The food truck phenomenon has exploded in Brisbane! Every Friday, we’ll be taking a closer look at one of your favourite food trucks — today, the spotlight falls on Vira Lata.
Owner/Chef: Carlo Xavier & Taline Ferreira
Cuisine style: Brazilian with some Portuguese Specials, inspired by São Paulo sanduiche (Portuguese for Sandwich) culture.
Home suburb: Coorparoo
Time in business: Two months
Why food trucks?
Flexibility, with having a family and that sense of being a renegade restaurant on wheels.
What were you doing before you got your food truck? What’s your background in food?
I was working as a DJ and part time musicologist unearthing, sometimes literally, old records from the Caribbean and South America, especially Brazil. Our food background comes from our families and culture. Taline is a Brazilian national who moved here seven years ago and I’m a second generation Aussie from a Portuguese family.
What’s the most popular item on your menu?
Hard to say. The Vira Lata and Vaca Loca get equal love depending if you want free range pork or Wagyu Brisket. The Coxinha (co-shi-nya), a gluten free, fried chicken and cassava dumpling, goes well too.
What’s your favourite item on the menu?
We made a hybrid of the Vira Lata and Vaca Loca the other night, that was an experience.
Which suburbs do you usually operate in? Where’s your most popular stop?
Being a new truck on the lot, we are anywhere from here to Samford and soon to be Gold Coast, but our local spots at Coorparoo Bob Jane Tmart and newbie at the South Side Tearoom is becoming quite popular as people are getting to know us.
Why do you think food trucks have become so popular?
The food is simple and very accessible. The same faces who are cooking are serving you and there’s the informality of serving food on the streets; everyone and their dog is accepted. It’s a communal way of dining, from the people in the trucks bringing the trucks together to the old friends and neighbours who bump into each other on the street. It brings food back to its rawest form.
Favourite music to listen to in the truck?
The mixes on my website Sabrosa.com.au definitely do the rounds, but anything soulful and funky, from the Caribbean to Northern Brazil and then across to the African islands of Cabo Verde… the closer to the equator the better.
Do you harbour any dreams of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant?
For now, no, we love the flexibility of the truck. But if we do, I think it will be somewhere on the beaches of Bahia. Sorry, Brisbane.
If your Food Truck was a Transformer, its name would be…
Vira Latamus Prime.
Where can we find you over the next few weeks?
Food Van Jam at Westfield Chermside this Friday September 5. Most Thursday nights you can find us at Bob Jane T Mart Coorparoo in front of the Coorparoo train station. Every second and fourth Friday night of the month at South Side Tea Room, Morningside, and every second and fourth Saturday night of the month at Kerbside Bar, Fortitude Valley. You can always find us by downloading the wherethetruck.at application for smart phones.
Food Truck Friday is brought to you by Truck Corp! Truck Corp purpose builds commercial vehicles for food service — if you want to get in on the food truck phenomenon with your very own food truck, visit truckcorp.com.au or call (07) 3277 6440.
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