Local and global at Jenny's Thyme
Hungry for something different, Medford resident Jenny Huva left her job in the health-insurance industry to cook full time. Less than a year later, Huva began serving a different take on street cuisine at her Jenny’s Thyme food truck.
“I did not want to deal with the brick and mortar and a lot of employees,” says Huva of suggestions that she open a restaurant. “I wanted the more organic feel of the food truck — the interaction with people.”
Its motto “fresh and fast,” Jenny’s Thyme aspires to both local and global. Shopping from area farmers markets and fruit stands, Huva infuses ingredients with Greek, Thai, Indian and Italian sensibilities. Organic food, as much as possible, is Huva’s goal, as well as avoiding genetically modified organisms. She supplements produce purchases with home-grown herbs and greens.
Huva’s menu of about 10 items manages to achieve breadth, often taking her truck off its home turf next to the Medford post office to special events around the county. Although I’d known of Jenny’s Thyme since late spring, I didn’t track it down until late summer.
The August afternoon should have kept all but the most intrepid from lunching in one of Medford’s searing parking lots. But Jenny’s Thyme, along with three other trucks at Riverside Avenue and 10th Street, were doing brisk business.
The Greek plate is among Huva’s mainstays and one I didn’t plan to pass up. Also a fan of Greek food, but hard-pressed to find his favorites locally, my friend ordered the same dish ($10).
For the kids, grilled cheese (cheddar with turkey) was an easy choice. Prepared on Dave’s Killer Bread, Jenny’s Thyme sandwiches are priced at $5 and can come with spicy aioli, fig preserves, pepper jelly and fresh basil or thyme.
Loads of fresh veggies recommend Huva’s Thai noodle salad ($7), which also is gluten-free. Thai chicken lettuce wraps ($10), Thai carrot soup, peanut-sesame salad and pork potstickers with coconut rice contribute more Asian flavors.
But Jenny’s Thyme delivers plenty of classics like chicken noodle and tomato soups, pasta salad and greens with blue cheese, spiced nuts, cranberries and Champagne vinaigrette, served with bread ($6). Lunch combinations (soup with half of a sandwich, soup with salad, salad with half of a sandwich or a salad combo) cost $8 apiece.
The menu changes seasonally, even daily, and with Huva’s mood. Daily specials are listed on social media, along with changes to the truck’s schedule.
At its regular location, Jenny’s Thyme offers a few tables, even umbrella-shaded, but the balm of nearby Bear Creek Park beckoned us. The sandwiches were still slightly warm, while the Greek plates were refreshingly cool. The falafel would have been better if freshly fried, but the chickpea patty was light and a perfect vehicle for the minty tzatziki.
The portion of yogurt sauce was adequate for the falafel and pita, but I wanted some dressing for the plate’s greens. The lemon vinaigrette on Huva’s Greek salad would be ideal. Undressed, the greens play more as a garnish for couscous tabbouleh with fresh cucumber, tomato and herbs. My friend and I agreed that one more component, even a few Kalamata olives, would raise the dish’s Greek profile and appeal.
Huva’s culinary creativity, however, ensures the appeal of Jenny’s Thyme. The truck is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 10th and Riverside. Call 541-727-2085 or see www.jennysthyme.com.