ate-o-ate rolls out new catering truck

By Joe Moskowitz
Roxbury’s Rich Ellsworth decided it was time to switch from soffits to sushi. A career carpenter, Ellsworth has a new line of work, and it was right up his alley. Literally.

It’s “ate-o-ate.” That’s pronounced “8-oh-8. It is a gourmet restaurant on wheels, or to put the delicacy wagon less delicately, a food truck. The first day of business, Ellsworth had it parked in his own driveway in Roxbury, but he plans to take the truck wherever business beckons.

The truck has a state-of-the-art kitchen crammed into about 150 square feet. But that is plenty of room for the ever-changing menu, which includes, salads, soups, sliders, sushi, falafels, chicken wings, pulled pork, and he says, there will always be vegetarian and vegan choices.

It is a dramatic change for Ellsworth who went from building houses to making meals, but he says it was time to make a change and, “it was now or never.” And he knew people thought he was a good cook. He won the annual MARK Project’s Cajun-cooking contest two years in a row before the rules prevented the previous year’s winner from competing.

“ate-o-ate” isn’t the only food truck one might see. But it caters, pun intended, to the gourmet crowd.

The chili, for example, includes olives and basmati rice. And others, like “Yum Yum” of Kingston and Woodstock, or “Que” of Saugerties, only sell their restaurant’s specialties. Ellsworth says he plans to offer a wide variety, and he expects to travel far and wide to do it.

He has only been at it a couple of weeks, but hasn’t had to go very far for business. The Roxbury Contemporary Lodging is just down the street from his home and has provided many hungry and happy customers, according to The Roxbury’s co-owner Greg Henderson.

But the truck has wheels and Ellsworth plans to park his moveable feast at other area locations, as well as provide a catering service. “ate-o-ate” is on Facebook and that is where one can get its menu and find out where the next stop will be.