Until recently, you’d have to drive away from downtown Seattle to find a food truck, with most being taco trucks on the edges of the city. (I ate tongue and tripe tacos at one yesterday while heading home from Shoreline.) But now, a not-so-little pig has come to market: Maximus / Minimus is at the southeast corner of 2nd and Pike.
This eye-catching wonder is the brainchild of Kurt Beecher Dammeier, the man behind Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. His co-workers loved the pulled pork sandwiches he made them for lunch, and suddenly the concept came about, resulting in a pig-shaped truck often parked just outside of Dammeier’s office.
The name refers to the flavor profiles, with Maximus meaning savory and spicy, and Minimus meaning tangy and sweet. On the positive side, lapsang souchong tea contributes a welcome smokiness to the sandwich ($5.46). But beyond smokiness, I love heat, so I’m a bit disappointed that I can’t discern much difference between the maximus and the minimus sauces. Carry a bottle of hot sauce with you if an “extra hurt” order isn’t anywhere near making you scream out your culinary safe word.
As for the rest of the menu, I do like the beets as part of the vegetable chips ($4.55, or $2.28 as a side to a sandwich), and the slaw (also available in maximus or minimus flavors) is serviceable ($2.73, or $1.37 with the sandwich). Drinks ($1.82) are fun; I prefer the tart ginger lemonade (the maximus drink) over the hibiscus nectar (the minimus drink), which is floral and sweet. There’s a vegetarian sandwich available, though it seems silly to me to pony up to a pig only to be pork-free.
Then again, Dammeier loves the veggie sandwich, though he says the ability to have a pulled pork sandwich for lunch everyday was the inspiration behind Maximus / Minimus. Can a man live by pulled pork alone? Can pulled pork alone make a business thrive? With his track record of success, I wouldn’t bet against Dammeier. He can certainly diversify the menu down the line, and he also has plans to take the show on the road, parading the pig to different neighborhoods and showing up at special events. (Stay in touch by following Maximus / Minimus on Twitter.)