Lunch Lady breaks into Concord food scene

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — There’s a new lunch option in Concord, and with its bright blue and green exterior, it’s hard to miss, but you have to know where to look.

For a month now, the Lunch Lady has been parked outside Everett Arena from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.

“If you don’t know we’re here, then unless you’re driving up and down Loudon Road you really don’t know that there’s a food truck in Concord,” owner J.J. Hall said.

Hall, 50, of Concord started the venture earlier this year after working for decades in the information technology industry.

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“I was just tired of it,” she said. “Tired of being on call. I was tired of traveling, and I was just tired.”

Hall began to ask herself “What would I like to do that I wouldn’t get tired of?” and turned to her everyday passion of being in the kitchen.

“I’ve always loved to cook. I’m self-taught,” she said.

Being born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Hall said cooking and the sharing of food were ingrained in her and the culture around her. “You cook. You feed people. That’s the southern thing is feeding people. Nobody ever comes to your house and you don’t offer them food.”

With the truck, Hall now brings her food to others.

Aside from her spot at Everett, the Lunch Lady food truck recently made an appearance at Midnight Merriment earlier this month.

“It was kind of like our introduction to Concord,” Hall said.

There are more than a dozen menu choices at the Lunch Lady with names centered on the school lunch theme, but the food goes well beyond the sloppy joes and cartons of chocolate milk you see in cafeterias.

Some favorites on the menu are the Reuben egg roll, “The 8th Grader”; a ‘skirted’ cheeseburger known as “The 2nd Grader”; and a fried chicken sandwich — Hall’s southern specialty — dubbed “The Vice Principal.” The truck also offers vegetarian and vegan options such as the quinoa sweet potato taco.

Hall said she is “having a blast” and sold out of a few items at Midnight Merriment. She’s happy with the truck’s first two-month season, which she considers a soft opening. She’ll continue to serve lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday at Everett Arena through the end of December (except Christmas Day). Then, she’ll close down for the winter and reopen in March.

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