The Munchie Machine, which rolls out on 4/20.
The Munchie Machine, which rolls out on 4/20.
Michael Sugarman

Jinkies! Munchie Machine Rolls Out: Panini, S'Mores, Vegan Desserts

The mystery of where to get your munchies has been solved. With a name, logo and truck design inspired by Scooby-Doo cartoon vehicle, the Mystery Machine, The Munchie Machine (Twitter: @munchiemachine1) food truck rolls out tomorrow, April 20th. Like the cartoon, the truck can be understood two ways: wholesome family fare or stoner fantasy.

Launched by two meddling kids -- Rob Grier, 34, and Oliver Catlin, 33 -- Munchie Machine will materialize tomorrow night, not at the abandoned local fair outside town, but at Bigfoot West from 6 to 10 p.m.

They're not quite the gigantic sandwiches Shaggy would make (and Scooby would consume), but The Munchie Machine will offer half a dozen panini ($5-8) including the Croque du Munchie (black forest ham, Swiss cheese and a fried egg) and The Grilled Veggitini (grilled peppers, red onions, zucchini, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto basil spread and Parmesan cheese).

They also hope to satisfy your cravings (whether they're natural or cannabis-induced) with Scooby snacks like a Green Bowl daily salad special ($6-8), bars, cookies and cake slices from Sweet Lady Jane ($2-5) (which will open a Santa Monica ouptost this summer), vegan desserts by rising chef Chloe Coscarelli and s'mores ($3.50).

"We were both huge Scooby-Doo fans growing up," Grier says. "And everyone's heard of munchies. They're open to interpretation. It can be anything to anyone: pizza, chili cheese fries, dessert."

For those who like their snacks on the sweet side, Sweet Lady Jane's desserts include red velvet cupcakes, chocolate fudge blackout cake, lemon bars, peanut butter chocolate bars and brownies. While Coscarelli, who won last year's Coral Tree Café's panini contest with her Mango Masala Panini, will offer vegan chocolate coconut cupcakes, vegan cinnamon espresso chocolate chip cookies and fudge brownie bites. The s'mores are a mix of highbrow and lowbrow: gourmet marshmallows from Plush Puffs cosseted by Hershey's milk chocolate bars and Honey-Maid graham crackers.

Last summer, Grier was working as a corporate operations manager for Jody Maroni's, which considered expanding its sausage kingdom with a food truck. When the idea didn't pan out, Grier, who had been following Kogi's progress since day one, teamed up with childhood pal Catlin to launch a truck of their own.

"A lot of the trucks that are out there are branded off of the food they sell: burgers or barbecue or whatever. We just wanted a fun interactive concept for our truck, and we were both Scooby-Doo fans growing up," Catlin says.

The truck, designed by Austino Obi Okafor, rolls out of Triangle Catering in Van Nuys, which is launching a new gourmet truck company called Curbside Gourmet. While Catlin will handle the business side of Munchie Machine, Grier will be on the truck taking orders and helping chef Shing Kwok serve food.

Their innovation in food truck service? A paper menu for patrons to fill out. Grier and Catlin hope it will cut down wait times and give people something to do while standing in line.


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