This Ballard Dump Truck Serves Amazing Sichuan Dumplings

At any given time, hundreds, if not thousands, of dump trucks ply Seattle neighborhoods. But as far as we know, there is only one we would like to eat in.

Well named “DumperThis bright blue food truck can be found at Cloudburst Brewing in Ballard. Managed by Plenty of Clouds, the Dump Truck serves some of Seattle’s best Chinese food, including phenomenal pork dumplings.

Travis Post and Lisa Zack are the duo behind Plenty of Clouds on Capitol Hill. When their friends at Cloudburst Brewing were looking for a food truck to feed thirsty customers, Post and Zack knew it would be a perfect fit.

“They make delicious beer,” Zack said. “We can’t imagine a better partnership for us. We really want to love the people we work with and share a similar philosophy.

Post and Zack searched for a truck that would work for their mobile restaurant, but the search ran into a very significant hurdle. Post is six feet three inches tall and couldn’t stand up in most of the food trucks the two looked at. Enter the dump truck. A friend drove them to the truck which had been remodeled to include a raised area up front, making it look like a dump truck in his past life. The odd addition meant Post could stand in the truck, and both were sold.

“The truck is the only one we’ve seen that Travis could stand in,” Zack said. “So the truck is weird, but it was kinda perfect for us.”

The dump truck menu is not your standard beer garden fare. Like the Plenty of Clouds restaurant, the Dump Truck is inspired by the cuisine of southern central China. It’s a marriage of spices from the Sichuan region with fresh ingredients from neighboring Yunnan province.

“We don’t make pretzels and sausages, but everything works; Even if it’s unexpected, ”Post said.

As we warm up in the Puget Sound area, a few different menu items shine at the dump truck. “Now that we go into the summer season, we’re getting into more interesting things that are fun,” Post said.

The chrysanthemum salad uses greens from the flowering plant, which Post says are a slightly less spicy mint leaf than arugula.

“It’s a lovely, very light spice,” he said. “It’s a sort of peanut vinegar salad that’s definitely something unique, especially for a food truck.”

The homemade flatbread sandwich isn’t to be missed either, Post said. Choose between braised pork belly or mushrooms and tofu with pickled green peppers, sour cabbage and cilantro.

Other notable menu items from the Plenty of Clouds dump truck are Szechuan pork dumplings with chili oil, cilantro, and sesame. Rightfully so, dumplings are the number one seller to dump truck.

As for the naming, the process was pretty straightforward.

“No one could come up with a better name,” Zack said. “So I have to call it the dump truck, and it makes me laugh every time.”

Visit the Plenty of Clouds dump truck in the Cloudburst beer garden at 5458 Shilshole Ave NW in Ballard. It is open for meals at the beer garden or for take out seven days a week, with the possibility of ordering on site or online. Check the website for current hours of operation.


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About Linda Jennings

Linda Jennings

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