BATAVIA — For the past five years, Michelle Farina has been zipping around Genesee County in her bright pink food truck, serving working men and women — but mostly men — breakfast and lunch on the job.
From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., she stops at 40 businesses with an array of sandwiches and other items.
She runs Michelle’s Catering Co. by a simple motto: give the customers what they want. It was that approach that led her to create her signature dish, the Cowboy Burger. It’s a burger with onion rings, jalapenos, barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese sauce.
As Farina explains it, she created the sandwich on a suggestion from workers at the Project Wave yogurt plant three years ago.
“We had a lot of guys from the south here, and they recommended it,” Farina said while leaning against her truck in the parking lot of Monroe Muffler at the end of Thursday’s run. “It came out pretty well.
“It was just a common burger that they had down south. And they named it the Cowboy Burger.”
The sandwich begins with a three-quarter-pound beef patty that is topped with barbecue sauce, four strips of bacon, four onion rings, a handful of jalapeno slices, and a cheddar cheese sauce. It’s a weighty burger that is held up by the potato bun, which Farina uses “just to be different” and because “the customers really like them.”
The Cowboy Burger is definitely not for the calorie-counter, but it does have a nice balance of flavors and textures. The cheese is gooey and sharp, the bacon is crisp, and the jalapenos add a spicy kick without overpowering the other ingredients.
The Cowboy Burger is a staple on the company’s five food trucks, but it’s not available every day. Farina said she rotates the menu on each of the trucks. But when she does carry it, it’s certainly a popular item. Farina sold out all 25 she had on board Thursday and says that is typical.
The sandwich doesn’t come with a side, but the truck does have a variety of bagged potato chips, as well as homemade cookies and muffins. Farina suggested the jalapeno or Ragin’ Ranch chips as a side.
“Most of my customers are men, and they love all the spicy stuff,” she said.
Michelle’s Catering Co. doesn’t have a website, and the Facebook page is dedicated her Farina’s bakery. The best way to find out where the trucks will be is to call (585) 233-8743. Or you can just look out for the bright pink truck.
“If you look, you’ll see one of us flying down the road,” Farina said.
The Cowboy Burger sells for $4.50.
If you would like to have your restaurant profiled in Signature Dish, call Lifestyles Editor Matt Krueger at (585) 343-8000, Ext. 2129, or email email@example.com.