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Filipino cuisine rolls into Turlock
In Biz
Rolls on Wheels is the first food truck of its kind in Turlock, offering a unique menu of Filipino-inspired food. - photo by ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal

Name of business: Rolls on Wheels


Type of business: Filipino food truck


Location: 35 Canal St.


Hours: Monday – Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Contact information: 209-200-4011


Specialty: Lumpia and adobo


History of business:


Turlockers are used to the taco trucks that can be found on nearly every corner throughout the city, but thanks to Rolls on Wheels owner Mark Tates, food lovers now have a Filipino menu to choose from when it comes to their food truck needs.

Tates, who has amassed two decades of restaurant industry experience, decided to put his knowledge to the test and open Rolls on Wheels. The location serves authentic Filipino food like lumpia, similar to egg rolls but filled with ground meat and veggies, and adobo, which features tender chicken or pork braised with soy sauce and vinegar, served with rice.

“The Filipino culture is influenced by both Spain and China, so their cuisine is infused with wonderful things from both of those places,” said Tates.

When considering what type of restaurant to open, Tates considered two things: the type of food that he would serve, and the location from which he would serve it. Seeing an abundance of Mexican, burger and barbecue restaurants around town, Tates looked to his wife’s side of the family for inspiration.

“My wife’s side of the family is Filipino, and the closest Filipino restaurant I know of is in Stockton,” said Tates.

Tates saw an opportunity to offer the Turlock community a dining option that they didn’t have before, and jumped on it. He learned most of the recipes offered at his truck through trial and error, and with some pointers from his wife’s family, he said.

“My Filipino customers have told me it’s just like what their parents would make,” said Tates.

No item makes it onto the menu unless it’s recipe has been perfected, said Tates, and his top priority when serving his customers is excellent service.

“I always want to make sure the quality of the food going out is above and beyond,” said Tates. “At small businesses and locally-owned businesses, you get way better service. Everyone seems to think it’s the food that sells, but what also sells is your people and whether or not your service was great.”