For profiles on other food trucks in Indianapolis, check out "Indy's food trucks flourish."
Even when she's at rest, it's hard to miss Mabel on the Move. Mabel is a glistening Airstream trailer, circa 1962. And if that weren't enough, she sports a pair of red and white polka-dot flags off her highly polished, aerodynamic stern.
Kate McKibben is the chef working away inside Mabel's interior, serving up what she calls "food with a conscience." Food, she says, "I would feed my own family."
On the day we found Mabel, parked downtown along Meridian Street, she was serving dishes like a Roasted Red Pepper Mac and Cheese ($4) and two kinds of hot dogs made from grass-fed beef: Chicago style with the works and one that recalled New York, served with sauerkraut (both $4). There was also an Organic Herbed Potato Salad with hard-boiled egg and bacon ($4), and ice cream from local dairy Traders Point ($3.50).
I'm a lifelong aficionado of Chicago dogs, so this offering was irresistible. I added an order of the potato salad for good measure.
The dog, as promised, was top-quality beef, succulent and tasty. It was well dressed with the requisite toppings, including pickle relish, fresh tomatoes, onions, mustard and champ peppers, which Kate's son added with the care of a true artiste. When he added a spray of celery salt — the genius of the Chicago dog — I knew I was in good hands.
The potato salad was a meal in itself, big on freshness and flavor, with good-sized chunks of everything, including a couple of gherkin pickles for extra snap.
McKibben, who started her truck last March, is an ex-real estate broker who comes by her interest in food via a personal conversion story. "My husband and I revamped how we eat a few years ago," she says. "We saw what an impact that had on our health and our thinking and overall well-being. I thought this is something I can do for people, bring them some healthy options."
This means no white sugar or white flour. If McKibben makes a chicken salad, she uses half mayo and half zero-fat Greek yogurt.
"It's sort of like Mabel's from 1962," McKibben says, gesturing toward her Airstream. "If we went back to eating like we did in 1962 we wouldn't be in such dire need of healthcare in America."