FIT FOR A 49ER: The Gold Rush Eatery specializes in burgers on the go. Photograph by Liz Wassmann

Kris Zankich didn’t want to open a restaurant; he thought owning a food truck would be more exciting. So a few months ago, he fired up Gold Rush Eatery, located in San Jose. The bright-red, cheery truck is decorated with a cartoon gold digger and offers burger and sandwich options for lunch or dinner.

The burgers deliver an extra kick thanks to the Gold Rush Burger Sauce. The special formula was based on a sauce used at Linda’s Drive-In Restaurant, a diner in Mountain View in the 1950s. The Gold Rush Burger, Frontier Burger and root beer float are all popular choices. Tater Tots are served as an alternative to fries.

The truck parks all around San Jose, often near other food trucks, so customers have plenty of options. Recent locations include San Jose State (Ninth and San Fernando streets), eBay (Bascom and Hamilton avenues), Santa Clara University (The Alameda and Market Street) and near the Winchester Mystery House.

Zankich says thathis truck is available to rent for group events or fundraisers, and that he will donate part of the profits back to the cause. He has also said that when he gets 500 “likes” on his Facebook or Twitter page, he will randomly award a $50 gift card to a customer. Most meals cost between $5 and $10 and should “quench the hunger of even the most voracious of appetites,” according to Gold Rush’s Facebook page. Zankich says that the truck has been a lot of fun but also a lot of work. One of the biggest struggles has been finding workers who are able to drive the large-wheeled restaurant. Zankich doesn’t want just anyone to drive it, because “it might not look like a Porsche, but it costs about the same amount.”