About 18 months ago, Rusek, who lives in Gate City, opened Backdraft Barbecue.
Most weekdays during lunch, Rusek, who's also known as 'Pitmaster Joe', can be found in the parking lot of Thirftway in Gate City serving up his barbecue and sides.
Recently, Rusek learned that Backdraft took second place in the Best Food Truck category in Virginia Living magazine’s fifth annual Best of Virginia issue. This issue lists the nearly 1,500 winners from Virginia Living’s Best of Virginia Readers’ Survey that was conducted in January. More than 30,000 ballots were cast in 100 categories, covering the best in arts, culture and entertainment, living and recreation, shopping and services and food and drink across the state.
Rusek says Backdraft receiving this statewide recognition lets him know his customers appreciate the service Backdraft provides as much as Rusek appreciates his customers.
“I have too many repeat regular customers to count. That’s the thing about being a local business — you know them personally. When they walk up, unless they’ve changed their order, I know exactly what they're coming to get,” Rusek said. “We appreciate them and their loyalty. Without them, none of this would be possible.”
Virginia Living’s fifth annual Best of Virginia issue is now on newsstands.
The issue can also be purchased online at http://shop.virginialiving.com/.
You can visit Backdraft’s Facebook page to find out where the food truck will be each day.