Forget what you think you know about quesadillas.
While many restaurants offer cheese and little else folded into a tortilla – the diverse menu at the Quesadilla Mobilla features unique flavors, fresh veggies and meats and special spices folded into a white, whole wheat or gluten-free tortilla.
Take the Southern Belle, for instance. Shredded beef sautéed in a special blend of spices and red chili, topped with cheddar and jack cheeses, sautéed corn and onions and roasted spicy sweet potatoes. If this – “most popular” – quesadilla doesn’t have you lining up for lunch at the new-to-Moab food truck – there are a half dozen other options, vegetarian included, to send taste buds into overdrive. The menu also features two “tasty treat” dessert quesadillas – the Campfire Classic (think s’mores) and Cran/Apple Delight.
Quesadilla Mobilla owners Carrie Finn and Steven Lucarelli moved to Moab last fall after tiring of the every weekend drive to town from Glenwood Springs, Colo. A third grade teacher and tech industry employee, respectively, they decided it was time for something different.
They combined their love for Moab, creative camping quesadillas and understanding of food truck success in bigger cities to venture into the unknown. Neither Finn nor Lucarelli has worked previously in the restaurant industry.
“Quesadilla Mobilla was an idea born in our years of coming to Moab,” Finn said. “We loved to camp here on the weekends, and quesadillas were a cheap, easy meal. But you can’t eat the same combination time after time.”
They began to try out different flavors and ingredients on their camping cohorts and realized they could sell their beloved quesadillas – a meal ticket to live in Moab.
“We have always gravitated to Moab,” Finn said. “The Mobilla is our way to live here, and we’re not just here for the season.”
Lucarelli says the menu is “unique, delicious and flavorful – a new spin on traditional flavors.”
“Moab needed a quick, cheaper meal option,” said Finn, who estimates a five-minute wait time from order to mouth. “We’re going gangbusters right now.”
Open only since March, Finn and Lucarelli do their best to keep the menu “interesting” to first-time or repeat visitors. They work with local organizations such as Creekside Lane Organics, the Castle Valley Creamery and the Youth Garden Project to obtain fresh cheeses and seasonal vegetables. Quality food aside, Lucarelli says customers find the actual truck’s quality equally important.
“A lot of our customers are very impressed with the professional look of our truck inside and out,” said Lucarelli. The unmistakable truck with its bright yellow and orange fiery design is a close quarters, but spotless, stainless steel kitchen.
Before Lucarelli and Finn decided to start the business, they agreed that if they were going to do it, they were going to do it right. That meant that not only would the quesadillas have to be as good as they could possibly manage, but also that the truck would have to look as appealing.
“We designed the interior to be easily cleaned and sanitary and the exterior to be eye-catching without looking obnoxious. Day-to-day, we make sure that we never leave the truck without thoroughly cleaning it because it’s what we would expect if we were going to eat there.”
Based on the many repeat customers and encouraging feedback received on a daily basis, Finn and Lucarelli are confident in the business they have started and the menu they provide.
Finn said some customers have been known to frequent the truck for lunch and dinner – on the same day. Visitation will only be helped by the fact that Finn and Lucarelli recently introduced a punch card for loyal visitors as a way to offer a discount.
Nancy, from Denver, who has seen her fair share of food trucks, said the Quesadilla Mobilla is “not your ordinary food truck.”
“In a town with limited food options, this is a refreshing step up in dining creativity. The owners are engaging and really trying to remake a business concept.”
Since Finn and Lucarelli are here to stay, they welcome other food truck businesses in addition to the shaved ice and gourmet hot dogs trucks currently set up next door to the Quesadilla Mobilla.
“For any other food trucks in town, current or future, we just hope they meet two criteria: first, that the owners and workers live here, and second, that they provide a good tasting, quality menu that food trucks have become known for.”
This weekly feature highlights a Moab business. E-mail Meredith at email@example.com with suggestions or tales of an exceptional experience.