HOW IT ALL STARTED
Brooke Stalnaker, co-owner and founder of Keller’s Kitchen, has been working in the food industry her entire life. With years of experience under her belt, there’s no wonder why Keller’s Kitchen has been such a huge success since Midpoint Park’s opening in early Spring 2021.
For the last two years, Brooke’s partner and fellow co-owner of Keller’s Kitchen, JW Keller, has been pushing for the idea of opening a food truck. When they were faced with a difficult situation last year, rather than allow the challenges in front of them to bring them down, they found the silver lining of it all and finally pursued this idea.
Born from the struggles and hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon us all, Keller’s Kitchen has been Brooke and JW’s dream for years, and the standstill moments from quarantine breathed life into the goal, making it a reality right here in Gainesville’s hottest new food park: Midpoint Food Park & Eatery.
When I asked what inspired Keller’s dream to open a food truck for so long, his answer was easy: that the smile on people’s faces after serving them a hot meal was more than enough to convince him. When Keller served as a state trooper years ago, he was deployed to a beach off the coast of Florida that was heavily impacted by a hurricane. As the “low man on the totem pole” at the time, he was assigned to work at a food truck to feed those who needed food and shelter from the natural disaster.
“I was put to work 16 hour days, 30-40 days straight, cooking food for a couple of thousand people a day… I loved it.”
Once the dream of operating a food truck became a reality, Keller and Stalnaker worked on their hand-crafted menu for months to perfect the taste of Keller’s Kitchen. The menu is always a work in progress, but the delicious, protein-packed options on the menu have already caught the attention of students, workers, and alumni alike.
KELLER'S KITCHEN'S KILLER MENU
“Everything on this menu is something Brooke and I have thought of ourselves. We made these handcrafted, all-new recipes.”
Located in the heart of the Innovation District, Keller’s Kitchen receives a perfect mix of college students, business professionals, and loyal UF alumni. Situated within walking distance of both the school campus and the surrounding office buildings means that Keller’s Kitchen is no stranger to those who are looking for a delicious, quick bite to eat during lunchtime, and many hungry Gainesville locals have already found their favorite dishes on the menu.
The Byppo team was able to try some of Keller’s Kitchen’s most popular dishes, starting off with their Black and Blue “Frenchy Fries.” Smothered in a blue cheese crème and topped with thick, juicy bacon, sliced prime rib, and blue cheese bits, this dish is not your typical French fries side. Every bite packs a punch with a burst of Blue Cheese and juicy rib flavor all over a bed of shoestring fries.
“We’re very specific about our fry selection,” Keller says, “We chose shoestring fries because they don’t get mushy under the Black and Blue ingredients.”
The duo put a lot of thought into their menu, but the grilled muffins were one feature of Keller’s Kitchen’s menu that came easily. Stalnaker, who was working in the food truck industry at the age of 16, had created this grilled muffin recipe herself as a teenager.
One day, while working in a food truck in South Florida, Stalnaker decided to cut a muffin in half, put some butter on it, and have it for lunch. While she was doing this, a regular at the food truck noticed what she was making and came up to her to say she wanted some too. Thus, the grilled muffin was born. Paired with Keller’s freshly whipped cream, the grilled muffin is a unique item you have to get your hands on when you eat at Keller’s.
If you’re craving a filling, affordable lunch, the “Sammies & Wraps” at Keller’s Kitchen are sure to leave you satisfied. Brooke’s personal favorite, the Steak Sammie, features their Prime Rib, cooked to perfection with some sautéed onions and melted Muenster cheese on a toasted bun.
Looking for something lighter? Keller’s has some “Specialty Options” that are perfect for a healthy and vegetarian-friendly lunch. Just this week, they added Fried Pickles to their menu. Hand-battered, fried and seasoned with their Smoked Maple Sriracha, this is a must-try the next time you visit Midpoint!
With a menu so carefully crafted to perfection, Keller’s Kitchen is sure to become a regular name in the Gainesville food scene. Located in Midpoint Park & Eatery, they currently share plenty of outdoor seating with the two other vendors and look forward to expanding their menu options as Midpoint Park grows.
COMING SOON TO BYPPO
You can look forward to finding Keller’s Kitchen on BYPPO very soon! After just one visit, they’ve definitely received our stamp of BYPPO approval, and we look forward to giving Gainesville a new way to try one of the city’s hottest new food trucks.