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Willy’s trucking lunch to east side

Mobile eatery will be open Wednesdays in Northland Mall lot

Willy’s Restaurant has decided to take its food on the road.

Each Wednesday until at least early November, Willy’s will have a food truck stationed at Northland Mall. The food truck is seasonal, meaning it will be set up until the weather turns cold.

The food truck started serving customers at mall on Wednesday.

“We wanted to be closer to downtown, and we wanted to serve the east end of town,” said Jerry Rodriguez, 35, who owns the food truck.

Willy’s Restaurant, 3210 W. Lincolnway, is closed on Wednesday, which is why the truck is open that day.

“Ever since my parents purchased Willy’s, it’s always been closed on Wednesday,” Rodriguez said. “We have just decided to keep the same hours.”

Willy’s Restaurant, on Sterling’s far west side, has been in business 27 years.

In 1987, Willy and his wife Maria – Jerry Rodriguez’s parents – opened the restaurant in a building that had once housed Jenny’s, a Mexican grocery store.

Rodriguez said the main goal is to give people another lunchtime option.

“It’s a drive to get to Willy’s, especially during lunchtime,” he said. “If we are on this side of town, you don’t have to drive to the other side of town to get our food.”

All of the food that is cooked inside the large white truck is authentic, an “everything we cook is made daily,” he said. “All of our food is made nice and fresh every day.”

The menu includes steak tacos, fish tacos, burritos, and nachos. Each dish is served with mild or hot salsa.

Rodriguez has been cooking since he was a teenager, when his parents taught him to cook.

When spring comes, Rodriguez likely will park at other locations around Sterling and Rock Falls, he said.

“We want to reach as many people as possible,” he said.

And once the truck is parked for the winter, “people can just come to our restaurant and eat and stay warm,” he said with a laugh.

Willy's goes mobile

Willy's food truck will be open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through at least early November at Northland Mall, 2900 E. Lincolnway.

Call 815-335-1860 to place an order or for more information.

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