Me I love sweets and chocolate is my biggest weakness.This month’s entry is best new jersey food trucks Earn brownie points for their creativity and originality. (Bad pun, I promise their desserts are much better.) The Ridgefield Park-based brownie bar has been in business for nearly five years.
Owned by wife-husband duo Rai and Gustavo Balboni, the truck travels through New Jersey and New York. Their signature item is of course the brownie. But thanks to Lai’s professional pastry experience, they offer many unique recipes and delicious flavors you won’t find anywhere else.
Barbonis is dedicated to The Brownie Bar full time. In fact, the couple will soon open their own cafe. best of new jersey We spoke with Rye about trucks, cafes, and all things sweet treats. Check out the full interview below!
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Best New Jersey Food Truck Interview: Brownie Bar
BONJ: Tell us about the history of the brownie bar. How did you get into the brownie industry?
Rye: In 2014 Gustavo bought a food trailer with the intention of selling empanadas as a side business. He liked this particular trailer. Because he has an oven and doesn’t have a hard-to-find fryer. He began applying to street fairs, festivals and carnivals without success. The food truck craze took hold, with many empanadas and his truck dominating the scene. I got involved from there and decided to switch to sweets.
I wanted to make something simple that could be made in a truck… cupcake! But we hesitated, thinking we wouldn’t be able to attend an event like the idea of empanadas. But familiar and nostalgic (like cupcakes)?” Brownies! So I embarked on a mission to develop an easy-to-make, rich chocolate his brownie recipe that I would love to eat. No mixer needed.
BONJ: Where did you two meet?
Rye: Gustavo and I met in 2002 while working at the Blue Smoke Restaurant in New York City. He was the head, he was the bartender and I was the pastry chef. We immediately connected through food. One day he saw me carrying a huge container filled with a pink liquid. Walk to the sink and throw it away. He asked what it was. A few hours later he returned with an amazing cocktail made with juice. The strawberry and rhubarb caipirosca is a twist on the caipirinha, but made with vodka instead of cachaça. I was totally impressed and he won my heart. We got married in 2005.
Once you have decided on a brownie [for The Brownie Bar], brainstorming about flavor variations came naturally to us. Especially the boozy brownie. The idea was to create a cocktail in the form of a brownie or blondie. Thus the white Russian brownie and the mojito blondie were born. I intended to let
BONJ: What kind of items can people get from your truck?
Rye: In addition to seasonal brownies and blondies, during the warmer months you can find brownies a la mode and homemade vanilla ice cream for brownie sundaes topped with homemade sauce and fresh whipped cream. Beverages such as cold brew coffee, spiced apple cider, and indulgent frozen chocolate blast are also available. It’s the ultimate chocolate slushie! We are working on a non-dairy, tropical fruit version of Blast.
BONJ: What can patrons expect from a brownie bar brownie?
Rye: They can definitely expect a rich, fuzzy brownie.
BONJ: What was the business like when you started?
Rye: It was difficult. We figured we could park on the street somewhere and start selling, like in New York. I quickly discovered that every town had different rules regarding food trucks, and some didn’t allow them. We had to rely on companies that produced festivals and street fairs. All town health and fire permit fees are included as well as the application fee. Eventually, people started looking to us for private catering.People were constantly asking if there was a permanent place where they could get their brownies fixed. This is one of the reasons we decided to open a physical store.
BONJ: Please tell us about the new cafe.
Rye: Cafes are experimental. Part of a bakery, coffee shop, sit-down eatery. Essentially, we needed our own full commercial kitchen to support and scale our food truck. But I want my neighbors and customers to enjoy delicious coffee and freshly baked sweets together. The brownie bar cafe he hopes to open by mid-June.
BONJ: Will the Brownie Bar Café menu expand?
Rye: yes. We will continue to focus on brownies, but we also offer other desserts, snacks and beverages. We want to offer unique, well-made products using high-quality ingredients for the best taste experience.The menu will also be seasonal.
BONJ: What catering options do you offer?
Rye: A trio of mini brownies are served, along with optional beverages and ice cream. Guests can choose from a menu of flavors people love. It gives you the opportunity to taste different things. Our dessert food trucks are available for private catering, weddings, corporate functions, school functions, religious celebrations and fundraising. If you don’t want a truck and just want brownies, you can order a tray at the Brownie Bar his cafe.
BONJ: Do you have plans to participate in events this spring and summer?
Rye: Not too many. I didn’t load my schedule to give myself space to focus on the cafe. Join us for the rescheduled Branchburg Food Truck Festival on May 23rd. Paterson Food Truck Fest on June 4th. Paramus Food Truck Festival June 13th. Town of Monroe (NY) Food Truck Fest on June 19th. There may also be Food Truck Fridays in Pound Ridge, NY on July 23rd. I plan to participate in some events in the fall as well.
For more information on The Brownie Bar, click here to visit the website.
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All photos: © Patrick Lombardi / Best of NJ