A mobile food truck has taken up residence in Superior's East End neighborhood.
Jimmy Hase opened Mr. Goodies food truck in the Hudy's Bar parking lot June 1, offering treats from cheese curds and philly steak and cheese to gyros and chicken Mediterranean wraps. The stand is expected to run through Oct. 1.
Mr. Goodies is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 2126 E. Fifth St., catering to lunch crowds and people on their way home from work. For Hase, who has been running the summer food truck for 27 years, it's a new experience.
In previous years, he and best friend Carol Mattson have taken their cuisine on the road, from the Hayward Musky Fest and Bayfield County Fair to events as far away as Michigan and Iowa. Locally, they were a familiar sight at Superior's Fourth of July events, Billings Park Days, East End Days and the Head of the Lakes Fair.
"This is a lot of fun," said Hase, of Lake Nebagamon. "I like to see the happy faces on people. They come and they eat food here and they like it and I’m glad."
With the new weekday schedule, Hase has expanded the Mr. Goodies menu. Monday, Coney day, is the busiest day of the week. Hase attributes that to his Coney sauce, which is based on the Coney dogs he got as a child from The High Spot in Superior. The sauce is made with 11 ingredients, Hase said, including half a pound of seasoning for every five pounds of sauce. Wednesday, customers can snag a cup of chicken and sausage gumbo, a recipe developed by Hase's nephew, Tom Moore.
The cheese curds, a long-time staple, are from Wisconsin, and the tzatziki sauce on the gyros is hand-made. Hase said it's made with "cucumbers and love."
"Everything we do is with a little bit of love," he said.
Hase was managing Bridge's Bar in Lake Nebagamon in 1993 when he "test drove" a food trailer for a summer. He built his current trailer in 1994 after deciding to move into the mobile food business.
"It just kind of clicked, and I loved it," he said. "Everyone was so happy. I’ve been doing it ever since."
Mattson has been traveling to events with him since the beginning. She refers to Hase as her "summer husband."
The two have been best friends "forever," Mattson said, and work well together.
“We’re like a well-oiled machine. We dance around each other perfectly," she said.
This year's sales aren't comparable to past years — Hase said they could take in as much during a three-day event as they do in four weeks at the Hudy's Bar spot. But the slower pace comes with perks, like being able to get out of the 130-degree heat of the kitchen and chat with customers.
"It's the first time since I've been 17 years old that I've had weekends off," said Hase, a bass guitar player who started playing professionally at the age of 14. The Lake Nebagamon man has been in too many bands to name, he said, and played throughout the United States. He still steps in to play with musician friends during the winter.
He thanked everyone who's stopped by the trailer this summer.
"I want them to know I really, really appreciate them stopping by," Hase said.