Dining With Denise Neil

Former Ad Astra chef opening The Surly Mermaid, a food truck

Ad Astra’s former chef, Amanda Hague and her husband, Ben Hayes, purchased this vintage Airstream Overlander and will turn it into a food truck.
Ad Astra’s former chef, Amanda Hague and her husband, Ben Hayes, purchased this vintage Airstream Overlander and will turn it into a food truck.

Ad Astra Food & Drink’s former chef is returning to the kitchen – although this kitchen will be aboard a 1956 Airstream Overlander.

Amanda Hague and her husband, Ben Hayes, say they are opening a food truck, and they hope to have it on the road by March. They’ll call it The Surly Mermaid, a name inspired by one of Amanda’s more interesting tattoos. (It’s on her arm and is a Siamese twin mermaid that’s half monkey, half mermaid.)

The couple recently purchased the vintage truck from a dealer in Marion, and they’ll start construction soon.

Hague says she’ll serve the same type of comfort food she prepared when she ran Ad Astra, through she’ll likely focus on items like sandwiches and bowls. She’s not sure yet where they’ll park the truck to serve but says they’ll likely have Wichita on the list.

“It’s got such a great food truck culture right now,” Hague said.

Hague ran the always-packed Ad Astra Food and Drink, in Strong City, a tiny town near Cottonwood Falls in the Flint Hills. She closed the restaurant in August saying it had grown too much too fast and was too much to handle. Her partner, Gwen Shirkey, decided to take it over and is reopening the restaurant this weekend.

Hague said she wanted to get back in the kitchen and a food truck seemed more manageable.

“It’s just us and a couple of employees, so we can really focus on the food and not all the overhead,” Hague said.

I’ll keep you updated on The Surly Mermaid’s progress.

  Comments