FLINT, MI – Armando Vasquez has one way to describe the taste at his downtown Flint restaurant – an explosion of flavor.
The Mexican-American business owner runs Smoke, Rattle & Roll, a Fusion grill at the University Pavilion in downtown Flint, unique in offering a unique style of barbecue unavailable in this area.
It’s a three-step process to ordering your plate at Smoke, Rattle & Roll.
First, you start with smoke: which smoked meats do you want on your plate; Breast fillet, pulled pork, minced chicken or vegetarian.
Then, it moves on to the crackle: Choose your style of dish, whether it’s tacos, nachos, French fries, on top of cheese, sandwich, or BBQ.
Finally, there’s the roll: Choose from five options from sweet to spicy sauces including Apple Pie Moonshine, Blackberry Chipotle, Smoked Jalapeno, Pineapple Habanero or Carolina Mustard.
You can also add an order Churro Chips for dessert.
The business recently reopened after being closed for two years during COVID-19. It originally opened in January 2020 and temporarily closed soon after due to the pandemic.
Right from the start, Vasquez fell in love with the menu, food, and simple setting of the restaurant.
The goal has always been to expand the business in the community with a food truck.
With some help from a Moving Flint Forward grant through GM, Smoke and Rattle & Roll were able to do just that.
Related: 15 Small Businesses Receive $150,000 Total in Go Flint Forward grants
Vasquez said the $10,000 grant and business support will help get the food truck ready for use this summer.
It will allow the company some diversity and name to exist in the community. It’ll keep the same name and menu, but this time it’s going to be the fusion grill on wheels.
“This is where we get excited,” Vasquez said. “We are building the food truck for this summer. (We are excited) just to take our food and our brand to the community and be a part of the events.”
Breast meat, one of Vasquez’s favorite foods, is smoked in the restaurant for 12-13 hours.
“Breast steak is probably the most popular dish. It’s a low and slow process for that over walnut wood,” he said.
With over 20 years in the restaurant business, Vasquez learned how to run a restaurant at The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company while living in Miami, Florida.
His time in the “melting pot” in Miami also influenced much of his taste. He recalled Latin influences when discussing his restaurant.
“I like to eat. So I wouldn’t sell anything I wouldn’t eat,” Vasquez said.
Smoke, Rattle & Roll is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday in the University Pavilion located at 303 Saginaw Street in downtown Flint.
Information about their list can be found on their Facebook page here.
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