Good ‘Dilla to expand into River Park Square
Good ’Dilla to bring tacos, quesadillas to food courtJune 8th, 2023
Spokane-based food truck Good ’Dilla will soon be dishing up its quesadillas and tacos at the River Park Square food court, at 808 W. Main, in downtown Spokane.
While owners Kathryn and Zack Robertson will continue food truck operations, they’ve decided to expand to a location that can stay open year-round, Zack Robertson says.
“Once the snow hits, the truck isn’t that useful,” he says. “We just want to be able to sell more frequently.”
When temperatures drop in the Inland Northwest, it creates a long offseason for food trucks, which makes staffing more difficult, Robertson says.
“Once I get good people, I want to keep them, and it’s hard to do that with only five months out of the year,” he says.
Robertson says that he hopes to open the food court location this month.
The menu consists mostly of two well-known Mexican dishes: quesadillas and tacos. Many of Good ’Dilla’s quesadillas, however, stray from traditional Mexican cuisine.
The Island Twist quesadilla, for example, is a combination of chicken, pineapple, pesto, and pickled red onions. The Bratdilla, which earned its spot on the menu after an Oktoberfest event at Brick West Brewing Co., is made up of German bratwurst, sauerkraut, and stone-ground mustard.
Other unique quesadilla options include the pizza-inspired Godfather, a buffalo chicken quesadilla that Robertson says is a popular choice when he takes the truck to Fairchild Air Force Base, and the O.G.G., which keeps it simple with peanut butter and jelly, and without cheese, of course.
“You can put anything in them,” Robertson says. “They’re all things gathered through our travels, through friends.”
The food truck’s best-selling quesadilla is the Coo, Robertson says, which combines local Browning beef with black beans, pickled red onions, green sauce, and a side of salsa. Good ’Dilla also serves fish, shrimp, beef, and chicken tacos.
The Robertsons met at the U.S. Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland. After their military service, the couple moved to Spokane in 2018. In May 2021, they opened Good ’Dilla as a tent setup, because there were stricter COVID-19 regulations for food trucks at the time, Robertson says.
Robertson says he first entered the food truck scene while living in Washington, D.C., when he operated a truck that served Japanese maki rolls. He also worked a bit for his friends who own Taco Bahia, a Winthrop, Washington, food truck.
“After D.C., I really enjoyed food trucks and the environment,” he says.
Good ’Dilla also offers catering services for corporate gatherings, retirement and graduation parties, and other events. Robertson says he hopes the new River Park Square location will allow the couple to expand their catering services.
All of the prep work for Good ’Dilla’s food truck operations currently is done in a shared kitchen at the Spokane Intermodal Center, in downtown Spokane. Robertson says having his own kitchen in the food court will enable him to experiment with new menu items and have more flexibility.
“The mall location will allow us to have more variety and be able to try things out—almost like a test kitchen,” Robertson says.
He handles more of the operational side of the business, like cooking and running the food truck, while Kathryn, who recently earned her Master of Business Administration with a finance and accounting focus from University of Arizona, handles most of the behind-the-scenes work, like bookkeeping and strategic planning.
Robertson says the couple decided to lease the roughly 850-square-foot food court space because they wanted to be downtown and close to Riverfront Park, and because they wanted a space that was already equipped for a restaurant. The space previously was leased by Mac Daddy’s, which now leases the former Rock City Grill space on the first floor at River Park Square.
When the food court location opens, Robertson hopes to have other employees operate the food truck while he gets the new space going, he says.
“Once (the food court space) is up and running, the goal is to have a manager for the truck and a manager for the mall, and then I’m more operational, bigger picture,” Robertson says.
He says he expects to have at least a dozen employees at Good ’Dilla, some of whom will be full-time. He and Kathryn are looking into setting up health care plans and 401(k)s for the full-time employees, he adds.
“We know that it’s hard to get those things for hospitality workers, so we want to be one of those companies that offer it,” he says.
The Good ’Dilla food truck will be at Hoopfest this year, as well as many of the Kendall Yards and South Perry District outdoor markets. The truck will also spend a lot of time at Big Barn Brewing Co., in the Greenbluff area, Robertson says.
The River Park Square location will be open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday.
“We’re just excited for the opportunity to cook for more people,” Robertson says.