Now, this place is a bit hard to find. It is a food trailer, grey in color, parked in front of All Star Gymnastics and Cheer, which is at 6160 Enterprise Drive in the Diamond Springs Industrial Park (Park West). The best way to find it is to turn off Missouri Flat Road on to Enterprise Drive (PG&E) and drive about a quarter mile or so, looking to the left.
Okay, that seems a bit complicated, but taking the time to find it is very worth the trouble.
Mike and Andrea Van Ry, the owners of All Star Gymnastics and Cheer, also own and operate this food trailer and, although they are new in the food business, they have figured it out. They did a lot of testing and tasting before they came up with their great menu and it shows.
They are an award winning family barbecue competition team and have a number of trophies on display. Their logo says, “We are the king and queen of BBQ,” and after eating there, I agree.
Mike got the trailer from his sister in New York and pulled it across America. It took five days, he told me on the phone, and then two months just to get it registered, and then a couple more bringing it up to California code, getting the health inspection and more.
Russ Salazar and I stopped by for lunch a couple of weeks ago (they had only been open a week) to sample some of their food. We were delightfully greeted by both of them, who were very busy preparing food for a number of waiting customers.
“Our pulled pork tacos are probably the number one seller,” Mike told me, with Andrea adding “The barbecued chopped chicken salad is also very popular.
“A lot of the parents who drop off their children for gymnastics,” she continued, “order something and then pick it up when they come back to get their children.
“Owning the gym, we are very health conscious,” Andrea added, “and make our food as healthy and fresh as we can.”
Andrea first fixed us a sample of their cole slaw, potato salad, macaroni salad and Mike’s own barbecue sauce (very nice flavor).
Salazar is my cole slaw expert and I could see the smile on his face. “It’s crisp, like it should be,” he said, “and not over dressed or watery. I like it.” I agreed. They make it to order so it doesn’t sit around getting limp and soggy.
We both gave similar praise to the potato salad and macaroni salad, both of which are made by them, in small batches to keep the fresh taste. They too were not over dressed and quite delicious. Sometimes less mayonnaise is best.
“I have a secret ingredient in the dressing,” Andrea said. Salazar figured it out and she told me. I’d tell you, but it wouldn’t be a secret anymore.
Mike then decided to make us each both a pulled pork taco and a chicken taco.
When we visit barbecue places pulled pork and chicken are not what we usually order, mostly because they are often soggy or over sauced. But these were neither.
The pulled pork and pulled chicken tacos came on a soft corn tortilla and were full of meat and dressed with both Mike’s barbecue sauce and a chipotle aioli. Outstanding is the first word that came to mind. Delicious, moist and flavorful. They come two to an order and while we were there, a repeat customer came by and ordered three orders for himself.
The next item we sampled was their BBQ chopped chicken salad that Andrea fixed for us. It comes with a container of ranch dressing and a container of Mike’s barbecue sauce. You mix them together, put them on the salad and wow, what a great taste. Again, freshness, good ingredients and a few secrets made for a great salad.
Finally, Mike fixed us their Loaded Pulled Pork sandwich, which Andrea cut in two. It comes on a brioche bun with freshly made cole slaw and fried onions for crunch. The slight sweetness of the bun complemented the sauce and the delicious smokiness of the meat. The cole slaw and onions added a nice crunch and even more flavor.
Other than the pulled pork sandwiches on a Hawaiian bun, the Polish sausage, hot dog, chips, soda and water, that completes their menu.
They are smart business people: start small and add items, don’t start big and take off unpopular items. The ones you take off are the ones people will then order. (Restaurant Rule #8)
If you are wondering how they do all of that out of a small trailer, they don’t. Several times a week their meat is smoked in their huge smoker and the sauces and salads are prepared in the commercial kitchen at Manzanita Kitchen in Diamond Springs. They just heat and put things together there.
All Star Que is open for lunch Tuesday though Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., and for dinner Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.
For more information, orders, etc., you can call them at (530) 919-4847 and visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AllStarQue.
Presently they have no seating, but will be adding a picnic table soon. They do have a cover you can stand under that they put up when it rains. Or, you can sit in your car. Plenty of parking.