Kevin Randolph and wife Sherilyn Milch named their food truck Poke Me Long Time with the hopes of turning people’s heads. Fishin’ accomplished.
The food truck at 1606 E. Sixth St. has received some negative reviews and mentions online for its name, which some seem to see as juvenile and crass at best and racist at worst, playing off the demeaning depiction of Vietnamese sex workers in “Full Metal Jacket.” But Randolph takes exception with at least part of that interpretation.
Randolph said the name is an intentional sexual innuendo but that he and his wife, whose grandmother was born in Vietnam, are not racist.
“My wife’s Asian. She owns this place, too. It’s not a racial thing. It’s more of a sexual thing, really,” Randolph said.
How did they come up with the name?
“Oh, man,” Randolph said with a laugh. “Honestly, we just got really stoned one night. I’m not gonna lie to you.”
The 13-year resident of Austin said he opened the food truck with his wife as a healthy alternative to the bar business he’s worked in for almost a decade. It’s the first food operation for Randolph, a nine-year veteran of Sixth Street bars, who manages the Handle Bar and served as a promo guy for the Yassine brothers for a few years. Randolph opened the trailer 11 weeks ago after doing several pop-ups at bars and start-up companies.
“We wanted to help our community,” Randolph said.
And, while he’s heard the criticism, Randolph said those angry about the name have the wrong idea.
“Those are just closed-minded people,” Randolph said. “I’m not mad. But have an open mind; don’t have a close mind. If you ever met us or talked to us on the phone, you’d know that’s a complete (BS) story. People want to take it there; don’t take it there.”