Twelve years later, he’s still in Traverse City and gearing up to open A’s Food with an Accent at The Little Fleet. Antonio started his culinary career at a family restaurant in Portugal when he was 17 and then spent 16 years working on cruise ships and traveling the world. With his daughter grown and off to college, he’s done working as a home dad and ready for a new challenge.
“My wife and I are foodies, and we had thought about opening a restaurant or food truck. When the opportunity to purchase this food truck came across, she said ‘That’s it, let’s make an offer.'” Antonio laughs, “By the time I realized what was going on, we’d already bought the trailer. Food trucks are bringing a new wave of activity to Traverse City, and it’s so exciting to be a part of it.”
Regarding the food, Antonio says, “The idea is to serve great food with a Portuguese flair. There’s not any Portuguese food available around town, so to start I am introducing the flavors. I’m having specialized Portuguese sausage made here in town with my recipe. Because we’re set up near a bar, I’m going to serve food that goes well with drinks. Little things like meat, shrimp or fish fritters or turnovers. We’ll start small with a few sandwiches and a soup and a salad, make sure that those are consistent and start introducing other dishes to see what people like.”
Antonio says he doesn’t want to get lost in a huge menu, but he’ll also have a couple of American favorites like french fries with the special ranch recipe that was the best seller for the woman who sold him the food truck. While he hasn’t set his hours yet, he’s hoping to be open for lunch, dinner and late night.
Antonio is currently re-painting and customizing his truck and aiming to open A’s Food with an Accent by Cinco de Mayo.