Excaliburger, the only food truck with a sword stabbed through its roof, has claimed a permanent spot at the corner of Cantrell and Cedar Hill. This one-item wonder is a much-beloved staple of not only Little Rock, but to places all over the country in need of disaster relief.
Kyle Pounders, the owner and operator of Excaliburger, started this business nearly a decade ago with a dream to create the ultimate American cheeseburger with the best possible ingredients. He started with cheeseburger parties out of his backyard, and from there he moved on to cooking at festivals and eventually bought a lemon of a food truck that he spent three years restoring. By October 2015, it was fully functional and open to the public.
In 2018, Pounders took Excaliburger on the road in an indefinite trip across the country. He served burgers all the way to the west coast and then all the way to the east. At the end of August of that year, J. Cole (a huge Excaliburger fan) paid for Pounders to serve burgers at a festival in North Carolina, but the festival was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. Pounders was already halfway to North Carolina and decided to drive the rest of the way. He started a GoFundMe and by the time he reached the state, all of the food expenses were donated so he could give away all of the food in his truck to people dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane.
Around the same time he ran out of food, another hurricane hit Florida. The people of North Carolina supplied him with money, gas and supplies and told him to "do for them what you did for us."
In Florida, he met up with Chef José Andrés and the World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that serves food in the immediate aftermath of disasters. Pounders and WCK would go into an area before hurricanes hit, start preparing the food once they made it through the eye of the storm and start serving it up immediately after the hurricane passed. Since then, Excaliburger has disappeared into hurricanes, wildfires and last week, Pounders took 40 palettes of food to Houston to feed Texans without power and clean water because of the polar vortex.
The truck itself has been in hibernation since Pounders began that journey with WCK in 2018, but as of four weeks ago, it is back in business with a stable location.
Pounders promises that as Excaliburger moves forward, customers are going to see the truck move quicker, become a better quality and become cheaper. Right now the burgers are $10, but Pounders hopes to soon make that a $10 combo meal.
Every burger that comes out of the truck is made exaclty the same. The Kyle Pounders version of the American Cheeseburger has lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions (that he has "cooked the onion out of"), burger sauce, cheese, crispy bacon and a (perfectly) burnt bun. Pounders says that if customers don't like it that way, then they don't like Excaliburger.
"We don't do modifications. I let people pick their own pickles off."
Of course, Pounders is willing to make modifications for people with allergies or religious dietary retrictions.
All customers have to do is tell the person at the window how many burgers they want and that allows service to be very fast, very consistent and keep food waste to a minimum.
Excaliburger is open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. The truck frequently runs out of burgers, so customers can pre-purchase burgers (and unique, Excaliburger-branded T-shirts) online here. Otherwise, a flag serves as a sign for hungry customers.
"If the flag is high, your burger is nigh. If the flag is down, then we are out."
Pounders has even more ideas for taking Excaliburger to the next level in the future, but he's keeping them to himself for now. Follow him on Instagram to stay up-to-date when those announcements are made.