It’s been five years since the first food truck opened for business, with the honor going to Local Mobile.
Since then, there have been a few that have come and gone, but as of today, we know of at least nine food trucks or trailers doing business in the Tupelo area. If you know of others in Northeast Mississippi, let us know!
Anyway, the newest on the scene, having opened earlier this month is Gypsy Roadside Mobile Cafe.
Owner Mickey Fratesi isn’t new to the food business, having opened Fratesi’s Italian Restaurant in Saltillo a few years ago. Ultimately, that didn’t work out, but Fratesi never lost his passion for food.
“I’m from the Delta, and people will drive 100 miles to a place in the middle of a cotton field to eat if the food is good,” Fratesi said. “I thought our food was good, but maybe it wasn’t, I don’t know. But that was a lesson I learned.”
And thus was born Gypsy Roadside Mobile, which he runs alongside girlfriend Katy Pruett.
“She thought ‘food truck’ with no overhead and all that and so we started this,” Fratesi said. “It’s different food that I think people will like.”
On the menu are spicy crawfish nachos, the Bohemian burger (on toasted brioche with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and gouda or cheddar cheese), smoked turkey or ham sandwiches, a seafood salad sandwich, fried cheese ravioli, Fratesi’s Italian salad and a fresh garden salad.
The menu was developed by both of them, but Pruett is the driving force behind the spicy crawfish nachos while Fratesi is the burger guy.
“It’s definitely half and half,” Pruett said of the menu development. “I also make the ranch and he makes the Italian dressing that’s been in the family for generations.”
The Gypsy burger is a Delta-inspired offering, Fratesis said. It’s a burger topped with homemade cole slaw and chili.
“It’s not found anywhere here that I’m aware of, but its definitely good,” Fratesi said.
As for the Gypsy Mobile moniker, he said he was looking for just the right name.
“I’m a huge Ronnie James Dio fan, and he has a song, ‘Gypsy’ – which has nothing to do with food,” he said. “But ‘gypsy’ relates to moving around, and so that was it.”
And for Fratesi, the appeal of having a food trailer is the freedom of movement.
“People don’t want to drive 5 minutes to Saltillo when you have so many options in Tupelo, so we decided to come to them,” he said.
Gypsy Mobile’s locations vary daily, which are posted on its Facebook page.