The Patty Wagon: A Food Truck with a Conscience

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If you’re going to throw your hat (or perhaps bun) into the highly competitive world of the burger biz, you’d better have a unique concept to grab attention.

The Patty Wagon seen here at noon on a Saturday at Studio City Park (aka Beeman Park). PHOTOS BY KAREN YOUNG

One of the latest concepts  literally rolling  around  Los Angeles is the Patty Wagon Truck — combining a yesteryear feel with today’s latest mobile food trend — ultimately setting the stage for a food truck with a conscience.

The Patty Wagon is the brainchild of San Fernando Valley resident Matt Roth, an actor best known for his roles in Roseanne (as Laurie Metcalf’s onscreen and offscreen husband) and Desperate Housewives. Partnering with fellow thespians Jeff Klein and Stephanie Childers,  Roth’s inspiration came after reading the writings of Michael Pollan about the industrial food chain. Roth’s explained that the Patty Wagon “is a  tribute to the 1930s and 40s when eating sustainable food was just the way things were” — as opposed to today where eating sustainable means making an effort to find food grown and raised consciously.

All the Patty Wagon beef comes from a friend of Roth’s who raises grass fed cattle in Teton Valley, Idaho — that means no steroids, growth hormones or antibiotics.  Grass fed beef is  also touted to be lower in fat and higher in Omega-3s. The rest of the  ingredients used in the making of the burgers and the sides are seasonal and come from local farms and markets. There’s always a chalkboard on side of the truck  that lists the whereabouts of  such items as cheese and vegetables.

La Vie En Rose: Gruyere cheese and onions carmelized with vermouth and thyme on toasted ciabatta.

The burgers are called “minis.” They are slightly bigger than sliders and all are named after songs from the 30s and 40s — in fact, tunes  by the likes of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter  can be heard from speakers on the truck.

The patties are round, thick and juicy with savory flavors.  Menu choices include: Mood Indigo with bleu cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms on a toasted ciabatta roll; I Get A Kick Out Of You has roasted jalapenos, pancetta, provolone cheese, and  mayo on a toasted hamburger roll; Keep Your Sunny Side Up On comes on toasted ciabatta, spread with homemade gremolata (garlic, lemon, parsley butter); You’re My Everything combines sauteed sweet peppers, onions and garlic with swiss and mayo on a toasted hamburger roll. A classic cheeseburger is also available for not-so-adventurous palates.

Ingredients are seasonal and purchased from local markets and farmers.

There are daily and weekly specials written on a chalkboard, such as La Vie En Rose (my personal fave) with gruyere cheese and onions carmelized with vermouth and thyme on toasted ciabatta; and Summer N Smoke with Soledad goat smoked cheddar, roasted apricot chutney, and a slice of Maui onion.  Added to the top of every burger are homemade pickles cut in circles which have been  been marinated in a special brine.

Fries are homemade and hand-cut from organic potatoes. Available two ways— with sea salt or tossed with garlic and rosemary, they are different than most fries because they are flattened into almost a crisp.  Coca Cola is imported from Mexico and is without  corn syrup.  Burgers are $$2.25-$3.25 each. Combo deals with two burgers,  fries and a drink are $8-$10.50.

Coca-Cola is imported from Mexico where it is produced without corn syrup.

The Patty Wagon can often be found in the San Fernando Valley at Studio City Park (Beeman) on Saturdays, near Menchies Laurel Canyon on Sunday and Lankershim and Magnolia on Wednesday.  These days aren’t set in stone. Check the website or twitter for the daily schedule.  Have a location to suggest?  Send an email.  The Patty Wagon also caters.

Karen Young is the  Editor/Publisher of My Daily Find. Email:

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.