Burgers&Freys: Not your everyday burger
On March 13, there was a post on Facebook: “Hey everyone! Saturday (the 18th) we'll be set up at 441 main St in Damariscotta hanging out with Girl Scout Troop 144 again! 11-6ish.”
The post was put up by a food truck business, Burgers&Freys, and the artsy picture that showed up at the top of its Facebook was enough to pique anyone’s interest.
The truck, named with a play on words for the owners, Colin and Dawn McKenna Frey, arrived just before 11:30. It was a relatively balmy day, compared to the last time it was in Damariscotta, when it was in the single digits, and people were lining up by 11:35 for hamburgers, fries and Girl Scout cookies, from the cart set up next to the truck.
The cookie cart and the burger truck were parked in the lot in front of an empty building at 441 Maine Steet, across from Penalty Box, thanks to Colin Frey's and his sister Angela White's parents, who own the building.
White is the troop leader of Girl Scout Troop 144, based in Nobleboro. She asked her brother to bring his truck to the spot, hoping that if cookies didn't draw customers in, his burgers and fries would.
After waiting in line and ordering one of the Freys’ special burgers (you don't have to order a side of fries – they’re included in the basket), Colin Frey took a short break from cooking to talk about his and his wife’s new business venture.
“When we came down here a couple weeks ago, it was -8 with the wind chill,” he said. “It was awful. My wife didn't come with me so I was alone. The truck was frozen up, and when I was done, there was ¼ inch of ice inside the windshield. But we sold out in two hours.”
He got the idea for the burger truck when he lived in a tiny town in Norway, 15 years ago. “I used to frequent a burger trailer. I fell in love with the idea. “It’s a dream come true.”
The Freys bought the immaculate-looking white food truck, used, last summer. “It’s old,” he said. “Like 1992, but the people we bought it from had gone through it and rebuilt everything that needed to be redone, including a brand new kitchen, so it was all set to go.”
The menu is straightforward. There are six different kinds of burgers (with fries), Capt’n Eli's sodas, and poutine, a decidedly decadent helping of fresh-cut french fries “smothered in gravy and cheese curds.” All the burgers are $8, with exception of the ‘Beef Chief’– a double burger with bacon and a fried egg, which is $11.
The menu includes gluten-free options and a falafel burger.
Colin Frey said all of their ingredients are sourced from Maine. The secret to his above average (large) burgers is that they use only 100 percent grass-fed beef from Farmers’ Gate Market in Wales; and all of the cheese comes from Pineland Farms in Gloucester.
As an organic farmer, Dawn Frey said it’s important to her that they are able to use the freshest ingredients for their food truck. “We’re not an organic food truck, but our focus is on local/responsible sourcing. “Everyone seems really excited and positive with what we’re doing, which is great.”
The fries are all hand-cut to order, from Maine grown potatoes, and the Freys don't skimp on the portions.
By 1:30 on March 18, Frey said they were getting low on supplies, thanks to the customers who had been lining up since 11:30.
Burgers&Freys operates on weekends in Gardiner, but will be traveling to other towns and events. The couple tentatively plans to take the truck to some fairs this summer, and there will be a food truck festival in Gardiner in May.
Visit the Burgers&Freys Facebook page to find out where you can catch up with the truck soon.