You wouldn't really expect a food establishment with "Doctor" in the title to serve slabs of thick-cut, deep-fried homemade bacon. You also wouldn't expect to find delicately curried deviled eggs and vegan quinoa salad at the same establishment. And you probably wouldn't guess that combining carne adovada, egg rolls and peanut sauce into a single serving of fried goodness would actually work, let alone taste great. But, of course, you'd be wrong.
On a sweltering Saturday afternoon in Madrid, chef Josh Gerwin (formerly of Santa Fe's Curbside Café food truck and Casa Vieja restaurant in Corrales) stands in the shade beside his newest venture, Dr. Field Goods. He's wearing a black uniform embroidered with "Chef Josh" and looks like he's losing the battle to stay cool—but when asked why he's spending his Saturday frying homemade bacon in a truck, his answer is simple: "It's fun."
June 30 was opening day for Dr. Field Goods, a food truck whose tagline, "Rockin' Out Fresh NM Fusion," is as omnivorous as its menu. The name is designed to emphasize Gerwin's commitment to using fresh, local ingredients ("field goods") while also highlighting his own (Mötley Crüe-loving?) identity.
He was debating another name, Gourmet A Go-Go, but says he was advised against it.
"I went to some marketing guys, and they kinda said, 'Look at you…you're not Gourmet A Go-Go'—you know, I've got the tattoos," Gerwin explains. "So we're using the goods from the field because they make you feel good, because it's good food, and it makes Santa Fe better."
And the food is good. The egg rolls, full of flavorful, slow-roasted carne adovada and slathered with thick, creamy peanut sauce, are a revelation ($7 for two, and you'll definitely want two). Two deviled eggs cost $4, and the flavor changes weekly. The CFBLT—country-fried bacon with arugula and tomato ($6)—could benefit from a crispier fry on the bacon, but otherwise is sinfully delicious.
Gerwin also offers healthy options. The sushi ($6 for a roll stuffed with shiitake mushrooms and pickled daikon radish)—is airy and fresh. The quinoa salad, tossed in a light vinaigrette-style dressing with a medley of thinly sliced root vegetables, is more filling, and costs just $5 for a big portion.
Gerwin plans to spend weekends in Madrid and Tuesday-Friday in Santa Fe, parked near the Design Center. He'll vary the menu offerings, which also include more mainstream fare (burgers, a green chile pulled pork sandwich called the New Mexican, onion rings, etc.), based on what's seasonally and locally available. With any luck, Dr. Field Goods will help transform Santa Fe's smattering of gourmet food trucks into a bona fide street-food scene.
"There's enough good food in Santa Fe," Gerwin says. "It just kinda depends: Are other people going to do it, or am I going to open new trucks?"
Gerwin says people are becoming more attuned to the idea that food-truck fare can be just as high-quality as restaurant food.
"Four years ago, I was a little bit ahead of the curve [with Curbside Café]," Gerwin says. "I think, for Santa Fe, I'm still a little bit ahead of the curve comparing this truck to—no offense—the other taco trucks. It's just totally different…They're going to Sam's Club to buy their food; I'm going to farmers and making fresh food. I don't own a microwave or a can opener. My sauces are all homemade. I don't go buy Italian dressing; I make Italian dressing…Not knocking anybody else, but I just do such a different thing. But yeah, I think it could happen in Santa Fe."
Would you expect that a food revolution could begin with a carne adovada egg roll?