Railroad Avenue in Warwick is home to several wonderful food-centric shops and eateries—including Grappa Ristorante, Warwick Chocolate Company, and Fannie’s. Now there’s a new kid on the block: ROAM on Rail, an outpost of the popular food truck, ROAM, which is often parked at breweries and wineries throughout the Hudson Valley. The focus is grab-and-go lunches, a category that owner Greg Rhein felt was missing in town. “If you work in the village, you don’t want to sit down somewhere to eat lunch,” says Rhein, a Warwick native. “I wanted to give people lunch options that are slightly elevated, with ingredients you don’t normally see.”
For Rhein, that means a rotating menu of sandwiches, salads, bowls, soups, tacos, and smoothies. The tacos might be topped with ingredients like salsa macha—a spicy blend of dried chiles, vinegar, garlic oil and peanuts—and the Veggie Medley sandwich is piled with gochujang-roasted veggies. And while the BLT does have the traditional tomato-bacon combo, it’s a fancier version with fig, arugula, burrata, and balsamic. “I’m trying to go that extra half step,” he says.
Out-of-the-box food pairings are becoming Rhein’s signature. The most popular item on his food truck menu is the burrata fries, a heaping plate of hand-cut potatoes topped with a deliciously gooey ball of soft cheese. While Rhein has no formal culinary training, his career as a food photographer in New York City involved spending a lot of time in restaurant kitchens, everything from fine dining to sandwich shops. “I really saw the ins and the outs and the craziness of it,” says Rhein.
Right before Covid hit, he moved back to the Warwick area and reconnected with a friend who had been laid off. The two teamed up to try their luck at running a food truck. The eclectic menu—which features everything from beet toast with whipped goat cheese to smash burgers to arancini—soon became a hit at breweries such as Drowned Lands and Pennings Farm and Cidery in Warwick.
“I wanted to give people lunch options that are slightly elevated, with ingredients you don’t normally see.”
Earlier this spring, he opened a kitchen at DUBCO Acres, a newish brewery in Warwick. When the space that housed Conscious Fork, a now-closed vegan restaurant, became available on Railroad Avenue, Rhein jumped at it. ROAM on Rail opened its doors in late March.
While he’s still tweaking the menu, using local ingredients whenever possible is always the goal. “Within season and within reason,” is Rhein’s motto. He often works with Goodmaker Acres and Pioneer Farm (both in Warwick), Bialas Farm in New Hampton, and Tiny Greens Farm in East Fishkill; bread is sourced from Emily’s Hearth in Wantagh, New Jersey (except for the focaccia, which is made by his mom, Karen). “There’s only so much I can do on a food truck,” says Rhein. “This space is giving me the chance to be more creative.”
ROAM on Rail
16 Railroad Avenue, Warwick