Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sugar Wagon Wheels Into This Week's Dining Review

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 3:46 PM

From left: Tracy Ardoin-Jenkins and Jane Nickell
One of the best things I ate at Nashville's first-ever Battle of the Food Trucks didn't come from food truck. Well, not exactly, anyway. It — "it" being an otherworldly peanut butter ganache cup — came from Sugar Wagon, an engine-less cart run by the team of Tracy Ardoin-Jenkins and Jane Nickell, which is the subject of this week's dining review. They'd only been in business for a short while, but snagged runner-up in the sweets category. And then ...

Fast-forward about a month and Sugar Wagon co-owners Tracy Ardoin-Jenkins and Jane Nickell are hanging out before-hours at Flyte, the innovative eatery on Eighth Avenue where they first met and, about a year ago, hatched the idea to go mobile with a smart, contemporary take on classic American desserts. (Both still work at Flyte, Nickell as hostess and Ardoin-Jenkins as bartender.) The original plan was to go the hood-full-of-horsepower route and outfit a full-size baking truck. But when the financing didn't work out, the duo decided they had a choice: Scrap the whole project or, as Nickell puts it, "shrink the idea, start small [and] show the idea has value." They chose the latter, and so far, the value is apparent — even if the Sugar Wagon, which is about the size of a double-wide podium, looks a bit small when parked alongside "mobile slabs" blasting rock music, cupcake-dispensing converted school buses and the like.

Everything I've tasted of theirs — including a gingersnap-and-pumpkin-ice-cream sandwich that I demolished on my walk back to the Scene office from Flyte — has been scrumptious, bordering on ridiculous. (And I'm not even really a dessert person, usually.) Check them out on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

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