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Ray Brook trailer has street food from all over

ADK Street Eats in Ray Brook is a new food cart serving tacos, hot dogs, burritos, Cubano sandwiches, roast beef sandwiches and more. (Enterprise photo — Amy Scattergood)

RAY BROOK — On the side of Route 86, next to Wiley’s Flies fly fishing shop, an enormous “open” sign flies from a red garbage can emblazoned with a “street tacos” banner.

A few feet down a gravel road, a forest green trailer is parked next to two picnic tables. And inside the trailer, manning the grill, is Matt Fleury, making al pastor or carne asada tacos, or huge Cubano sandwiches, or maybe bacon-wrapped hot dogs loaded with grilled peppers and onions, pico de gallo, avocadoes and crema.

This is ADK Street Eats, a street food and taco truck that Fleury and his business partner Vince Wilcox opened a month ago.

Fleury and Wilcox grew up together in Saranac Lake — they both went to St. Bernard’s School — and have been friends since childhood. Wilcox owns Wiley’s and the motel behind it. Fleury, 47, graduated from Paul Smith’s College culinary program and spent the last 30 years as a chef, including a decade at The Club in Canton and most recently at Downhill Grill in Saranac Lake.

The two started talking about opening a food cart a few years ago, but the project got serious at the beginning of 2020.

ADK Street Eats in Ray Brook is a new food cart run by Matt Fleury (left) and Vince Wilcox. (Enterprise photo — Amy Scattergood)

“We bought the food trailer a week before COVID hit,” said Fleury, who got laid off in March. “We were just trying to decide when to open.” The pandemic made the decision easy.

“I researched a lot during COVID,” he said. “I had plenty of time to think about things.”

What Fleury was thinking about was tacos, burritos, hot dogs and sandwiches. Regional items include a bacon-wrapped hot dog from Los Angeles; a deep-fried calzone called a “Phat Bag” from Potsdam; a Chicken Riggie, short for rigatoni, that hails from Utica; a Chicago-style hot dog, and more. Fleury also credits an El Salvadoran executive chef from one of the restaurants where he cooked.

“I learned a lot from him,” said Fleury, who imports chiles and other ingredients from Mexico and other parts of the country to pair the ingredients with the origins of each dish. He also accommodates his dishes for vegetarians and those who are gluten-free.

“This is the busiest road in the Adirondacks,” said Wilcox, a fly maker and fishing guide who bought Wiley’s Flies in 2013. “It’s the gateway corridor.” Wilcox says about 15,000 vehicles go by a day, and he puts the number at around 11,000 in the winter. And many of those folks are hungry, some driving by and then pulling over once they register the “street food” sign. (I did this, too, the first time I stopped for tacos. The second time I asked the occupants of a conveniently parked state vehicle, who gave me both directions and an ad hoc review worthy of Yelp.)

ADK Street Eats in Ray Brook is a new food cart run by two locals. (Enterprise photo — Amy Scattergood)

The tourists help, but both men say they wanted a place for locals, and a place open year-round, although they’ll likely switch to a take-out and delivery model later in the season, hopefully by Columbus Day. They remodeled one of Wilcox’s nearby hotel rooms as a prep kitchen, which will make the conversion easier.

“It’s 10 below; let’s go stand outside,” Wilcox said, shoving his hands deeper in his jacket pockets and smiling.

“This concept works really well for what’s going on,” said Fleury, meaning the pandemic and the shifting business models of restaurants and dining patterns of those mostly trying to stay at home. “Street food is actually comfort food.”

ADK Street Eats is cash-only, and its menu is available on Instagram and Facebook, where Fleury posts specials. To order, call or text 518-944-1364. It’s located at 1179 State Route 86, Ray Brook.

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