Figgy’s took to the streets more than six years ago in the first wave of Rogue Valley food trucks.
Now the distinctive leaf-green truck with its namesake fresh-fruit logo has a semi-permanent parking space next to a brick-and-mortar eatery of the same name. Figgy’s on Holly serves the food truck’s greatest hits, plus several breakfast items that owner Melissa Jones-Hanscom is betting will bring in morning customers.
With its fresh, gourmet approach to fast-casual fare, Figgy’s was a standout of the local street-food scene since its 2012 debut. But then the truck went on hiatus while Jones-Hanscom navigated some legal issues, blazed a trail toward large-scale catering and readied Figgy’s permanent home at 328 S. Holly St., Medford.
It took more than a year for Jones-Hanscom to open Figgy’s on Holly, but the restaurant’s interior is as carefully crafted as Jones-Hanscom’s brand, aesthetic and menu. Evoking without replicating the lush hues of Figgy’s Food Truck, the building’s exterior is a toned-down color closer to raisin. Inside, the space has a farmhouse-meets-warehouse vibe that modernizes the early-1900s structure but honors its history.
Welcoming my two young boys, Jones-Hanscom graciously showed us to a choice table surrounded on three sides by a banquette with plenty of pillows upholstered in eclectic fabrics. I knew Jones-Hanscom is a mother of four and, obviously, unruffled by the thought of kids’ shoe soles and food spills on her new cushions.
While Figgy’s menu doesn’t exactly cater to kids, there’s something for everyone from the selection of sandwiches, salads and breakfast items. Putting a sophisticated spin on each dish, Jones-Hanscom makes her burger with ground lamb and her concession to a hot dog with andouille sausage, dressed with grilled piquillo peppers and soft goat cheese.
The sausage and sandwiches, each priced at $9, are served with a small green salad. Main-dish salads include Mediterranean with spiced chickpeas ($8), beet and peashoot ($8) and the charcuterie ($10), layered with salami, ham and cheese.
Always a fan of soup over salad, I asked Jones-Hanscom whether I could substitute when I heard that tomato bisque was Figgy’s “soup of the week.” Although I was tempted by any number of dishes, I ultimately couldn’t resist the lamb burger ($15), enhanced with fig jam, soft goat cheese and lemon-herb aioli, just the way I like to make them at home once outdoor-grill season hits. Figgy’s also boasts garlic-sautéed greens, which I prefer to most fresh greens on a burger.
My older son chose French toast stuffed with fig jam and ricotta cheese ($9) over pancakes with berries and whipped cream ($9). I initially worried the combination of fig, honey, orange syrup and pistachios would be too complex for my kids’ palates. But everything was perfectly proportioned, and they gobbled down the two slices, hardly saving a bite for me to sample.
I still offered a few bites of my burger, cooked to the perfect medium — verging on medium-rare — doneness. Although I thought the bun could have been more toasted, all the other ingredients harmonized with the juicy lamb.
Drizzled with a lovage-infused oil as delicious as it was visually appealing, the soup was perhaps the best tomato soup I’ve enjoyed in a restaurant setting. Thicker than Campbell’s but not so thick that it mimics tomato sauce, the soup invited dunking my burger’s roll. It’s available as a cup for $4 or bowl for $6, served with grilled bread.
Prices are a couple of dollars more than customers previously paid at the food truck. But that’s to be expected now that Jones-Hanscom has the overhead of a building and likely an employee or two. She saves resources, however, by using not only standard, durable place settings, but also cloth napkins. Even her kids’ water glasses — usually disposable cups with lids and straws in most restaurants — are reusable sippy cups and Mason jars with reusable plastic lids and straws.
Figgy’s on Holly is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Call 541-727-8419. Jones-Hanscom still drives the food truck to special events.