by Kristina Domitrovich // photos by Lindsay Pace
Katy Pruitt and Mickey Fratesi, who run The Gypsy together, have both been in the food industry since they can remember. Fratesi owned a restaurant in Saltillo, and was attracted to food trucks for one major benefit: location. Unlike a restaurant, a food truck is never tied down to one place, and can go where the business is. But first thing was first: they needed a truck and a menu, which would take them two years to perfect.
“We wanted to make sure that we did absolutely everything correctly,” Pruitt said.
The Gypsy opened in August 2018, and has been rolling since. On the menu, they serve a variety of dishes, some old and some new.
“We kept some recipes (from the Italian restaurant), and then threw in some new creations of ours as well,” she said. “We decided that we need to do some creative things, introduce some people to some new flavors.”
Alongside their perfected classics like the burger, a salad with Fratesi’s Italian dressing, which can be bought by the bottle, and turkey sandwich with house-smoked turkey, patrons can choose from fried ravioli and a pimento grilled cheese. Pruitt was surprised to see this one make the menu, because growing up she remembers disliking pimento cheese. But, with it being a Southern staple, people kept suggesting they find a way to incorporate it. In the long run and after a lot of research, Pruitt would make a pimento cheese that even she loves, and the two added the grilled cheese to the menu – even listing the pimento cheese as an optional burger topping alongside their Gouda and cheddar options.
“Oh goodness, hands-rise-to-the-sky absolutely delicious,” she laughed.
Their pimento grilled cheese has brought back many reviews, one of which Pruitt said she’ll carry with her.
“He said that it reminded him of his great-grandmother’s pimento cheese that he hadn’t had in years,” she said. “That gave me chills, and that, honestly, I’ll never forget that compliment.”
For her, that’s one of the best parts of working in the food industry. While she loves being creative and making new things, her favorite part is seeing people’s reactions to her food.
“When I finally do get to perfect a recipe and get to put it on the truck, and I get to see people enjoy it, that literally is like the icing on the cake – it’s why I do it, it’s their enjoyment,” she said. “I truly love making people happy with our food.”