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Check out what’s to come at the I-93 North rest area in Hooksett with the Common Man Express “Good Food” Truck. Emelia Attridge photo.




 The Common Man Express 

“Good Food” Truck
Where: Hooksett rest area on I-93 North
Visit: thecman.com 




Uncommon pit stop
“Good Food” truck brings good eats to I-93 North

07/24/14



 The remodel of the I-93 Hooksett welcome areas are well underway, with part of the project to be completed by the end of the summer, including a convenience store and remodeled liquor store on both the southbound and northbound sides. 

But since the Common Man food courts at both rest areas won’t be completed until January, the Common Man Express “Good Food” Truck is available in the meantime for some grab-and-go Common Man treats.
The food truck is a salvaged vintage delivery truck. It can’t go anywhere, Common Man owner Alex Ray said, and it’s hooked up to all the utilities at the rest area now. The “Good Food” Truck is both a taste of what’s to come and a temporary option for travellers on I-93 and construction workers — but it’s only on the northbound side of I-93. 
If you’re travelling northbound, you can pull into the rest area just after the Hooksett tolls and walk up to the food truck to order items like grilled cheese (with tomato or as a B.L.T.), lobster roll, chicken caesar salad, mac and cheese, grill favorites like burgers, hot dogs (with or without chili), chicken fingers, steak and cheese, veggie burgers, and shepherd’s pie. Or, if you’re on the road early, pick up a breakfast sandwich, doughnuts and coffee. There’s also Common Man ice cream available.
Currently there’s no access from Route 3A, so many of the customers stopping at the food truck aren’t repeat customers, Ray said.
“It’s interesting that our volume has increased maybe five times than it was our first couple of weeks. I don’t know why, because people don’t repetitively come here; they’re always new people,” Ray said. “Most of the time I see them walk back to their cars — they’re all on a mission up the highway. ... So we have to be quick and good, that’s all.”
Like the food trucks that have been populating bigger cities like Boston and New York, the Common Man Express “Good Food” Truck has limited storage. Food is brought in on a daily basis, and they’ve used some creative storage solutions, like keeping cups, napkins and paper containers up above the order window. A full grill, fryolator and freezer for ice cream are all packed inside.
“I don’t think food trucks are a flash in the pan,” Ray said. “They were looked down upon in some of the cities, but now they’re upscale and proliferating. It’s fun, it’s practical.”
When the welcome areas are complete, both the northbound and southbound sides will feature an Uncommon Food Court with a 1950s diner, Italian restaurant, deli and bakery. 
“The original thought was that there’s never been food here. They’ve had vending machines for 40 years; they never had real food,” Ray said. “[The Common Man restaurants family has] never had what they call a quick-service restaurant, so we’re working on how to get food out consistently and good quality here, and many of the items we’ll be selling inside.” 
 
As seen in the July 24, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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