Total Thai Food Truck rolls into West Peterborough

  • The Total Thai Food Truck serves customers in West Peterborough Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Total Thai Food Truck serves customers in West Peterborough Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • A customer gives a thumbs-up to Arissara Krakow at the Total Thai Food Truck in West Peterborough Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/2/2020 5:46:15 PM

There’s a new Thai restaurant in West Peterborough – it just so happens to be on four wheels.

Total Thai Food Truck is the brainchild of Arissara and Ivan Krakow, a project that has been two years in the making. Arissara is from Thailand and has been cooking most of her life, working at places like Thai Garden in Keene and in the kitchen at Keene State College, but the two always wanted a place of their own to showcase Arissara’s passion for her homeland’s cuisine.

Ivan said a lot comes with opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant location; they looked at a space in downtown Peterborough, but they embraced the idea of setting their own schedule.

“We just figured if we wanted to go to Thailand for a few months, this gives us that flexibility,” Ivan said.

The original hope was to get the food truck open in August, but delays in inspections pushed it back, so it wasn’t until early October that the ordering window went up for the first time across from the West Peterborough Post Office, just down the street from their home.

The plan is to be open Wednesday through Friday in the evenings, but Ivan said that is all weather dependent and the schedule can change from week to week, as it did last week with the rain and snow. The goal is to at least be open through mid to late November, but “if we get some nice days, maybe into the beginning of December,” Ivan said.

The truck was originally used to deliver newspapers in New York City and was very basic on the inside but pretty sturdy, Ivan said. That’s where Ivan’s work in construction came in handy. He totally renovated the truck to include all the necessary kitchen equipment – a grill, four gas burners and a two-basket fryolator. They installed a hood, a couple refrigerators and a freezer, wired the electrical, put plywood on the walls and piped it for propane, with a holding tank off the back of the truck.

“I had some help now and then, but I did 95 percent of it,” Ivan said. “So we were able to lay out how we wanted the equipment.”

Having only been open a few weeks, Ivan said they are still tweaking with the operation and “working out the bugs.” Since it is all totally new, Ivan said they have plenty of ideas “but we’re trying to listen and pay attention” to what people are looking for.

The reason behind the name is simply the food and Arissara’s mission to keep it authentic to Thailand.

“She wants to make Thai food and keep it original,” he said.

The idea is to have five or six dishes every time they’re open, changing up the menu often to offer different flavors and a more widespread look into Arissara’s cooking abilities.

“That’s the flexibility you have with a food truck and a small operation,” Ivan said. “And it’s all from scratch.”

He said they will have two noodle dishes, one always being Pad Thai. The spring rolls have been super popular, with upwards of 150 going out the window on a good day. Other dishes that have been featured include Drunken Noodles, Lab Gai, spicy chicken basil and fried rice. They always try to have a curry option, with the pumpkin curry being the most popular thus far. Ivan said they get their raw products from an Asian food wholesaler in Greenland.

Arissara does most of the cooking, but they have some friends who help out, with as many as four people in the truck on a given evening.

“On our busiest day, within five to 10 minutes we had 15 people in line,” Ivan said.

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