Local chef opens craft sandwich food cart at 10 Mile Music Hall
*Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Alyssa Block’s last name.
FRISCO — Local chef Alyssa Block has opened her own food cart business, Graze & Torreys, specializing in craft sandwiches with locally sourced proteins.
Block and her boyfriend set up shop June 25 on the upper deck of 10 Mile Music Hall in Frisco from noon to 7 p.m. (or later if business is good) on Wednesdays through Sundays.
Block said the eatery concept has been well received by new customers and that the cart was busy serving up food Saturday. She said the most popular sandwich has been the pork belly banh mi, which is topped with pickled vegetables and cilantro aioli, followed by the vegan sandwich, called The Beetz Knees, which features a beet and black bean burger with cheese or hummus, heirloom tomatoes and other toppings. Other sandwiches feature braised or smoked meats, including bison barbacoa and carnitas, but all sandwiches can be made vegetarian. In addition to sandwiches, Graze & Torreys sells street tacos.
“A couple people have told me it’s the best sandwich in Summit County right now,” Block said.
Block said her food cart business started in Columbus, Ohio, where she ran a similar cart. When she moved to Summit County, she said she was the head chef at Sauce on the Blue and then a chef at Frisco Prime.
“I really wanted to work for myself and create a business model that was both delicious and tried to be more sustainable with less of a carbon footprint, which is why we do local or close to local — some of our protein is from Wyoming — and it’s just so the transit area is smaller,” Block said.
Block said it is important to her to use locally sourced meat for the environmental benefit and that her desire to reduce her carbon footprint is why she offers several vegetarian options.
Block said she decided to go through with the idea to start a business during a recession because she wanted to bring joy to the community. When the owners of 10 Mile Music Hall asked her to start a food cart, she thought it would be a great way for her to support another local business.
Todd Altschuler, co-owner of 10 Mile Music Hall, said Monday that he thinks the partnership has been amazing, describing it simply as “locals working with locals.”
Last year, the music hall partnered with Moe’s Original BBQ, but the eatery lost its Summit County location. Altschuler said Block told him a few months ago about the food cart she had in Ohio.
“We knew about her culinary expertise and thought it would be an amazing partnership, a great thing to have on the deck of 10 Mile to go along with either deck music or people who just want some good, reasonably priced lunch,” Altschuler said.
He said he loves the food.
“I’ve had the pork belly banh mi and the carnitas torta, and both are the best things I’ve had in town,” he said.
Block said she thinks mobile food carts are one of the best ways to address COVID-19 concerns because they allows people to be in an open-air environment and are already set up for takeout.
Block said a lot of locals have stopped by along with a few visitors.
“We try to hit locals with our price point because our sandwiches range from $9 to $12, and the $12 one is huge, so we’re really trying to make an affordable, delicious sandwich spot in Summit,” Block said.
Looking to the future, Block said she might offer late-night delivery. And when 10 Mile Music Hall begins hosting concerts again, she will be serving during shows. Eventually, Block hopes to expand.
“The food cart is a great way to get our name out there and just start getting people familiar with our product and our brand. But eventually, we want to (open) a storefront,” Block said. “We’re kind of working our way up to that.”
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