By Jessica J. Hammon
Upon walking up to Naan Stop, parked in a Mott Community College parking lot, the bright orange exterior is the perfect façade for the smells that are wafting out of the truck. Well this one isn’t actually a truck—it’s a trailer—but you get the idea. We arrived near the end of the lunch rush. There was a scattering of people still ordering food, but it was evident that we had just missed a large lunch rush since one of the menu items had already sold out. Naan Stop, Flint’s newest food truck, is a perfect addition to our already diverse and growing Flint food truck scene. With a delicious variety of Indian food cuisine presented in an unpretentious manner. This truck is sure to be a hit.
Jon Hardman, owner and operator of Naan Stop, and colleague Larkin Brown, were fast at work in the small space that typifies a food truck kitchen. It never ceases to amaze me the high-quality yet quickly served meals that come out of food trucks these days. This is not your mama’s beach front food stand serving greasy chili fries, my friends.
Our first dish was the Chana Masala—chickpeas in a curry sauce. The dish was very well-balanced and not too spicy, which can be a concern for some when you say “curry.” This dish is perfect for vegans and vegetarians, but those meat-eaters just looking for a non-meat meal will not be disappointed either. If you have celiac disease like me, or just choose to be gluten-free, this truck’s offerings are a great option—just ask for no bread because, unfortunately, naan bread is not gluten-free.
Next, we tried the Tandori Taco and Chicken 65, both crowd favorites, and we could see why. The chicken in both was fresh and had just a hint of a spicy kick to it, which complemented the crème sauce in the taco and the generous portion of basmati rice in the Chicken 65 nicely. Chicken 65 is a popular street food in India. The bold and balanced flavors with just the right amount of protein and carbs are perfect to get you through the rest of your work day, or mellow you out if you partied a bit too hard the night before. Fair disclosure, I had my photographer try the taco since the shell is not gluten-free. She was very impressed with her first Indian version of a taco.
This food is of the quality you would expect in a nice Indian restaurant, but for a portion of the price. Hardman is trying to keep the meals under $10.00 to make this wonderful food tradition accessible to everyone. Bonus note: He uses wooden silverware and biodegradable containers for all of their dishes, so you can feel confident that your disposable dishes won’t be harming the environment.
We spoke with two patrons—Andrew Hatton, a 19-year-old student, and Theron Williams, an MCC staff member. Andrew said it was his first time at the truck and liked having the option available. Theron was happy that food trucks are starting to offer some more healthy and ethnic options for their patrons.
While the MCC location was only temporary, Naan Stop will keep rolling. On a typical day, you can find the bright orange trailer located on the corner of Court and Stevens, a location that we expect exciting things from in the future. Sorry, I’m not permitted to spill any more of the beans than that.
Naan Stop will be open for lunch service beginning October 2019. Make sure to make your “Naan Stop” today. You will not be disappointed.
For more information on Naan Stop, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/naanstopflint/.