Cafe Society

Michel Wahaltere puts the brakes on Aja to Go, but pushes the pedal to the metal on Chicago Louie's

Back in August, local restaurant consultant and chef Michel Wahaltere was preparing to join the street food revolution, promising to launch Aja to Go, "the first mobile food truck in the city to travel day and night around Denver serving up great sushi, salad bowls, noodle bowls and Asian tapas."

But Wahaltere encountered engine problems, so to speak, and Aja to Go won't get going until sometime next year. "We had some technical issues with the commissary, and we need to push the launch of the truck back to next spring," says Wahaltere.

In the meantime, Wahaltere has joined a squadron of investors who plan to introduce Denver street-food fans to Chicago Louie's, a pavement-pushing mobile truck that will be akin, says Wahaltere, to DBGB Kitchen and Bar, the newest New York venture from Daniel Boulud: "I ate at DBGB when I was in New York, and really enjoyed my experience there, and I wanted to come up with something fun and similar to serve on wheels."

To that end, Wahaltere is playing around with different housemade sausages, soups and sliders. "I want to do things like a Tuscan bean and sausage soup, corn dog 'puppies,' a Southwestern chorizo slider and lots of sausages, like merguez, a Moroccan-spiced lamb sausage; a Greek loukaniko; a pork and beef sausage with fennel and orange flavors; a Cajun crayfish boudin; as well as a Belgian boudin noir, a blood sausage from my own country," says Wahaltere. "The Chicago Louie's truck will provide regional and international interpretations (on wheels) of a European tavern -- or gastropub -- that meet an upscale all-American hot dog cart. It'll be comfort food done well, with great ingredients and innovative flavors and tastes."

And if all goes well, it'll hit the streets in December.

Wahaltere admits he's still trying to nail down locations, but he's considering the Tech Center by day and LoDo by night. "I'm also looking at securing a parking spot on Larimer Street once a month to produce something similar to the Justice League of Street Food, but it would be more like a block party mixed with local artists and existing businesses," he notes.

To follow the progress of Chicago Louie's, check out the truck's Facebook page, or follow it on Twitter @ChicagoLouies.