CASPER, Wyo. — Tasty teamwork, tantalizing tacos and teachable treats; is that too many “T” words?
“Taco” Troy Girod of “Troy’s Killer Tacos” and Neal Neumiller of the “FTP” food trailer have initiated a partnership to bring a variety of scrumptious and locally sourced treats to people in the Casper area.
“FTP” stands for many things, including “Farm to Plate.”
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This is Neumiller’s way to share locally sourced foods with the community, offer fresh flavors and encourage people to buy and grow locally.
Girod loved that idea and the two teamed up to take turns offering up menu items which will vary as they serve on different days.
“He’s the brains, I’m the beauty,” Girod joked.
The new team was set up outside of Natural Grocers on Thursday, Aug. 15, serving up Girod’s taco recipes stuffed with locally sourced beef, pork and vegetables thanks to FTP.
“He’s the one who made his tacos for today’s event at Natural Grocers,” Neumiller said. “I think with our partnership here, it’s coming together with different ideas and doing it in tandem.”
As the afternoon stretched on, the two were only able to serve up Girod’s pork carnitas recipe and a new vegan option he was experimenting with because the beef carne asada sold out quickly.
“Today we cooked our carne asada tacos with sirloin roast from our Sunshine Valley Ranch’s local grass-fed beef,” Neumiller said.
While Girod didn’t change his recipe he said there is a noticeable jump in the quality of the meat.
“The quality is better,” he said. “The meat is not as chewy as store bought, it is really soft.”
The food offering will be a little different when the two serve on Saturday.
“So like, Saturday night down at Frontier Brewing, I’m going to be serving fried tacos with our ground beef,” Neumiller said. “Troy will be coming and helping to share back and forth the labor.”
They’ll alternate who sets the recipes as they move from event to event, with their partnership developing along the way.
Prior to striking up this arrangement with Neumiller, Girod was only able to serve at small pop-up events as he didn’t have the trailer or food truck required to cook on site.
“I was doing strictly pop-up events,” he says. “A lot of businesses were asking me to do a lot of things and it was becoming a little overwhelming.”
Then some people that knew both men made sure the two met up.
“It just happened through word of mouth, through a couple of our business owners who told him about me and me about him,” Girod said.
Collaboration fits right in with Neumiller’s intention to teach the community more about where they get their food.
“I think there’s a need for people working together in this community,” he said. “I think that is one of the things we need to improve on is knowing where our food comes from.”
“To know a farmer is to love a farmer. That’s one of the things we are disconnected from is nobody really knows how to grow their own food.”
Those who visited the two on Thursday learned a little about growing locally.
“The tomatoes are harvested from our little farm that we have,” Neumiller said of the pico de gallo salsa spread across two just-finished pork carnitas tacos.
“I don’t think there’s another place in town that has anything local like that.”
Neumiller hopes that more people will get come down to Tuesday Summer Markets organized by Wyoming Food for Thought or Saturday morning markets put on by the Master Gardeners.
“There’s a need for that,” he said. “We should get connected to our community, go to more farmers’ markets. They should sell it all that day.”
Girod gave a few hints at how he prepared the Sunshine Valley Ranch beef. He says it was diced and marineted for 24 hours.
“Pork is slow simmered in a special juice for about 12 hours,” he added. “Everything is finished off on the flat top.”
That includes the new vegan recipe on offer which featured portabellas, green and yellow zucchini and a citrus spice blend.
“I just finish it off on the flat-top, give it a quick sear,” he said. “Every event we’re at people seem to be asking for vegan.”
Girod is pleased with his new partnership and all the interest he’s had around town.
“Things have been going really well for me, really well,” he said.
Neumiller is excited about possibilities going forward.
“What I like about the food truck and the concept is we’re not stuck to one menu item,” he said. “Maybe the next the event we’re back to doing Troy’s tacos or grass-fed burgers.”
And maybe people will give growing their own vegetables a shot.
“Have you ever grown any food?” Neumiller asked.
If not, people can track down this terrific tandem and try out tacos, tortas or other tempting treats, and tongues will be too tied-up to talk any of these tenacious “T” words.