Guatemalan Street Food Meets Irish American Fare at Gilligan’s Pub in Providence

The Galley food trailer rolls onto the scene with burgers, hot dogs, empanadas, and more


When husband-and-wife duo Amanda Fullam and Jorge Vargas purchased Gilligan’s Pub a couple of years ago, they knew it was an establishment with roots. Open since 1933, the bar had its fair share of regulars who enjoyed stopping by for after-work or post-dinner drinks, but there’s one thing it didn’t have: a kitchen.

“Tommy’s Pizza used to be across the street from the bar for over 60 years and everyone loved ordering from there and bringing it over to the bar to enjoy while they were drinking and hanging out,” recalls Fullam, but Tommy’s closed in 2021, so the couple was in search of a way to accommodate dinnertime guests. “We started scheduling pop-ups with some awesome local food trucks and every single time the bar would fill up and customers would be overjoyed. I found it hard to get enough bookings, as many trucks had commitments to big festivals and larger venues, so that’s when we decided we would build our own.”

Fullam and Vargas have over 20 years of restaurant experience between them, and were excited to take on the challenge of running their own food truck. “Jorge found the trailer used and we spent six months gutting it and re-outfitting it to fit our needs,” says Fullam. Following a month of trying out their menu on hungry bar patrons, The Galley celebrated a grand opening in May with a concept Providence has likely never seen before: Guatemalan and Irish American street food fare. 

Fullam describes the menu as “bar food” that “represents a little bit of both of us,” featuring burgers, hotdogs, loaded fries, and empanadas. Most popular is the Irish Burger. “We freshly grind our own beef to make a half-pound patty, griddle it until it’s a little crispy, melt cheddar cheese, bacon, griddled onions, and top it with an Irish whiskey mayo – simple, but delicious,” she says.

Another menu highlight is Vargas’ creation, the Shuco, a traditional Guatemalan hot dog that translates to “dirty.” Though messy to eat, the all-beef hot dog loaded with shredded cabbage, onion, guacamole, and special sauces on a grinder roll gives the classic New York System Wiener a run for its money – but don’t worry, The Galley serves those, too. Fullam reports the latter is “the real deal,” with Johnston-based Little Rhode Brand Frankfurts, served traditional style, or with all the New York System fixings over French fries. “That’s the ultimate bar food for me.”

The couple is also excited about their original creation: the Guate Burger. “We make our own homemade Guatemalan sausage, longaniza, and combine it with freshly ground beef to make a savory, flavorful half-pound patty,” Fullam explains. It’s stacked on a sesame seed bun with pepperjack cheese, guacamole, griddled onions and jalapeños, and a creamy, smoky sauce made with traditional chirmol salsa. For the ultimate marriage of the two styles of cuisine, the Shepards Pie Empanada is a handmade pocket of crispy fried dough stuffed with garlic mashed potatoes, corn, and ground beef.

The Galley food trailer will be tantalizing patrons of Gilligan’s Pub with fusion fare most weekends, Thursdays through Sundays, alongside fun happenings at the bar. “We are just starting to get our feet wet this summer,” says an enthusiastic Fullam, “but we are open to collaborations, catering inquiries, and pop-ups, too.” 937 Chalkstone Avenue, @thegalley_pvd



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