maxmin

Photo: Michael Sarko

What’s that on the corner of 6th and Pike? Is it a space ship? Some kind of experimental military vehicle? It couldn’t possibly be what it looks like: A giant, metal pig. Well, it is and it just happens to be Seattle’s most famous street food vendor. Everyone from white collar professionals to construction workers line up at the shiny “pig truck” on their lunch breaks for a pulled pork, chicken or vegetable sandwich. Whether it’s the quirky venue or the signature sauce, the locals love Maximus Minimus.

Maximus Minimus is one of local food artisan and restauranteur Kurt Beecher Dammeier’s beloved creations. Dammeier is the man behind Sugar Mountain, a Seattle company dedicated to serving and promoting foods made from local ingredients without additives, artificial flavors or synthetic preservatives. The famous Maximus Minimus sandwiches began as snacks cobbled together in the Sugar Mountain kitchen, followed closely by some sauce experimentation that yielded the vendor’s eponymous toppings.

Maximus sauce aims for a balance of savory and spicy, a Texas-style barbecue sauce that brings out the punchy protein flavor of traditionally braised meat. On the other end of the spectrum, the Minimus variety is sweet and mild, resulting in a decidedly West Coast palate that mixes well with the fresh cilantro Maximus Minimus serves on its sandwiches. Either style pairs nicely with the vendor’s homemade coleslaw. They also serve seasonal desserts, specialty soft drinks and Mexican cane sugar Coca Cola. A sandwich, side and drink runs around $10.

As for the pig truck itself, it’s a custom commission piece by Washington artist/engineer Colin Reedy. Reedy is an award-winning multimedia sculptor who used his metal-working skills to shape the Maximus Minimus truck into the silver, porcine giant we know and love today.

If you want a taste of Maximus Minimus, you’ll have to show up during their short, lunch-only hours. Their most common appearances are Monday-Thursday from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. in the parking lot on the corner of 6th and Pike Street downtown. The truck has also been known to show up in Fremont and other North Side locations on weekends. Make sure to check the Maximus Minimus website for the week-by-week schedule, or get their updates by following them on Twitter and Facebook.

Editor’s note: Updated from original post.