As a place to live, a tiny house on a trailer pulled by a pickup truck may not seem like a practical vision. But as a business model, a trailer house—or at least, a trailer kitchen—is a serious proposition. Just ask Matthew Glatz, the proprietor of The Saltbox Cafe ("Tiny house, big taste"), a rolling breakfast kitchen based in Portland, Maine.

"Tiny House, Big Taste" — Saltbox Cafe
This rolling restaurant kitchen in Portland, Maine, serves a kick-ass breakfast sandwich — and shows off the craftsmanship of Gorham builder Nick Rofe (NQR Creative Designs & Home Solutions).
This rolling restaurant kitchen in Portland, Maine, serves a kick-ass breakfast sandwich — and shows off the craftsmanship of Gorham builder Nick Rofe (NQR Creative Designs & Home Solutions).

Breakfast On Another Level

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The Salt Box Cafe's rolling kitchen showcases contractor Nick Rofe's handiwork on the outside, and chef Matthew Glatz's artistry on the inside.

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If you're in the building trades, of course, you've seen food trucks before; they're a common feature of any busy development under construction in a well-populated market. But The Saltbox Cafe isn't one of those jobsite "roach coaches"—for starters, the food is a whole different experience. Trust us on that—as the first customer of the morning recently, we got a free coffee with our breakfast sandwich (a tasty treat that included pesto and fresh spinach). Glatz, who got his chef's education at Southern Maine Community College, has a deep menu of sandwich specials. We're looking forward to trying another house specialty: "capocollo, calabrese salami, prosciutto and cracked pepper atop melted smoked gouda." For a sampler of more munchies, see the slideshow.


Food Trailer Build

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Nick Rofe and Matthew Glatz build a rolling kitchen in Portland, Maine.

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But aside from the food, the trailer itself is a nice piece of work. Glatz (who also has a degree in environmental policy from the University of Southern Maine) built his rolling kitchen at the South Portland facility of his former employer, marina and floating dock contractor Custom Float Services, with help from Gorham, Maine, builder Nick Rofe (NQR Creative Designs & Home Solutions). With 8-inch shiplapped pine siding, a saltbox roof with steel roofing, and a down-home back porch framed with marine-grade treated lumber and decked with white cedar, the unit would fit in as an outbuilding on any typical Maine suburban or country home. For a few photos of the trailer build, see the slideshow.