The Breakfast Shack
Any chance we can buy something quickly? I know you’re about to drive away,” I said, panting, as a man removed signs from The Breakfast Shack, a cow-spotted, farm-to-table food truck parked outside of Athens Square Park in Astoria. I didn’t expect the reply I received.
“Why, of course! That’s what we are here for,” said Joe DeMato, chef, owner and Queens native. “We’ll make you something fresh.”
Perspiring in the hot summer sun and New York humidity, I heard my stomach growl. I had skipped breakfast in a rush to start the day and my relief at the prospect of this meal was palpable. My morning had been grueling: going door-to-door with Publisher Claudia Mahedy to inform local businesses of the return of Edible Queens.
Scanning the white script painted on the truck’s wooden menu plaques, I saw options galore: yogurt and granola, omelets and home fries, waffles and fresh squeezed orange juice. I asked what they still had, given that the truck was about to close.
“Anything you want!” said Joe. “We have it all. How about a breakfast sandwich?” Perfect.
I decided on scrambled eggs, turkey bacon and goat cheese on a brioche bun and Claudia ordered scrambled eggs with gruyere. Taking a draw from my Fair Trade iced coffee, I ordered an additional muffin and scone—treats to keep us going later in the day.
Soon the scent of butter and eggs wafted towards us on the street, building our anticipation.
According to Joe, The Breakfast Shack got its start in June. Joe used to work in restaurants in Manhattan, including the Carlyle Hotel, but decided he wanted to start his own business. The truck’s menu features classic breakfast staples, like bagels and organic flour pancakes, along with Sunday brunch specials like Shack Bites—a blend of eggs, potatoes and humanely raised turkey or pork bacon dipped in pancake batter, rolled in corn flakes and deep-fried. DeMato strives to use organic and locally sourced ingredients as much as possible, including Fair Trade beans roasted at White Coffee, humanely raised meats and organic veggies.
Piping hot sandwiches in hand, we sat down in the dappled shade at a chess table along the edge of Athens Square Park. Unwrapping the recycled brown paper that encased my breakfast sandwich, I released a tuft of steam that carried a wonderful toasted brioche smell. I wolfed down the sandwich with glee.
Though my day was far from finished, this late-morning meal gave me more than enough energy to power through. I’ll definitely return to sample The Breakfast Shack’s fall menu, peppered with seasonal ingredients such as pumpkins, squash and apples. I’m an enthusiastic new convert to the truck’s slogan: “We believe in Breakfast!”
The Breakfast Shack
30th Ave. and 30th St., Athens Square Park