With a Pit Stop at Calle Cruz Miami
Editor’s Note: A few days before this issue went to press, the owners of Calle Cruz Miami announced they would be closing the truck until further notice. Their SUV was damaged in a storm, which made transportation for two food trucks very difficult. We hope they can reopen very soon. (Their UpRooted truck is still open for business.)
No strangers to the food truck life, you may recognize Jessica and Jonathan Gonzalez from their original venture, Uprooted. While you can still see that red food truck from time to time, the couple has decided to go back to Jonathan’s roots for their newest mobile eatery—Calle Cruz Miami.
How It All Began
Born in Nicaragua and raised in Miami, Jonathan came to Lynchburg by way of Smith Mountain Lake. After vacationing there with his family, he fell in love with the area and married Jessica, a Lynchburg native. They decided to put down roots in the Hill City.
While both have strong backgrounds in the restaurant industry, they chose to go in the direction of a Central American cuisine food truck “because it’s us on a plate,” Jessica says. “We eat these foods every day.”
What’s in a Name?
Calle Cruz Miami has a very special meaning to the couple. “Calle is the Spanish word for ‘street.’ Cruz is the middle name of our son, Joziah Cruz Gonzalez, who passed away due to a car accident in 2013. Miami is where our food inspiration comes from, but is also where most of our family resides now,” Jessica explains. “In Spanish, it would be translated to ‘Cruz Street, Miami.’ Our food should be like taking a trip to Miami and trying the different cultures all on one street. It just comes out of one little Lynchburg trailer.”
Pick Your Poison Protein
Jessica and Jonathan make everything from scratch and consider Calle Cruz Miami a “fritanga”-style truck. Fritanga refers to a Nicaraguan-style cafeteria where you choose your protein and it’s served with rice, beans, yucca or plantains. While some of their ingredients can’t be found here—such as plantains and yucca—they source all bread, vegetables, chicken and ground beef locally.
The choices of protein on the fritanga-style menu include: Mojo Pork, Ropa Vieja, or Coconut Chicken served on a banana leaf bed of rice with a side of Cuban-style black beans, ensalada, and a choice of fried yucca, plantain chips with mango salsa, or maduros, which are fried sweet plantains.
So far, the Mojo Pork seems to be a Lynchburg favorite. They also serve Cubanos, Elotes and two drinks—Tamarindo and Horchata.
Collectively, the couple has eight children so they know plenty about feeding discerning palates and potentially picky eaters. They will also work with any customers who have food allergies—just let them know.
On the Move
Calle Cruz Miami has been following in Uprooted’s footsteps from the beginning, but they also team up with other local food trucks such as Nomad Coffee Co., Action Gyro, MayLynn’s Creamery, and T&E Catering for local food truck round ups. Just keep tabs on their Facebook page to learn where they will be each week. Jessica says they are also very open to invitations for private events.
If you’re apprehensive to new cuisine or not familiar with this style of food, Jessica and Jonathan won’t let that hold you back from their unique, bold flavors.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most of our food is in Spanish… we are happy to help you out!” she says. “We want people to feel like they’re in Florida with Bachata music playing, a Miami-vice looking logo, and eating foods that originated in Nicaragua, Cuba, El Salvador.”