Jay and Kelly Barnes, owners of the Kangaroostaurant are two of the hardest workers and most dedicated foodies I’ve ever met. Anyone who thinks operating a food truck is an easy gig consisting of swooping into a location, raking in money and then packing up and going home obviously hasn’t seen Jay shopping for produce at 4 o’clock in the morning or found Kelly preparing soups five hours before their truck is even set to roll out for the day. Yet day in and day out they do this because they are passionate about serving fresh, locally sourced, scratch made offerings to the Fox Valley.
Eviscerating the ‘roach coach’ stereotype of food trucks of old, the Kangaroostaurant is setting the standard in the Fox Valley for the quality of food restaurants should be serving. You won’t find pre-packaged frozen fries, pre-made soups, or processed frozen appetizers on their truck. Instead, Jay gets his daily workout pressing rock hard sweet potatoes through the fry cutter for their popular sweet potato fries while elsewhere another batch of vegetables, walnuts and beans are being coaxed into comingling together as delicious black bean burger patties (the walnuts are an excellent textural surprise).
I’ve hunted down the Kangaroostraurant a number of times for my dinner, and I am rarely disappointed. This week was no different when I tracked them down at the Gardens of the Fox Cities in Memorial Park. I scoped out their current location and menu on their website before I hopped in my car, excited to try the Il Diablo Burger they were serving this week.
I have to admit, I am a bit of a burger snob, but this was fantastic. They combined beef with spicy ground pork to create a juicy flavorful patty, and then topped it with sautéed jalapeno peppers, pepperjack cheese, and spicy Sriracha Mayo. It was perfect for anyone who enjoys a little heat.
Even the bun they served it on was excellent. The bun was sturdy enough to handle the burger’s juices yet still light enough not to get in the way of enjoying the burger. The fact that it was lightly toasted made me appreciate their extra attention to detail that continues to set them apart.
I hear murmurings that someday there may be a “Kangaroost”, a brick and mortar restaurant to compliment their truck. I don’t know if or when this will ever happen, but I do know their continued success will always be a boon to the Fox Valley food scene.
Have you tried the Kangaroostaurant? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.