Doug Petri launched the Veggie Whisperer food truck last month in Denver when the vegetarian entrepreneur noticed there were only a handful of plant-based restaurants in the city. “I started cooking vegetarian food for myself every day, and over the course of ten years developed the best hummus and falafel I had ever tasted,” Petri says.
After having friends who had lived in the Middle East tell him his hummus and falafel were as good as anything they had over there, he knew it was time to take the concept on the road.
The majority of the food truck’s menu is vegan; however, Petri does offer a few vegetarian dishes with cheeses sourced from local Colorado farms. “I build my vegetarian dishes with vegans in mind and offer modifications to make almost all my dishes suitable for a vegan diet,” he explains.
“My favorite food to make is traditional Middle Eastern and Israeli cuisine,” Petri adds. This passion is clear, with the hummus plate and falafel plate as stars. Other options include avocado toast on Denver Bread Co. sourdough, fusilli pasta with eggplant balls, sweet potato and avocado tacos, and gourmet fries seasoned with shawarma spices.
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For something unique, a tehina (the Israeli spelling of tahini) milkshake is made from vegan ice cream, sesame-seed paste, chocolate, Turkish coffee and pumpkin-spice flavors.
After this fall's launch, Petri notes, "our menu will be rotating quarterly to highlight vegetables in the height of their season, but some items will always be on the menu, such as the hummus, falafel pita and tehina milkshakes."
The chef says that so far, the food truck has received incredible feedback. When customers tell him that his hummus is the best they've ever had, “That is the greatest compliment I could have ever hoped for in making this food,” he says.