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Husband and wife turn California food truck business into downtown Springfield restaurant

Springfield News-Leader logo Springfield News-Leader 6/15/2021 Ralph Green, Springfield News-Leader
a store inside of a building: Chameleon Cuisine opened in downtown Springfield. © Ralph Green/Springfield News-Leader Chameleon Cuisine opened in downtown Springfield.

In sunny southern California, food truck season is year-round.

But when Alana and Yoni Vargas moved from San Diego to Springfield, they had to adjust.

The Vargases, a husband and wife team, opened the Chameleon Cuisine food truck in Springfield in early 2020, but they were hit with brutal winter weather and a global pandemic, so the business never really took off.

Now Alana and Yoni Vargas are trying their hand at a brick-and-mortar location for their fresh, healthy menu. The couple opened the Chameleon Cuisine restaurant on Friday at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Walnut Street in the downtown Springfield building that used to house Aviary Cafe.

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Chameleon Cuisine opened Friday in downtown Springfield. © Ralph Green/Springfield News-Leader Chameleon Cuisine opened Friday in downtown Springfield.

Chameleon Cuisine serves original made-from-scratch food with options for vegans and meat lovers. Their slogan is "We got you."

Popular foods items on the menu are meals like the Bearded Dragon, which is a grilled cheese with stuffed jalapenos, bacon, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. It is served with a side of their beautiful golden fries. Another customer favorite is the Komodo Dragon, a homemade burger mixed with chili paste, topped with bacon, caramelized onions, and smothered with blue cheese and pepper jack cheese. It is served with a side of freshly-made tortilla chips.

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Vegetarian customers might be interested in the Madagascar, which is a grilled cheese with mozzarella, pesto, basil, tomatoes and a splash of balsamic vinaigrette. It is served with fries.

When Chameleon Cuisine was just a food truck, it developed a reputation for its colorful artwork. The owners have tried to keep that theme alive by having their restaurant painted with tropical themes by local high school art teacher John Rose.

Chameleon Cuisine is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

More information on the restaurant can be found at ChameleonCuisine.com.

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Husband and wife turn California food truck business into downtown Springfield restaurant

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