The concept, by best friends Joaquin Ortiz and Henrik Telle, was born out of their love for finding and making incredible hotcakes. "We've been friends for over ten years," Ortiz says. "We've traveled together all over, and everywhere we go, our thing is to research the best breakfast and best pancakes in town. We would cook pancakes at Henrik's house and post to Instagram Stories, getting tons of people commenting and DM'ing us nonstop about them."
Ortiz says they had never thought about starting a pancake business, "but there was a lightbulb that went off like in Field of Dreams, with 'If you build it, they will come.' So we said, 'Why don't we try to do this pancake food truck?'"
Parked in Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, where Ortiz and Telle play disc golf when they're not behind the griddle, Jealous Fork serves fresh pancakes Thursday through Sunday until they sell out, unless the guys are offsite for a private event. On Instagram, they post a weekly schedule with days and times, along with specials in addition to what's on the regular menu.
It took them three months to develop the perfect pancake base for their innovative menu. Ortiz says, "It's a cross between a biscuit and a pancake — incredibly fluffy but with a heavier texture." Eight unique gourmet creations range from piles of savory cakes with meat to decadently sweet concoctions priced from $8 to $10 each. The Chicken Thigh High uses a pancake with fresh corn similar to cornbread, topped with pulled chicken, black bean salsa, chipotle crema, and fresh cilantro, while the pork belly bánh mì resembles a pork bun with pork belly, red chilies, pickled carrots and cucumbers, fresh basil, and cilantro. "People are skeptical when they think of cucumbers on a pancake," Ortiz says, "but then they try it and they're blown out of the water."
For those with a sweet tooth, the other menu staples are strawberry cheesecake; lemon curd and blueberry; chocolate Oreo chip; Brunch and Still Hungover, with Kahlúa coffee syrup; and To Die For, a traditional pancake stack. They run specials regularly too; last month offered Smashing Pumpkins, with pumpkin and fall spices. Since Knaus Berry Farm opened for the season, the guys offer a special with a pancake sandwiched between two of Knaus' signature cinnamon rolls. These artisan creations sell out nearly every weekend since Jealous Fork opened in September, and they're just getting started.
True entrepreneurs, Ortiz and Telle are incredibly passionate about hospitality, and it shows. Tea & Poets — their coffeehouse at the Shops at Sunset Place in South Miami — has been a success. "We want to grow as a hospitality group with multiple concepts," Ortiz hints. "Once you find someone you work well with, it's great. We have other 'Jealous' concepts lined up and ready to go... Whether they're brick-and-mortar or food trucks, we will see."
Jealous Fork. Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, 10700 SW 84th St., Miami, FL 33173; 305-699-1430; jealousfork.com. Thursday through Sunday during varying hours.