Lexington: The Gastro Gnomes Deliver Great Food on Wheels
As the warmer weather begins to tease Kentucky it means that food trucks come out from their winter hibernation, or at least I’m willing to venture out to track them down again. Word went out via Twitter recently that the roving Gastro Gnomes were going to be at A Cup of Common Wealth coffee shop in downtown Lexington for lunch. A reliable source told me last fall that the Gnomes had one of Lexington’s best burgers, and I was eager to try them out.
In keeping with the modern food truck trend, this isn’t your grandfather’s rolling fair food. The Gastro Gnomes are two chefs who work together to deliver curbside haute cuisine. They issue a menu for each scheduled stop, embracing the fun challenge of creating superior taste in eat on the go at an affordable price.
Although tempted by the day’s other offerings like French Dip Grilled Cheese or Bacon Wrapped Thai Chili Shrimp, I remained committed to the day’s burger, the Stone Fruit Burger: “1/2 lb. Gravesland Meats Burger with Provolone Cheese, and mustard base stone fruit relish.” I ordered my burger:
“Got any sides?”
“No. Just a fantastic burger.”
Sometimes with food trucks you find yourself seat challenged (as I mentioned in an earlier review, I recommend having a foldable chair in your boot for food truck emergencies). But that day The Gastro Gnomes were being hosted by A Cup of Commonwealth. In this symbiotic relationship, the Gnomes provided food while A Cup of Commonwealth provided seating (and a beverage if you so desired). I availed myself of a a vanilla Ale-8-One—highly recommended!
Eating-in has its privileges as an actual Gastro Gnome brought us our burgers inside to the table. The first bite was heaven in a bun. The fruit relish gave the burger just the right amount of moisture and added a subtle sweetness that played perfectly off the beef and Provolone. The Gnomes also lightly grill their buns, which adds a pleasant crunchiness, and prevents the bun from breaking down.
The Gastro Gnome burger will convince you how quality meat will drive the taste of a cheeseburger. Gravesland meat comes from just over the hill in Scott County. Local food adds a better taste. Quality meat and ingredients will prop up a backyard griller like me, but in the hands of skilled gastro(g)nomers you have the opportunity to push beyond an average burger. Chris Thile can make stunning music from a Chinese factory mandolin, but put a Gibson Lloyd Loar in his hands and he can make you cry.
My wife said, “I bet if they did do french fries they would be amazing.” There’s no doubt, and the habit of having fries or a side made me miss them, but their absence allowed me to focus on the burger. And the burger alone was really just the right size to be filling without feeling stuffed. At $11 a burger it’s not cheap, but you won’t regret getting it.
The Gastro Gnomes are helping to lead the charge in what is a burgeoning food truck movement in Lexington and Kentucky. With varying locations and an ever changing experimental menu, the Gnomes bring a bit of welcome adventure to tracking down one of Lexington’s absolutely best burgers.