The Truck: Judging a food truck by the truck itself, Maximus/Minimus sails like an improbable pig over the competition. How can you deny its imposing, steel-like exterior, riveted together to appear like a swine tank? The truck rolls about with its license plate declaring "SOMEPIG"; during business hours, the pig wears stunna shades. With perked ears and a vented snout for a front bumper, it is both fearsome and lovable, a warrior-like symbol in the Battle of the Seattle Food Trucks to emerge victorious over city legislation and bring tasty bites to the people wherever the kitchens may roll. Or else.
The down-home gourmet of Maximus/Minimus has been around two years, making it an OG in the local mobile cuisine game. Much like the notion of a metal pig, its premise is contrast: Each option, from pulled pork to slaw to fruit drink, comes in both Maximus (bold) and Minimus (light) varieties. You can add some Beecher's Flagship cheese (Kurt Beecher Dammeier is the proprietor of Maximus/Minimus), as well as apply some "Hurt" (spice) to top most options.
I encountered Maximus/Minimus at the Starbuck's SODO food-truck showdown later on a rainy day, where to my dismay the Beecher's Mac & Cheese ($5, also found at their store at the Market) was already sold out. I tried a sample of their spice-packed pozole ($4.09), the hearty hominy soup of Mexican descent that is too often served watery, and was impressed by its richness, making it an excellent winter option. But I had arrived at the pig truck for the BBQ pig, particularly after being steered clear of the barley-grain veggie option. (My vegetarian friends should definitely go for the meatless Pozole option over the sandwich.) I opted for the Minimus pulled-pork sandwich ($6.36) with the Maximus slaw ($1.36); my eating companion went for the Minimus chicken sandwich with the Minimus slaw.
Minimus pork with Maximus slaw.
Minimus chicken with Minimus slaw (slaw-tastic).
Spilling out of its whole-wheat roll, the slow-cooked pulled pork was exceptional, stewed in a tangy tamarind, honey, and molasses sauce and topped with a sprig of cilantro. The slaw, with radish and cilantro and a chipotle vinaigrette, was decent but lacked a kick I associate with Maximus. I was more impressed with the Minimus slaw: honey-dijon vinaigrette with cabbage, cranberries, and mint. I'm not really a slaw enthusiast, but I would go out of my way to encounter this slaw again. The chicken sandwich, whose Minimus sauce was a "bright" pesto mayo, is perhaps better in theory: While the chicken slab underneath the bun was obviously of superb quality and cooked well and the mayo did have a fresh zing to it, the flavor didn't step up to the statement of the pulled pork. There is, evidently, a reason why Maximus/Minimus isn't a chicken on wheels.
Maximus/Minimus, whose awesomely personable service deserves a metal medal, can be found on Mondays at Starbucks SoDo and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at Second and Pike; they're also a ubiquitous presence at farmers markets and summer festivals, which you can track through their website, Facebook page, or their Twitter, @somepigseattle.