Tumbleweeds on the roll

Step on up for lunch near the corner of 11th and College.

Bozeman’s fine dining options draw distinctively less visitors than its surrounding mountains, but some of our most treasured food establishments are affordable, fast and open late.

The Tumbleweeds food truck is a recent and welcome addition to Bozeman, offering fresh food, friendly service and a modern take on the eating experience.

The truck is most often downtown from about 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. for late-night meals, and at the corner of College and 11th from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for breakfast. The owner of Tumbleweeds, Jay Blaske, uses local, fresh ingredients whenever possible, and everything is made from scratch including their sauces. Blaske has an amiable demeanor and treats his customers as most would treat their close friends — with care and geniality.

Wraps, burritos, sandwiches and tacos form the basis of the Tumbleweeds menu, but almost every item has a unique twist. I shared BBQ Pork Tacos and Pork Carnitas Tacos with a friend, the BBQ Pork being my personal favorite. It had a nice contrast of tastes between the vinegar slaw and the BBQ flavor, and when paired with some Mama Zuma’s Revenge habanero chips, it made for a zinging combo.

A nice place to grab a late-night meal while strolling around the downtown area, Tumbleweeds costs about as much as an average fast-food meal — $7 to $8 on average.

The quality service pairs well with the food. Unlike in most restaurants, the chef personally interacts with the people enjoying the food, which only makes the experience better. The truck is on the go every day, and Blaske posts its whereabouts on facebook.com/TumbleweedsTruck and on Twitter @Tumbleweedsbzn.

BBQ pork tacos with coleslaw and sriracha creme.

Since food trucks are so unusual in Bozeman, Tumbleweeds is having trouble maintaining access to the downtown area. Blaske has done his best to avoid contention by speaking to city businesses about issues such as the length of the truck, the noise it produces and the places it is allowed to park, but the city planning staff has some concerns with allowing Tumbleweeds to park downtown. Blaske said the city’s main concern is that the brick-and-mortar restaurants mean guaranteed income for the city, whereas his truck is using downtown resources while paying no fees. Blaske agrees with this, but hopes that instead of banning his truck from downtown, the city might find a way to charge him a fee for using the space.

Those who support Tumbleweeds can write emails to the city planning staff backing the idea of allowing Tumbleweeds to park in the downtown area.

Blaske intends to run the truck all through the winter, so keep an eye out. “I’d like to just tell people to stop and try us out,” he said. “I think that people won’t be disappointed with what they find.”