Cheezy Noodlez is the newest food truck to join the summer lineup here in Sioux Falls.
Husband and wife Ravuth “Johnny” Tahn and Jessica Eck left their lives in Seattle, Washington, behind to start a food truck together and make a fresh start in the Midwest.
Tahn’s mother immigrated from Cambodia to Seattle in the late 70s, which is where the couple has lived their whole lives. But with their 5-year-old daughter starting kindergarten this fall, they wanted to move somewhere else to set up roots.
“We decided that we’re ready for a change,” Eck said.
The truck’s name — Cheezy Noodlez —honors a childhood friend
Eck’s grandparents were from South Dakota, and she had been coming here to visit since she was a little kid, so Sioux Falls seemed like a good fit.
“We really love it. It’s been great so far,” she said.
Eck worked for the local government in Seattle, and her husband worked for Subaru. But a food truck was something the couple always talked about doing, especially since Tahn really loved to cook.
Now, running Cheezy Noodlez is their full-time job.
“The name is something that’s very near and dear to us,” Eck said. “We had a really close friend of ours who was going to start the business with us and move out here, but unfortunately, he passed away unexpectedly a couple of weeks before we were supposed to move.”
Their friend’s nickname since childhood was Noodle, Eck said. After he passed, the couple asked another friend who is a graphic designer to create a cartoon character of “Noodle” for the logo to remember him by.
The name and the business itself became a tribute.
“We knew after everything that we still wanted to include him in it somehow,” Eck said.
The Cheezy Noodlez menu and start of the season
The menu will feature different variations of gourmet macaroni and cheese.
While the couple is still finalizing the menu, options will include birria mac ‘n’ cheese with Mexican slow-cooked beef, barbecue pulled pork, popcorn chicken and a classic take on hot dogs and macaroni, which is one of their daughter Dakota’s favorites.
“She likes to keep it basic,” said Eck. “And she’s really excited for the truck. She keeps asking us if we can close it for a day and turn it into an ice cream truck,” she added with a laugh.
Eck said it’s been a fun process of buying and testing out different cheeses to use. They’ve also been doing a trial run of recipes with their neighbors, and the couple is looking into sourcing their meat and other ingredients locally as much as they’re able.
The goal is to open next week.
Several people have already reached out asking the couple to bring Cheezy Noodlez to businesses like 605 Antiques as well as different car dealerships and a number of breweries in and around Sioux Falls.
They will also be at the South Dakota Army National Guard’s GX event on June 28.
Eck said they would like to run the truck until late October/early November and open it up again in March or April.
“We haven’t experienced a South Dakota winter yet, so that’s going to be an adjustment for sure,” she laughed. “We’ll just see how everything plays out…but we’re really excited for this new part of our lives to begin.”
Customers can stay up to date with hours and locations on the Cheezy Noodlez Facebook page.