Kevin Milstead, owner of The Food Dude Street Eats & Catering LLC, is serving up smash burgers, hot dogs, fresh squeezed lemonade and more throughout the Dayton region.
It all started during the coronavirus pandemic when Milstead decided to come back to Dayton after beer vending at various stadiums and events across the United States.
Milstead grew up in Kettering and graduated from Fairmont High School in 2003. He went on to becoming a part-time and volunteer firefighter for about 10 years. Nearly six years ago, he was a bartender at Flanagan’s Pub in Dayton before he was introduced to beer vending.
“For me (beer vending) was a ticket to travel and see the country and make money while I do it,” Milstead said.
When he returned, he had a lot of extra time to research various business ideas. Milstead said he always wanted to be a business owner. One thing led to another and he purchased a catering cart with four burners, two full-size steam trays and a flat top grill.
The Food Dude specializes in smash burgers, but also has hot dogs, chili dogs, smoked sausage and BBQ jackfruit.
Milstead’s smash burgers secret is making sure they are very thin to create a crispy, caramelized crunch that locks in all of the flavors. He said he uses thin-cut toppings to compliment the flavors of the burgers.
“I used to have them thick and juicy on the grill, but now I eat them like this,” Milstead said.
He also offers fresh squeezed lemonade prepared in front of the customers.
“The last few months have been fun, but a lot of hard work,” Milstead said.
The Food Dude will be at the Dayton Area Buy Nothing Edition Plant Swap & Shop Event from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12 at Ernst Park, 1030 E. David Road in Kettering, and Kingspoint Pub from 7 p.m. to close on Sunday, Aug. 13 at 4660 Wilmington Pike in Kettering.
For more information, visit the food cart’s Facebook page.