Taco Tuesday can be whenever you want it.
Whether having a quick drink after a long day or enjoying a night out with friends at Charles County’s sole distillery, customers now have the option to enjoy a Tex-Mex meal with their hand-crafted cocktails.
On Friday, Oct. 11, right outside Blue Dyer Distilling in Waldorf, the food truck, Chuck Wagon Catering, had its grand opening. Ryan Vierheller, Blue Dyer’s co-founder and master distiller, said the truck will make its home outside their business and his oldest son, Jake Vierheller, is one of the owners and will oversee much of the day-to-day operations.
Vierheller said they decided on offering Tex-Mex cuisine to fill what they thought was a void in the county’s restaurant landscape. While there’s authentic Mexican food available in the county, he noted, diners have to travel out of the area for Tex-Mex tacos and more. Additionally, after they started serving craft cocktails earlier this year, Vierheller said they’d frequently hear from customers that they’d stay longer — and perhaps even enjoy another drink — if they could grab dinner as well.
That thought about the lack of Tex-Mex and its “large but silent” devout following, he said, appears correct: Throughout Friday night and the rest of the weekend, he said he heard overwhelmingly positive comments from customers. On that Friday, he said, they enjoyed 30% higher sales than they had done at the soft opening.
“You can get some of your best business metrics spending a few extra minutes talking to each customer,” Vierheller said. “I did that, and the response was just phenomenal. There was a demand for better Tex-Mex in Waldorf, and a lot of people are very excited.”
In addition to offering a different type of cuisine to county customers, Vierheller said they hope the presence of the truck will “reverse the flow” of hungry diners who leave the area to venture into D.C. or Northern Virginia looking for both a handmade drink and a fresh and inventive bite to eat.
“Folks are tired of fast food and chain restaurants,” Vierheller said.
Vierheller has some culinary experience, but said the truck employs three chefs who will prepare and serve the fresh offerings available, currently ranging from tacos and guacamole to wings and “crabby fries,” or fries topped with creamy crab dip. The latter, he said, is “a staple” among other regional food trucks like Crabby Hog and Calvert Crabs, and seems to be something unique to Southern Maryland, making it a natural addition to the menu.
One of the truck’s lead chefs, Haoua Posely, just joined the truck’s staff recently. A life-long chef and cooking enthusiast, Posely said she left her job at D.C.-based Afro-Caribbean restaurant Kith and Kin to come on board at Chuck Wagon. Posely said she makes many of her own peppers and sauces, and is looking forward to exploring the flavor possibilities with Tex-Mex cuisine.
Ryan Vierheller is a long-time friend of hers, Posely said, and she was intrigued when he asked her to come on board to cook for them.
“I like it here more,” Posely said. “It’s more relaxed, and the staff is great. … I like the normalcy here.”
Currently, Chuck Wagon is only open for dinner, but Vierheller said they hope to offer lunch service soon. In addition to in-person orders, Vierheller said Chuck Wagon is available for delivery through the Postmates app, and in the coming weeks he said they hope to be added to the UberEats roster.