By BRENNA GRITEMAN
When Amy May Taylor asked her Facebook followers which recipe they’d like her to share for the House Specialties column, the response was mixed and enthusiastic: “How to make barbacoa!” “You make the best guac ever!!” “Salsa for sure!”
But the delicacy that far and away swept the poll was Amy May’s Rockin’ Corn.
Known as elote in Spanish-speaking countries, Mexican street corn is a popular offering at food carts and Mexican restaurants throughout America. It is essentially grilled corn covered in a creamy sauce and topped with cheese and spices — perfect for rural communities such as ours.
“It’s just a different way to use your sweet corn. It’s easy — anybody can do it,” Taylor says of the recipe, which she created and perfected as a menu item for her Findlay food truck, Amy May’s Rockin’ Taco.
Taylor can be found rockin’ said food truck all around town.
And, following a December incident in which a driver had a medical emergency and slammed into Taylor’s parked truck at 60 mph, customers will be sure to notice her new, larger (and air-conditioned inside) truck. Complete with a graphic wrap, awning and speakers, the new truck made its debut about a month ago.
Taylor launched the operation in May 2013, making her Findlay’s first food truck.
Back then, she says, “it was hard finding a place to work,” because the city’s rules for vendors were ambiguous and food trucks were not yet an established part of the modern dining experience. The first business to take a chance on her was Dietsch Brothers, who invited the truck to operate out of its West Main Cross store’s lot.
In the years since, Findlay’s food truck community has grown significantly. And so has its customer base.
“Now I get calls and messages from people wanting me to come park,” Taylor says.
She’s happy to see food trucks gaining momentum locally, and views fellow operators as part of her own unique community, rather than competition.
“There’s just a special energy around the trucks,” she says.
Most days, Amy May’s Rockin’ Taco can be found parked at the Fairfield Inn, at the corner of Tiffin Avenue and Bright Road. From about 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. — or sellout — Taylor dishes out a host of customer favorites.
That includes taco salad and any type of nachos one can dream up, along with quesadillas, tacos and picadillo. “Anything you can do to a burrito, we’ve done it,” she adds, ticking off queso-smothered burritos, Cuban burritos, nacho-grilled monster burritos, beef and potato burritos, and green chili chicken burritos, among others. A California-style burrito is in the works, famous for its replacement of rice and beans with french fries.
“We have big portions, for sure,” Taylor says.
On the sweeter side, the truck offers a variety of inventive desserts, including churro cheesecake bars, Cocoa Pebbles cheesecake, Reese’s chocolate lasagna and even keto brownies (there are multiple keto offerings on the truck). There are even Pup Cakes available for customers’ four-legged companions, topped with homemade biscuits and wrapped in edible rice paper instead of typical cupcake papers.
Taylor is a natural in the kitchen, and says coming up with delicious offerings and sharing them with others is a passion.
She was raised by a single father and, as the oldest of three children, took on many of the household responsibilities. That included cooking.
It is her dad’s recipe for beef and beans that she serves on the truck to this day.
“I started making that when I was 8,” she says, “standing on a chair.”
The truck’s Facebook page lists near-daily updates on where and when you can find the truck, along with that day’s menu. There are also regular contests and giveaways on the page.
One day recently, the truck’s new speakers were put to good use when Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” came on the radio. Taylor’s employee announced that the person in line who busted the best “Thriller” moves would earn a free lunch, and Taylor looked up to see a parking lot full of dancing customers.
To her, it’s these little moments — or the times old friends are reunited in line, or when people stand out in the rain and snow to pick up a burrito — that make it all worthwhile.
“We love Findlay. I belong to Findlay. We’re just here to get the community together,” she says.
Elote (Amy May’s Rockin’ Corn)
12 ears of corn, shucked
3 cups milk
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
½ jar mayonnaise
1 cup butter
Queso fresco, crumbled
Seasoning of your choice
Bring milk, sugar and salt to a boil in a large stockpot. Add corn to water, cover, and remove from heat.
Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise and butter in a separate bowl, mix the two cheeses, and chop the cilantro.
After about 20 minutes in the hot water, the corn will be ready. (I like to char mine over an open flame — so yummy!) Use a brush to generously spread the mayo/butter mixture over the corn.
Then comes my favorite part: the cheese! Get as much cheese on the corn as you can, sprinkle with cilantro and seasoning, then squeeze your limes over the corn and enjoy.