The smash burger. CONTRIBUTED

It’s been three months since Islamorada gained a unique and delicious culinary experience. Take Two Kitchen Food Truck is located in the space next door to Islamorada Hemp Company.

“My husband Brian and I kept going back and forth on how can we do something with this space? It needs to be something more than just boat storage or trailers,” said Patti Lindback, who owns Islamorada Hemp Company with her husband, Brian. “We had a vision for it to be island-style vibes for people to hang out — a ‘good vibe’ space. We definitely knew we wanted food and for it to be a food truck.” 

“We basically spoke Adrian (Quesada) in existence,” she continued. “When we met him, he was so laid back and willing to grow with us.”

The Lindbacks had been talking to people about having a food truck on the property since last summer. So, when Quesada reached out to them via Instagram Messenger and asked about the space, it was perfect timing. However, it took some time to get it up and running, as a food truck was a new opportunity for Quesada.

“I was looking for a place to open a sushi restaurant, but wasn’t finding anything in Islamorada,” Quesada said.

“The smash burgers were a natural with our existing client base, and then he had the idea to also add Asian bowls and dumplings. Pairing the two types of options, as they do at Bad Boy Burrito, by offering tacos and sushi, hits two different clients. He really nails the flavors,” Lindback said. 

Quesada started cooking about 25 years ago in a Miami restaurant similar to Benihana where he learned to make sushi. “Before that, my dad owned five tapas restaurants in Spain, so I grew up in the restaurant business,”

“I landed in the Keys in 2013 as I knew the chef at the Green Turtle Inn, and they needed someone at Kaiyo Grill (which has the same owners) — I never left the Keys,” he said. Quesada and his wife, Melba, have been married for 34 years, and she can work her corporate human resources job remotely.

“I like to do a little fusion. Something different that’s not around Islamorada. A family came today and found me because they heard we have dumplings. I cook the foods I like,” Quesada said.

What’s Quesada’s favorite dish? He immediately said, “katsukare”, a Japanese dish consisting of a curry rice vegetable bowl with either panko-breaded pork or chicken.

“And the smash burgers with fries are the most popular item, then the bowls — including the tofu,” he said. 

The bowls can be made with rice, quinoa or leaf, and you add a protein option — chicken, shrimp, seared tuna or grilled tofu.

The menu has something for everyone — fish and chips, Korean chicken wings, edamame, Katsu sando burger, miso soup, wakame and incredible dumplings in pork or vegetable (this writer’s favorite). He didn’t name it Take Two for nothing, and if you are a foodie, you are in the right spot.

When asked what other food curations he may have up his sleeve, he mentioned ramen. 

“Tonkotsu ramen was a recent new item, and we sold out very quickly. It’s hot, and it’s still sold out,” he said. 

One of the significant trends right now is matcha, and Quesada offers an iced matcha tea with almond milk. Matcha is said to have a lot of health benefits for the body and brain, as it’s rich in antioxidants.

The Take Two menu mix is perfect for someone who may prefer a vegan diet and has a hard time finding options in Islamorada. Take Two Kitchen Food Truck can be found now every third Thursday at the Morada Way Art Walk in Islamorada.

“I sold 60 smash burgers in three hours from 6 to 9 p.m,” he said. “Someday, I would like to combine sushi and food truck items in one brick-and-mortar place. However, there’s not a lot of real estate space here, and I would love to stay in Islamorada, as I love Islamorada.

“Patti and Brian (Lindback) are amazing, super cool, and I feel comfortable. It’s the reason I like it here,” Quesada continued. “Also, Erin (Kelly) and Chris (Otten) from Bad Boy (owners) are both super nice people. I am happy I am working with all of them. So, it works out very well.”

Quesada summed it up with, “I do it now because it’s fun. I like what I do.”

Connect with Take Two Kitchen Food Truck on Instagram and Facebook @taketwofoodtruck. Located at MM 81.9, oceanside, the hours are Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m to 4 p.m.

Melinda Van Fleet is an Intuitive Energy Business & Leadership Mentor and the owner of Good Karma Sportfishing with her husband, Ryan Van Fleet. She is a speaker, bestselling author of "Confidence Mastery for Couples" and "Life & Love Lessons," and the host of the weekly podcast "The Success Codes Podcast." You can connect with her more at www.melindavanfleet.com.