Due to a limited amount of brick and mortar in Rio Rancho, food trucks are a common sight.

They can be spotted at community events, parks, schools, breweries and shopping plazas, and are entwined in the community.

Owner Brandon Psomas gets ready for another day of serving coffee. Gnomad Coffee is right off Cherry Road in the North Hills neighborhood. (Daniel Zuniga photo)

Gnomad Coffee co-owner Brandon Psomas said lived in North Hills for seven years and now owns the food truck with his business partner Brian Brocksmith. Gnomad Coffee is parked on Golf Course Road, and serves up coffee, smoothies, and shakes.

“Brian and I are old high school friends; we graduated from Rio Rancho High School in 2002,” Psomas said. “It’s all come full circle; we are very much Rio Rancho, very much local.”

Not every food truck has roots in Rio Rancho, but according to Glazed Grinders food truck manager Charles Warren, that shouldn’t stop anyone from trying good food.

“Glazed Grinders is the best in Rio Rancho, and in Albuquerque, hopefully New Mexico,” Warren said. “We have amazing doughnuts.”

Glazed Grinders parks across from Neighborhood Walmart in Rio Rancho. Glazed Grinders routinely has lines of customers waiting to eat doughnuts. (Daniel Zuniga)

Glazed Grinders is an Albuquerque-born food truck, but frequently serves up classic doughnuts in Rio Rancho.

“I haven’t had one upset customer at this job,” Warren said. “They wait in line for 15 minutes, and I try to apologize, then they say they would have waited an hour. I guess they like donuts!”

The food truck culture is different from a restaurant.

“When you go to a restaurant, you have a hostess, a server, a bartender, and well, we are it,” Chalkboard Eats co-owner Patty McHale said. “It’s a great personal interaction.”

She and her husband, chef Darren McHale, own the truck. Their food truck is prominent in the brewery scene.

“When COVID hit, he got laid off, I quit my job as a teacher, and we were going to open up a restaurant, but there’s not a lot of brick and mortar here in Rio, so we decided to buy a food truck,” Patty McHale said.

Chalkboard Eats serves up new foods with fresh ingredients each week, including red chile brisket tacos and hot pastrami sandwiches.

“We just have the best customers. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a food truck or it’s because of our product,” Darren McHale said. “It’s a face-to-face beginning and end, and I am going to own everything I put out. I love it.”

He has been a chef for over 25 years, and Patty McHale has over 20 years’ experience in food service.

“To have repeat customers that support what we are doing and the understanding… that’s our drive, and what puts smiles on our faces,” Darren McHale said.

Chalkboard Eats parks outside of Brew Lab 101. Besides breweries, the food truck attends community events, schools and parks. (Daniel Zuniga)