If you live in or around the Eugene/Springfield area, and you’re a food cart/truck enthusiast, like myself, you’ve probably noticed that the food cart “scene” in Springfield is pretty dismal – or even, well, non-exisitant is also a fitting word. For a while there Lani Moku (an Hawaiian plate lunch cart) was located just over the freeway from Eugene near the Target in Springfield, but alas, now they’re located with 3 other food carts/trucks at the newly opened Beergarden off of 6th street, next to Gray’s Garden Center in the quirky Whiteaker neighborhood. Beergarden is a great airy joint with beer/cider/kombucha flowing freely and food cart fare to soak up all the libations – but that leaves Springfield basically empty of food carts…
Recently I stumbled upon the adorable little Hay Baby food cart located in downtown Springfield (5th and A st.) – and was wildly excited to give it a try! Now, if you haven’t noticed recently, Springfield is attempting a food renaissance of sorts. They have two locally owned brew companies/taprooms open (Plank Town and Claim 52 located within walking distance downtown) and they also have an adorable (yes, another adorable!) bakery/cafe, 100 Mile Bakery, located next to Claim 52, serving locally sourced goodness. Basically, Springfield has some exciting developments “brewing”.
Back to Hay Baby: it’s a cute little food cart right across the street from the public library and the lovely little fountain area; so it’s a handy destination for peoples working downtown, or for people like myself, that drive for 30+ minutes to try new food carts. They serve your basic “American” staples: burgers, burritos, Frito pie, etc. If it tastes good with ranch dressing, they probably serve it.That’s a #win in my book, y’all!
I really dig that Hay Baby’s menu is small (4-6 menu items), because when I see a small menu I instantly assume that attention to detail and quality will be the emphasis of their food, regardless of the cuisine. With Hay Baby I was indeed correct in this assumption.
Since my partner-in-crime wasn’t with me that particular day I only ordered one item, their burger “Dan’s Big Cheeseburger” – and damn, it was and is a hunk of juicy goodness. My kiddo even exlaimed that is was “better than those dry burgers from that place in Eugene.” And even though most of the time I’m a vegan (I’m a half assed vegan, I know), I do make an exception to try local businesses and cross my fingers they at least use local/ethically raised/grass fed beef. Hay Baby does, so that gives their burger extra karma points and extra bragging rights – (they use local grass fed beef supplied by the local meat market in Springfield, Bright Oak Meats).
The next time I get lunch or noms at Hay Baby I’ll order some more items so I can share some more of their goodness with you (pictures definitely are worth a thousand words). But I will say, that while I was waiting for my order, a guy that ordered a wedge salad with steak actually came back to the cart after receiving his food to compliment the owner on how awesome his food tasted. So yeah, you go Springfield – we want MORE food carts and locally conscious businesses!