Burgerville Sends Out Fast-Food on Wheels

It's a Burgerville on wheels, and it's coming to a park, street corner and sidewalk near you – at least, eventually.

Earlier this month, the Vancouver-based fast-food chain sent the Nomad – a truck with a grill, deep fryer and a food prep station – out to Portland's Waterfront Park to compete with the Rose City's thriving street vendor scene.

The debut of the Nomad turned out to be a big hit. However, Vancouverites looking to chow down on a burger from the company's mobile food truck might be a little disappointed. According to Burgerville CEO Jeff Harvey, even though the Nomad is parked at the company's headquarters on West 17th Street in Vancouver, it will be some time before the food cart makes its debut on this side of the river.

And though Nomad serves much of Burgerville's restaurant menu, it is missing some local favorites, such as the Walla Walla onion rings. "Real estate inside the Nomad is precious," Harvey said. "You don't have the space for some foods or the storage for them after they are finished."

Instead, the truck complements its signature burgers, fries and shakes with classic food cart fare, such as the large beef hot dog.

Another key function of the van is to test out new markets. "You will see the Nomad in places like Bend or Seattle before you actually see a restaurant there," Harvey said.

So far, the Nomad has been well-received, though Harvey did voice some reservations. "The Nomad is fairly labor-intensive," he said. "It has provided some decent challenges."

However, those challenges seem to have paid off, with several locals giving the Nomad glowing reviews at the July 23 launch event in Portland. "You have got a new customer downtown," said one customer. "I've never eaten at a place like this before."

Additional reporting by Ryan Chase

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