The sun is shinning, the grass is beginning to green, the birds are chirping, and spring is here! I cannot even begin to explain how this turn of seasons makes me feel. I’m not one for winter at all. I hate it. So the arrival of spring and summer makes me feel thrilled to be alive.
It’s also the season where food trucks no longer have to struggle through snow, slick roads, and empty patios. The arrival of warm weather brings forth farm fresh produce, cold beer, and food truck picnics. I feel the goosebumps already just typing this out.
Longtime readers know how much I love food trucks. Love may be an understatement. I’m probably one of their biggest fans in Fort Collins. It’s because they combine the two things I love most – good food and the outdoors. Sure, you can always pick up an order to go from a brick and mortar restaurant and plant yourself in the grass somewhere, or dine alfresco on their patios, but it’s just not the same. The food trucks of Fort Collins add a whole lot of flavor to our outdoor lifestyle, and The Goodness is one of those trucks who do this combination best.
The Goodness launched in June of 2013 with a focus on hearty sandwiches, burgers, and as they say, “glorified comfort between bread.” Owned and operated by husband and wife team, Abby and Andrew Andrews, they moved back to Fort Collins after a two year stint in Canada to start this new adventure. You can find them at various breweries serving up a menu comprised of locally sourced ingredients. Here’s their list of local vendors from their website:
- Fiddletown Bakery, Fort Collins
- The Shire CSA, Fort Collins
- Colorado Mills, Lakewood
- Quatrix Aquaponics, Laporte
- Fagerberg Produce, Eaton
- LOCO Foods, Fort Collins
- Gilberto’s Gourmet Goodness, Fort Collins
- Noosa Finest Yoghurt
You can absolutely taste the freshness and flavors of Colorado in their food. It makes a huge difference in quality, and while their price point may be on the higher side, it’s worth it. Not only are they using local ingredients, they’re also one of the very few food trucks in the country who are cooking up this amazingness with the Big Green Egg – a mobile BBQ, smoker, oven all in one. Fresh produce with smoked meats? Yeah, that’s what Colorado tastes like.
I took my first bite from their menu last summer at Odell with Lauren from Napa of Beer. She let me sample a bite of her Hogfather sandwich and I was immediately impressed. As what usually happens, time slipped by and I wasn’t able to catch them for the review…until now.
I returned again for the full experience this week, on a cold and blustery day. The patio at Odell was barren, everyone opting for cold beers and warm seats inside. Yet, The Goodness was parked outside enduring the last days of winter and texting people when their orders were ready for pickup.
I ordered the Grateful Goodness – house cranberry sauce with a signature stuffing, thick carved slow smoked turkey breast, mixed greens, fresh tomato and house lemon tarragon aioli, completed with a Fiddletown Bakery kaiser roll.
This was phenomenal. The turkey slice had an irresistible smokiness to it that is completely unique compared to all other Thanksgiving-like sandwiches you can find in town. Most of the other restaurants in town who offer this dish year-round will just slap on regular deli turkey in there, and while it may be a short cut, it’s also a shortcut on flavor. The Grateful Goodness is the real comfort deal. I also enjoyed the light-handed use of herbs in their stuffing. A good thanksgiving stuffing is usually packed with sage and thyme, a flavor combo often signaling the readiness of a post-feast hibernation. But this sandwich was nicely balanced in heavy comfort foods while still being light enough for a outdoor summer adventure. They have generous portions without the couch coma.
I returned again for a lunch meeting at New Belgium to plan an epic dining event this summer (yeah, it’s going to be incredible). This time we delved into most of the menu.
Jana ordered a slider – slow smoked port shoulder tossed in their house BBQ sauce, on a sweet Hawaiian roll with a dill pickle. I forgot to take a photo and a taste, but her first reaction was, “Oh, this is so good!” So, I think that about sums it up.
I ordered the Beer Cheese Burger – 1/2 lb Angus beef burger made with porter, cheddar, mixed greens, tomato, house lemon tarragon aioli on a Fiddletown Bakery kaiser.
It was cooked well done, and next time I’ll ask if they can cook to a different temperature (I like my meat medium at most), but it was still dripping with juice and flavor. It was a fantastic burger. I think the Fiddletown rolls make a big difference, too.
We both ordered a side of their chips which are hand cut to order. Your can chose to have them tossed in either sea salt or Goodness BBQ blend. We both opted for the sea salt toss.
I love these chip! They aren’t too greasy and they aren’t fried all the way through, so they still have a little tenderness to them that is almost like baked potato (almost, but not quite). It’s a great texture, but mostly, a damn tasty flavor.
I also ordered their dessert – the Doughnettes – mini churro style donut holes tossed in coarse sugar. They change the flavor every day, and this day happened to be mixed berry. Sadly, this was the only fail for me. It’s not too shocking either because unless a restaurant or a truck has a pastry chef on staff, you can count on them being successful with food or desserts, but rarely both.
They weren’t cooked all the way through and had a gummy texture with a mildly odd flavor. While writing this review, I really struggled with the decision on whether or not this effected the overall star rating. I do think this item is a fail, but I don’t think it diminishes the quality of the other dishes or the general flavor of the whole menu, which is quite frankly, amazing. So, just skip the dessert here until they get something else on board. Everything else is a win.
So, now that the sun is out longer, the scenery is greening up, and we’re all ready to hang out with our sunglasses and flip-flops in the fresh Colorado air, you can add some extra flavor from The Goodness to your Rocky Mountain lifestyle. If you’re going to live Colorado, you might as well taste it at the same time!
Roaming around Fort Collins, mostly at breweries
Kid-Friendly? No kids’ menu, but it’s a food truck. They’re always kid friendly.
Parking: Wherever the truck is parked
Healthy Options? One vegetarian option, sliders are good for smaller portions. But that’s it.
Budget-Friendly? Lunch averages $10-$12 if you get more than a sandwich.
Recent Health Inspection: Unknown