Food Truck Friday: Fat Sammies Ciao Wagon 

Fat Sammies Ciao Wagon

For the past few weeks, NUVO has been running a Food Truck Friday story, featuring a food truck on, well, a Friday. Next week, our cover story will be all the food trucks that David Hoppe could get to. Plus, next week, we'll release our annual Dining Guide, part of our City Guides series. Stay tuned for an exhaustive look at area eateries, including, you guessed it, food trucks!

No, Sammie is not somebody's rotund uncle. In this case, it's Sicilian slang for sandwich and, as the name suggests, the sandwiches served by Fat Sammies are, in fact, on the very prosperous side.

We found the Ciao Wagon parked outside the IUPUI Lecture Hall, across from the Student Center, on a lucid early September day. Christy Rieman was serving up the wagon's small but sharply focused menu, consisting of meatball, Italian beef and portobello mushroom sandwiches ($6 each with a bottle of water included), as well as servings of Nutella ($3) and San Pellegrino Limonata ($2).

Even though it was just noon, the homemade Italian sausage sammie was already sold out, so if your tastebuds are yearning for pork, make sure you hit the wagon early.

"If we don't sell out, we get close a lot of days," says Christy, who seems able to strike up a friendly conversation with anyone who's hungry. She says the Food Network got her into the food truck movement. "And I like to cook for my family, so I said, 'That looks like fun to me, so I'll give it a try!'"

I went for the Italian beef sammie with the works – onions, grilled red peppers, fresh basil and a homemade garnish of chopped champ peppers and vinegar. This was a gladiatorial eating experience; I felt for a second as if I was wrestling a lion, albeit a very tasty king of beasts. The mix of tender, juicy shaved beef, peppers and spices was overwhelming. If I had it to do over again (which I hope to), I would have taken a more minimalist approach and perhaps simply augmented the beef with the spicy peppers. But then I would have missed the sweet accent of the red peppers…well, some problems are really opportunities in disguise.

"We're a taste truck," says Christy. "We want everything to taste good and look good because you eat with your eyes."

The sammies I saw passed both exams with flying colors.

"People are really starting to see that food trucks have great food," Christy told me as she served up another Italian beef sammie for a lunchtime customer. "It's not just convenient, it's very good."

Enjoy Fat Sammies' food as they join many other food trucks in a festive atmosphere at this Friday's First Friday Food Truck Fest.

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