“It’s pronounced ‘brew-ho,’” explains Bruxo food truck owner Brooks Schmitt, pronouncing the soft ‘x’ as he exhales. “But a lot of people pronounce it ‘brucks-o,’ which kinda sounds like my name, so I’m OK with that.”
The moniker, which means “shapeshifter” in Portuguese, is Schmitt’s clever way of describing his playful approach to his food truck’s menu, which includes dumplings, a sandwich or wrap, a salad, and chicken inspired by different world cuisines. So while the items remain the same, the flavors change dramatically from visit to visit.
The first time I ordered through the window of his unmissable truck—wrapped in a colorful, geometric Sol Lewitt print outside of Humble Sea Brewing—I was drawn in by the Shanghai soup dumplings, a dish normally served off of Sunday dim sum carts. Each hand-twirled mouthful sent a plume of ginger and lemongrass-scented steam out my nostrils as the homemade oxtail and chicken aspic liquified on my tongue, filling my mouth with delicious hot bone broth.
A couple of weeks later, Bruxo’s menu shapeshifted to offer Israeli-inspired Tel Aviv soup dumplings with passionfruit and tahini amba sauce, tabbouleh salad with bulgur grain and house-pickled peppers, turmeric fried chicken, and a wrap with pomegranate molasses-braised lamb shank, yogurt, hummus and pickled onions. That menu was followed by Russian flavors: borscht, chicken kiev, pierogies and cabbage and turnip salad. Schmitt hinted at a French-inspired cassoulet wrap and short rib osso buco dumplings in the future.
While the inspiration morphs, Schmitt’s commitment to sourcing ingredients of the highest quality never wavers, and he frequently supplements local products with condiments, pickles and preserves that he makes himself. A Booneville native, what he can’t get here he sources from local producers from the Anderson Valley, and proudly uses Mendocino Heritage Pork. “The idea is to source locally and bring in global flavors,” he explains. “Our guiding principle is umami—from a flavor and a visual perspective. We incorporate salty, spicy, sweet and have every color represented in each dish as much as possible to create visual umami.”