Log In

Reset Password

New food truck brings Cajun twist to Durango

Mountain High Diner looks fuel lunch time rush downtown
A new food truck called Mountain High Diner, owned by Chase Edwards of Mountain High Catering, offers Cajun food in downtown Durango. (Courtesy of mountainhighcatering.com)

A new food truck has taken over the parking lot behind the American Legion at 878 East Second Ave., and it’s adding a Cajun food option to Durango.

Mountain High Diner is run by Chase Edwards, who is originally from Austin, Texas. Edwards spent over 30 years traveling to different places and working in the restaurant industry. He was a self-taught chef before going to Le Cordon Bleu in his late 40s to learn how to cook.

His passion for Cajun food started when he was working in the French Quarter in New Orleans during the 1980s.

“I would always cook jambalaya when I needed to feel invigorated,” Edwards said. “It’s just a very satisfying dish and very comforting.”

Although he doesn’t want his food truck to be Cajun specifically, he said it’s been a style he’s had interest in lately, and that menu could change when he’s feeling something new. However, he does admit that there aren’t many Cajun options in the Four Corners, especially when it comes to serving po’boys, one of Edwards’ other signature foods.

A po’boy is a sandwich that usually consists of roast beef, chicken fingers or some sort of fried seafood. Mountain High offers roast beef, sausage, fried catfish, fried shrimp and calabacitas po’boys.

Other menu items include vegetarian red beans and rice, as well as a braised achiote chicken taco plate.

Edwards said his intent with parking outside the American Legion was that he was hoping to draw an office crowd. The truck is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Mountain High currently operates during lunch hours only because of the Legion’s use of the parking lot in the evening.

In addition, Mountain High Diner has been a part of a few events in town, most notably the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally. The eatery was part of the Food Truck court at the fairgrounds during the event.

Edwards felt his business did well during the motorcycle rally.

“According to the other vendors, I might have even been top dog,” he said. “I don’t know – that can’t be verified.”

For Edwards, it is about finding a following, which means a permanent place he can park his truck for a full day. He said he has a few options lined up, but would not disclose them until that arrangement is finalized.

Mountain High also offers catering services because the truck offers a full kitchen, and Edwards has the ability to cook more than just his normal Cajun cuisine. Another benefit to the truck, like many other food truck vendors, is that the upfront cost to operate the business is cheaper than having a brick-and-mortar location.

Food trucks can cost anywhere from $28,000 to $114,000 to get the business off the ground, according to data collected by Business News Daily.

The average fast casual restaurant costs between $250,000 to $400,000 to start up, according to data collected by Forbes. However, this depends on the restaurant’s location.

Edwards said the most appealing part of owning the truck is simply the freedom.

“For cooks that want to create menus or something like that, it’s hard to find that opportunity,” he said.


Reader Comments