Talking real Phillies and blue collar food with Randy Leibl
1. Tell us about Son of a Butcher
Son of a Butcher is a family owned and operated food truck cruising the streets of Jacksonville, as well as St. Johns and Clay counties. We operate with 2 main goals. We want to serve an outstanding menu using fresh, local ingredients wherever possible. And, we want a fun, personable business, because we understand that our customers want more than a drive thru experience.
2. What sort of food do you serve?
We specialize in "Jacksonville's Best Original Philly" because we felt that this area did not have a real Philly and desperately needed one! From there we expanded the offerings to include local shrimp and chicken. We cook to order so that all our offerings are fresh and able to be customized to however our customers like.
3. What’s a real Philly?
What is a real Philly? Wow, talk about a loaded question! That's like asking a Texan about real bar-b-q - the opinions will just start to flow! Son of a Butcher's version is best described as "authentic" with upgrades. Although a true Philly should come on an Amarosa roll, due to quality issues - they are only made in Philly and shipped to Florida frozen - we chose to go with a baked fresh daily, locally made roll. The true sign of real Philly though, is the cheese. The cheese must be Original Kraft Cheese Whiz and cannot be simply added to the top or spread on the bun. A real Philly will have the cheese mixed on the grill to absorb all the seasonings and flavor that make this a truly unique sandwich. The flavors of caramelized onions, cheese, and seasonings is what, without question, makes a real Philly. The fresh rib eye, fresh bun, excellent preparation and authentic ingredients is what makes ours "Jacksonville's Best”!
4. What would you recommend for someone trying your food truck for the first time?
First time customers should always start with the Original Philly. Most people in the South really have not had the opportunity to try a real Philly, so that is typically where we want them to start. The process and use of fresh ingredients and seasonings makes a unique combination and a sandwich that must be experienced!
5. Besides your Philly, are there other items that illustrate your style of cooking?
All of our menu items tend to favor the flavors and style of the blue collar Baltimore / Philadelphia areas. One partner hails from Baltimore and the influence of "old Bay" in the fresh shrimp is an obvious nod by the Chesapeake native. "Blue collar" might even be a fair description of our style. We are a hard working, cook it the way you want it, nothing fancy - just fresh and great tasting kinda truck - and we really like it that way!
6. What are a few of the most popular items?
One of our most popular items is The Mayport. It’s a cheesesteak unlike any other. We use a fresh, locally baked roll, cut fresh when ordered. We then add lettuce and tomato and layer in provolone cheese. We top that with grilled, fresh rib eye steak, grilled onions and peppers. As if that wasn't enough, we then add fresh local shrimp. The steak and shrimp combination is just out of this world and unique to the Son of a Butcher food truck.
7. Any hidden gems?
I think the most overlooked item is the K-9 SOB All Beef Hot Dog. It's a quarter pound all beef hot dawg, grilled to perfection on a flat grill, topped with caramelized onion and grilled peppers, thick sliced bacon and finely grated cheese. It's a great combination of unique flavors. Everyone loves it, even if it wasn't their first choice.
8. Where did you get the name of your food truck?
The name "Son of a Butcher" was developed by my wife during an afternoon brainstorming session. We loved it as soon as we heard it! We really enjoy how the name brings a smile to people’s faces.
9. What appealed to you about a food truck?
We have both been in the restaurant business most of our adult lives. The food truck brings a whole different dimension to that experience. On top of all the typical restaurant emergencies, we also deal with mother nature’s elements, scheduling locations and events, an irregular schedule, and a very moody 1991 Chevy P-30 restaurant on wheels. The challenge is huge, and for our partnership - with one partner learning entrepreneurship and the other looking for new exciting experiences - an absolutely perfect fit!
10. Can you tell us about your backgrounds?
How Son of a Butcher came to be seemed to be as much fate as plan. After opening up 4 very different businesses in the 6 years since I had sold my "brick and mortars," I had decided that restaurants were what I did and what I enjoyed. The part I enjoyed the most was the cooking and the customer interaction. The food truck scene was exploding in Jacksonville, and to me, that was new and exciting and I wanted to join in. I needed help in my endeavor - but I wanted more - I didn't want an employee, but I wanted to share the experience with someone who would be as dedicated, skilled and crazy as myself. I had a niece that fit that description and when I suggested to her that we open a truck, she left her 2 jobs and the city she grew up in and took her daughter 1,000 miles to join me in opening and operating Son of a Butcher.
11. How can people find you?
We post our schedule every Monday on our Facebook page. We also submit our schedule to Jax Truckies to be included with their daily listing on Facebook and Twitter.