Two chefs and a banker walk into a bar…
It sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s actually the start of a “yolk!” Chefs Eric Felitto and Jason Cade of The Chelsea teamed up with their friend and banker, Michael Bertanza to create The Tasty Yolk food truck located at 4700 Park Avenue in Bridgeport. Despite the rain, the truck made its debut on Thursday May 5 to lots of customers eager to try their gourmet twists on breakfast sandwiches.
“Every year, we try to figure out how we’re going to make our fortune,” jokes Felitto. “We finally decided to use our skills and make a food truck.” The trio makes for the perfect team. Felitto, Chef at The Chelsea, can coordinate with Sous Chef Cade so that someone can attend to the truck while continuing to work at the restaurant. Meanwhile, Bertanza works just across the street at Fairfield County Bank. It’s easy for them to come together.
Both Bertanza and Felitto are in the midst of expanding their families as well. Bertanza’s fiancé and his son Gabe are regulars at the truck.
“We put Gabe to work, but sometimes he misses a shift because of his Saturday morning cartoons or is late because of a nap,” says Bertanza with a smile.
Felitto is also engaged. His fiancé, Allie McHale, has experience in the industry and lends her hand at the truck. She previously worked at Barcelona and currently works at Rothbard Ale + Larder.
“We really have each other’s back,” Felitto attests.
And it seems the community has The Tasty Yolk’s back in return. All graduates of Fairfield High, their friends, customers, and family members all rallied around them to help them make their dream into reality.
“We had so much warm, welcoming help,” Felitto says with sincere gratitude. “It was unreal how many people gave their time to us not expecting anything in return.”
Fittingly, the local area is the major inspiration for the cuisine. Everything comes from local purveyors. For example, they get the chorizo from Craft Butchery and the delicious sandwich rolls are custom made for them at Good Bread in Portchester.
When they first got their hands on the truck, nothing but the outside walls were intact. All of their friends from a variety of professions pitched in to make it the shiny black truck lined with sleek stainless steel that it is today. A friend who went into carpentry built the window and restructured the vehicle. An electrician added all of the fans and outlets. Others designed the logo and provided them with T-Shirts.
“A customer of mine at the bank even put the logo on the truck for us!” exclaims Bertanza.
Just three days after opening, they invited CTBites down to the truck to try their fare.
Right now, the menu is small, but mighty. It appears on a chalkboard at the counter- a contribution from another friend! There are three breakfast sandwiches that cost $4 each. Each sandwich includes two freshly cracked eggs with high quality fixings pressed inside- gourmet rifts on the bacon, egg, and cheese. There is also $5 burrito and a griddled smashed potato side for $1.
The aptly named “pig” sandwich comes with bacon, eggs, and American cheese. “The tasty” has chorizo, eggs, and cheddar. Steak and Swiss are at the center of “The Banker” and “The Fatone” breakfast burrito has bacon, pico, eggs, and cheese. I opted for “The Banker” with a side of smashed potato while my dining companion selected “The Tasty.”
The first thing I noticed about “The Banker” was the sheer size. It definitely required two hands to eat and oozed with delicious looking ingredients- a steal for the price. Next, I admired the perfectly golden roll. As mentioned previously, they are custom made for the Tasty Yolk. Although they started out by requesting a rendition of the Kaiser roll, the end result is so much better. It looks more like a bun than a roll; the chefs attribute its full shape to its ability to perfectly steam. The consistency is reminiscent of a croissant. It is flaky, but dense and flavorful.
“I even get a touch of sweetness in the roll,” says Chef Jason Cade.
Within the roll, I found a perfectly cooked egg- soft, but not runny or messy- and slices of top round steak. The steak is roasted right there on the truck, adorned with salt, pepper, and herbs before cooking for about three and a half hours.
Upon recommendation, I completed my sandwich with a smear of “Cado’s Own Sauce”, a creation by Jason Cade. The exact recipe remains shrouded in secrecy, but Cade did reveal it contains “pretty much every pepper you can imagine.”
I loved “The Banker!” The savory steak perfectly complemented the soft egg and the sauce imparted a touch of spice… all encased in the pillowy, decadent roll. It kept me happily sate for hours.
My companion raved about “The Tasty.” Once again, they were generous with ingredients. The chorizo came as a patty. The meat had hints of spice that went well with the sharp sweetness of the cheddar cheese.
We both loved the griddled smashed potato side. It looked like a small, thick smashed potato patty with a perfect char… and we found out that’s literally what it is! The chefs take a red potato, smash it, and finish it on the griddle. From there, guests can adorn it with just the right amount of salt, pepper, ketchup, or the assortment of sauces on the counter.
The chefs are content with the size of the menu as they start out- it allows them to focus on executing the offerings perfectly as they get a feel for business on the truck. However, they will occasionally toss in a surprise special. Over opening weekend, they obtained a beautiful smoked ham chop and used it to make their take on ham and cheese.
What else is on the horizon for The Tasty Yolk?
“I’m really looking forward to the private parties,” says Bertanza. They are already booked for a wedding in September. The truck is also slated to make appearances at food festivals and the Memorial Day parade.
“The great thing is that we’re chefs. We can do custom menus. If a guest wants tuna sashimi, we can do it! If they want pizza flatbreads, we’ll do it. Anything they want!” chimes in Felitto. In fact, they are planning to incorporate a raw bar into the upcoming party.
In the weeks ahead, Cade hopes to pasteurize and bottle his special sauce.
“I hope it becomes the new sriracha of college dorms,” he says with a smile, gesturing to the adjacent Sacred Heart University campus.
The trio is also toying with the idea of making the truck more mobile, but for now they are incredibly happy with their location at 4700 Park Avenue. The college students love visiting the truck. It is ideally suited for commuters, too. It is located just off the Merrit Parkway and has ample space to park.
The Tasty yolk is open Monday-Friday from 6am-12pm and on Saturdays from 8am-2pm. For private parties and other inquiries, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit their facebook page.
Two chefs and a banker walked into a bar… and now the “yolk’s” on us!