When Elaine Cass and her husband Richard visited family in East Tennessee, they fell in love with the area. Especially the lush green landscape, which is very different from what they are used to in Nevada. Not long after, they packed their bags and bought a house on an acre and a half near Corryton. They settled in so quickly that their new neighbors quipped that they became true “hillies.”
In October, Casses launched the Hillbilly Burritos food truck and so far they are pleased with the positive feedback.
“Hillbilly burritos are a bit of a hit,” Elaine Cass says of her new food truck venture. “I just wanted something cute and appealing, and I loved the girl’s illustration (in the logo). Some people came to us and ordered it just because they liked Elle May’s picture.”
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Hillbilly Burritos combine the comfort of country cooking with not-so-spicy Mexican flavors. The lunch/dinner menu includes beans and cheese, chicken or beef burritos or quesadillas and nachos. “We’re seeing in our area that people want something that’s flavorful, but not too spicy,” she said. “You can put anything in a burrito, and people really love breakfast burritos.”
Hillbilly Burritos is currently offering seasonal blueberry or cherry cheesecake cups with chocolate sauce and whipped cream “stuffed” brownie brownies.
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Sides include guacamole, salsa, and they’re trying a grilled hot Mexican corn salad. “A lot of people enjoy a glass of chipotle cheese or nacho cheese and chips,” Cass says. “We’ve found that when people ask us if we can add this or that, we tell them you can add or subtract anything as long as you see it in our truck or on the menu.”
Cass said she just loved feeding people. “The nachos are so big, you can barely close the lid,” she says. “I made sure no one said they were still hungry.”
Empty nesters said they were looking forward to the busy neighborhood booking schedules in Rogersville, Coryton and Strawberry Plains and American Renters with Santa in early December. “We try to make it so that you see us before you order fast food for lunch,” she laughs. “Because we’re going into the community, it’s a good idea to get people to follow us on our Facebook page to see where we’re going next.”
The couple fed more than 500 people at the two-day horse racing event last weekend. “We met a lot of really nice people. I want to do more shows like this,” Elaine Cass said. “We’ve just launched a breakfast menu and normally I don’t like to ask people if they like our food and bring it up on the spot, but we’ve gotten a lot of compliments.”
The Hillbilly Burritos breakfast menu features seven different burritos filled with fresh eggs, breakfast sausage, country potatoes, bacon and cheese, and served with sour cream or salsa.
“Richard was cooking the bacon and sausage outside in a covered dome while I was prepping the potatoes; I was making them fresh as people ordered them,” Cass said. “Everything outside my window is hot and fresh. With the breakfast menu, you can almost be a fast food chef.”
Cass says she also offers extra flavorings for her classic hot chocolate and coffee, which can be ordered with the breakfast menu.
Soon after the Hillbilly Burritos launched, they switched from pulled pork to hearty seasoned ground beef, and to green salsa-style chicken on burritos, quesadillas, and nachos. “We have nacho cheese and quesadillas, and the kids seem to love cheese and bean tacos and egg and cheese burritos,” she added.
The couple left jobs as heavy equipment managers and operations managers out west. “I’ve always loved cooking and needing to get out of the office,” says Elaine Kass. “We’re not here to build a career or make it or break it. It’s a big change, but we love Tennessee.”
Hillbilly Burritos have only been out for two months, and the Casses are focusing on promoting their new food truck, which they hope will soon become a favorite. “Our schedule will really pick up next week when people will get tired of turkey,” Cass said. “If people want us to be there, we’ll be there.”