by providing a healthy, filling, well-deserved meal at the end of the day,” the young entrepreneurs write on their website. AOPA members will choose from two menu options from this Providence, Rhode Island-based truck: a Westminster Sandwich of grilled chicken with a sweet and spicy tomato paste on arugula, or a Waterman Sandwich of tomato, mozzarella, and basil paste with a hint of fresh lemon juice. A side of fries rounds out this meal, along with a choice of tasty dipping sauces.
There may be even more choices—the planning team has put additional food truck operators on standby in case they’re needed, which will depend on the final registration numbers. Remember, lunch is free for members, and for nonmembers costs just $10 per person, with discounted memberships offered during the Fly-In for just $40 that make it a pretty sweet deal all around.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
AOPA has announced plans for five new fly-ins in 2015 following the success of last year's inaugural events. Events will be held in California, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, and Tennessee.
In an effort to increase member engagement, one of AOPA President Mark Baker’s first acts as the association’s new leader was to move away from one annual convention and instead host a series of regional fly-ins to “meet the members where they are.”
AOPA's final fly-in of the year a resounding success with thousands of pilots, hundreds of airplanes, and dozens of activities.
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