John Humphrey’s parents opened the first Zino’s restaurant in 1965 in Norwood, and more were soon to follow in Clifton, Hyde Park, Short Vine, Kenwood Mall, Milford and Walnut Hills. The restaurants closed in the mid-1990s, and now Humphrey plans to bring some of Zino’s menu back to the city with his food truck, Zinomobile
“I grew up working at my parents’ restaurants,” Humphrey says. “My sister and foster brothers worked there too, as well as our friends. It was hard to find someone who didn’t eat at, work at or know someone who worked at Zino’s.”
Humphrey, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America
in New York, recently purchased the former Taco Azul truck, and will have a Kickstarter campaign
to raise a portion of the remaining funds for Zinomobile.
The food truck’s menu will feature the Zinover, which is a deep-fried pizza turnover (think deep-fried calzone), filled with cheese, marinara sauce and your choice of ingredients. The rest of the menu will be rounded out with Zino’s originals, but Humphrey says he might eventually tweak a few things.
“I want to blend the older generation with the newer generation and bring in different food concepts,” Humphrey says.
Humphrey is a member of the Cincinnati Food Truck Association
, and says that someday, he might want to expand his food truck and open a restaurant.
“I don’t have any idea where I would want to put a restaurant, but it seems to be the natural progression for many food truck owners,” he says. “Compared to 15 years ago, it’s amazing what’s available now.”
Zinomobile will be available for private parties, and be looking for the truck at business parks around town, as well as in entertainment hotspots with nightlife in the coming weeks. Humphrey also hopes to be at farmers markets and large events like Bunbury Music Festival
; Red, White & Blue Ash
; and Taste of Cincinnati
Read more about Cincinnati's growing food truck scene in 30 Must-Try Cincinnati Food Trucks.