CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The sloppy hot dog carts and food trucks that dot Cleveland streets face a new competitor: the “Food Dude.”
His real name is Jason Brokaw, 35, of Willowick, and he’s drawing in downtown’s hungry lunch-goers with a gourmet food station that serves up freshly prepped steak, chicken, veggies, slaw, deli sausage, plump Polish boys and more.
It’s where the local underdog turned his life around and became the entrepreneur he is today.
“You stroll through life and opportunities come to a lot of people, and it seemed like I’ve gotten passed over on a lot of opportunities. So what do you do? You make a way for yourself,” said Brokaw, a native Clevelander who grew up on the West Side and was cycled through 27 foster homes during his upbringing.
He overcame abuse, addiction and poverty, and is drawing in new people everyday who can’t resist the smell and sizzle of his street fare.
Tim Shaker, Brokaw’s boss and owner of the Manhattan Deli, summed it up in a few words: “Jason has really turned things around for himself, and we’re all proud of him.”