Dinghy food truck opens in Kodiak, serving big grilled cheese for big appetites

Kodiak residents have long enjoyed a vibrant local food scene, but there are still holes to be filled. The Dinghy food truck has found a massive grilled-cheese sized hole.

“Taco 49 just by chance was selling their food truck, two of them. And Cooper and I just kind of looked at each other and said why not? Let’s do this,” said David Haas.

David Haas and Cooper Curtis of Highmark Marine are co-owners of the Dinghy- both are longtime fans of grilled cheese. They tested their menu on their friends and coworkers at Highmark Marine, and knew they’d have to serve some massive sandwiches to appease their appetites.

“The guys at Highmark kept eating four, five of the sandwiches so I kept telling our cook to make them bigger. He put more cheese and more meat to the point where the grilled cheese wouldn’t hold its shape,” Haas said. “So that’s when we decided to add another layer of bread to keep its structure. And we finally got the Highmark Marine guys to be satisfied with one sandwich. We knew we had the right recipe when one of the guys couldn’t finish it.”

Haas says that the pandemic had essentially no effect on the opening of the Dinghy. According to him, the unique food option brought out nearly more customers than they could handle.

“It was an immediate success from day one and I think just our mission statement, which is very simple, which is to make a complete filling meal, that’s fast and affordable,” Haas said. “Those three things, I think, are just winning recipes in Kodiak, and appealed to the working class.”

The Dinghy has a broad range of grilled cheese sandwiches, ranging from a classic style with ham, a sandwich with pear and gouda, and a unique grilled PB&J with cheddar cheese- a favorite of Cooper Curtis’.

Haas says that while the sandwiches taste good, the big draw is the enormous proportions at an affordable price.

“I know that this island is mostly based on the fishing community and just kind of like blue collar, hardworking people. So I knew the big proportions were going to be hit right away,” Haas said.

“I just didn’t realize how big of a hit it was going to be.”

Those with big appetites can order online and review an up-to-date menu at dinghyfoodtruck.com, or find them in person at 101 Center St. in Kodiak, Monday through Thursday 11 to 7, and Friday and Saturday 11 to 8.

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