A popular Indianapolis food truck that made national headlines in 2014 when Eataly requested the truck be renamed is becoming an Italian restaurant.
Chea and Robert Carmack’s contact with Mondo Eataly is a distant memory as they prepare to open The Twisted Sicilian restaurant at 175 N. Morton St. in Franklin, south of Indianapolis, in August.
When the Carmacks started their food truck in 2011, they named it Little Eataly, a decision that threatened Big Eataly with legal action against the couple.
Rather than risking a costly litigation that they couldn’t afford, the Carmacks renamed their truck The Twisted Sicilian, garnering more fans, and adding Indiana Pickle Co. to their business ventures.
Both The Twisted Sicilian and Indiana Pickle Co. have become so successful that the Carmacks needed additional operating space, said Robert Carmack. Both companies will be based at the Franklin location, which was previously Marco’s Pizza.
The Carmacks Food Truck doesn’t stop for breaks. Look for it on special occasions and some Thursdays at the State House Farmers Market in downtown Indianapolis.
Thanks to Sicilian and Italian family recipes, Chea Carmack began cooking for her seven brothers as a child. The Twisted Sicilian is known for panini sandwiches and pasta dishes.
The counter and take-out restaurant with around 25 seats extends the menu to include Italian bread, biscotti, fried artichokes and Chea Carmack’s “Sicilian baklava” with figs, dates and almonds. She’s also planning on Twisted Sicilian Truck favorites like muffaletta sandwiches, penne with four cheeses, and cannoli.
A small local food market area sells Indiana Pickle Co. vegetables pickled with local craft beer and spirits. Robert Carmack started this business in 2015 when pickling the couple’s own pickles. The company has grown from making a few boxes of pickles to processing 1,000 pounds of pickles a week for sale in large grocery stores like Target and Fresh Thyme.
As soon as the Franklin location opens, Robert Carmack plans new products, including giardiniera, which his wife needs to put on their Sicilian beef sandwiches laden with beef braised red wine. He said he would also add pickles, relishes, and maybe mustard with its pickling spices to bread and butter.
The couple said they also hope to sell take-away meals that customers can take home for heating and eating.
Follow IndyStar food writer Liz Biro on Twitter: @lizbiro, Instagram: @lizbiro and on Facebook. Call them at 317-444-6264.