Let’s be honest, Traverse City has an abundance of food trucks—which we love. But you won’t find anything in this Northern Michigan town quite like Nepalese Have Another, where Chef Steven Peltier is cornering the market on authentic Himalayan cuisine.
The distinct aroma of cumin and turmeric wafts from the salmon-colored food truck parked at the corner of Randolph and Division streets. Next to the painted mandala logo, you’ll find a handful of delicious options handwritten on the chalkboard menu. Indulge in the chicken masala served with rice, dal and hot potatoes or sample the variety of momos—the Tibetan take on potsticker dumplings. Each ingredient and thoughtfully-crafted dish transports customers to the streets of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, where Steven’s wife, Diva Gurung, hails from.
“With this food, there are no real recipes,” Steven says. “They don’t write anything down, so it’s all from taste. My wife just tells me when it’s right, and I do it the same every time.”
Once you’ve collected your freshly-made goodies from the window, take a seat at the single wooden picnic table off to the right. Adorned with a tinkling wind chime and colorful flags that dance in the breeze, it’s the perfect setting for your authentic Nepalese meal.
The chicken masala will easily rival some of the best Indian dishes you’ve ever had. The chicken is tender and bursting with flavor. The hot potatoes melt in your mouth. The rice is dressed in bright yellow dal (a sauce made of dried and spiced lentils) that will have you begging for more. And then there are the momos … This Nepalese staple encloses your choice of veggies, pork or yak (yes, you read that right) in a perfectly twisted piece of dough. Dip one into the accompanying red sauce made of fried tomatoes, garlic and chilis and savor each succulent bite. Trust me, it’s a culinary experience that’ll have you inviting coworkers over on your next lunch break.
Between Steven’s more than 20 years of cooking experience and the tasting expertise of his wife, the food is so delightfully enticing that you’ll soon find yourself a repeat customer, if not a regular. But don’t take my word for it. In this day and age where chefs fear the wrath of a disgruntled patron with access to Yelp, Nepalese Have Another is a rare find. Scroll through their reviews online and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a negative comment. In fact, Steven has never received less than a 5-star review.
“It gives you goosebumps when people are so appreciative of good food,” Steven says. “There’s nothing like [Nepalese Have Another] in town and I think our food speaks for itself.”
Before you leave, make sure to indulge in an order of the chai cherry momos. These decadent dessert dumplings are filled with local Michigan cherries rehydrated in chai tea, honey, thyme, goat cheese and cream cheese, deep fried and then powdered in sugar, topped with walnuts and drizzled with cherry chai syrup made from the remnants of the rehydration process. Steven refers to them as the tilt of his hat to Nepal from Traverse City. And they taste like heaven.
Sure, maybe you’ve never had Himalayan food before. Maybe you’ve never even thought about eating yak. Maybe you’re hesitant to try something you’ve never heard of. But trust me, Nepalese Have Another is worth a try.
“People are scared of what they don’t know,” Steven says. “But if you just try it, the flavor is there, and it’s good. Real good.”