September Foodie: SotSot’s JR Roseman
Having put his food truck in park, SotSot’s JR Roseman gives homemade bayou food a home on College Avenue.
JR Roseman was so intent on launching his own food truck, he sold his Mercedes to buy one, and in 2010, his Cajun-flavored mobile kitchen, SotSot (2405 N College Ave, 317 602-5869), hit the streets of Indy. “I wanted it that bad,” he says. “I had to ask myself what I was willing to give up to get what I wanted.” In April, Roseman turned his concept for SotSot (the Twitter-friendly acronym for “Some of This, Some of That”) into a 25-seat space next to a steampunk safe door on College Avenue. He describes the decor as “raw elegance,” with rough brick walls, dark floors made of wood salvaged from the once-condemned building, and a massive mirror that he framed himself with lengths of scrap trim.
“I had to ask myself what I was willing to give up to get what I wanted.”
Roseman learned his way around the bayou kitchen after a crash course from Indy cook (and Baton Rouge native) Roscoe Chambliss, but SotSot’s version of red beans and rice dates back to 1888 and comes straight from Roseman’s grandfather. “Every once in a while, I would get out the old man’s recipe and work on it a little bit, make it better,” he says. The menu also boasts Big Easy mainstays like deliciously messy po’ boys, gumbo, heady étouffée studded with crawfish and shrimp, and whole softshell-crab sandwiches.
Born in Panama, Roseman was raised in the United States and has called Indy home since 1999. These days, his typical work shifts include four shots of espresso, a banana, and a detailed to-do list. “The food truck was fun,” he says. “The restaurant piece is more mature.” (2405 N College Ave, 317 602-5869)