Jill Privett at The Pit Stop. (Katarina Sostaric/KSTK)

Jill Privett at The Pit Stop. (Katarina Sostaric/KSTK)

The Pit Stop opened in Wrangell this summer, and it is the first time in over a decade that the community has a food truck.

At lunchtime, a buffalo burger was sizzling on the grill inside a 20-by-8-foot trailer known as The Pit Stop.

“I’ll throw a few healthy things in every once in a while, but as far as what’s going on the grill, it’s usually something to do with meat,” said Jillian Privett, owner and operator of Wrangell’s only food truck. “Lots of meat. Alaskans love meat. We have to stay warm in the winter!”

Privett was cooking food and taking orders from the window of the turquoise and white trailer.

She sells organic sodas and uses a lot of organic ingredients in dishes like the Popper Dog and the Southeast Beast Burger.

“I try to keep it as local as possible and as clean as possible, and as organic as possible,” Privett said. “Because you should care what goes in your body, because I do. So that’s kind of my thing.”

To keep it local, Privett uses Alaskan-raised meat, like reindeer, buffalo and elk. She also gets some burger buns made fresh by a local baker.

“The most popular I would definitely have to say is the Alaskan Holly Burger,” Privett said. “It’s a fresh Hollybread bun, sourdough bun, a buffalo patty and fixings for a reuben, so it’s a reuben-style burger.”

Privett said she wanted to get into the restaurant industry and was thinking about bringing a food truck back to Wrangell. And when a food truck went up for sale in Hyder, she bought it.

In addition to bringing back a food truck, she also brought back Wrangell’s well-known “pit stops,” plastic sunglasses with “The Pit Stop” printed on one side.

“So that’s actually where The Pit Stop came from,” Privett said. “My dad had a floating kind of convenience store on his fuel dock and he just got a bunch of sunglasses and put ‘The Pit Stop’ on them, and everybody loved them. So I just kept going from there.”

The present-day Pit Stop is a 20-by-8-foot box on wheels, but it contains almost everything a regular restaurant kitchen would have—sinks, a grill, refrigerators, a freezer and a cash register.

Privett said she’d like to eventually expand into a real restaurant, but for now, customers gather around the food truck.

Privett served up a buffalo burger covered in melted cheese, grilled onions and jalapenos. There was also a reindeer dog on the burger, and it was all held together by a jalapeno cheddar bun.

IMG_7861“I’m a big fan of The Pit Stop,” said Wrangell resident Josh Blatchley. “Today I’m trying the Southeast Beast Burger. Which I haven’t had before, but it looks like it’s going to be wonderful.”

Roxanne Coblentz was also at The Pit Stop. She was trying it out for the first time after a friend recommended it, and she said she’s happy to have a new lunch option in town.

“It’s always nice to have something a little different than the norm,” Coblentz said.

Privett said she will try to keep The Pit Stop going through the winter.