It isn’t everyday that you hear the words “solar” and “dinner” in the same sentence, particularly because solar panels have been traditionally employed in residential or permanent commercial structures. The use of solar panels to provide power in off-grid situations is hardly new; solar panels were created for that specific purpose. The real novelty lies within the creative and innovative devices the panels are supplying power for.

Steve Peto is a Chicago native with a keen taste for authentic southside cuisine and a passion for organics. When Steve relocated to Reno in 2000, he set out on a mission to provide his new neighbors with the wonderful southside food he grew up with and loved. Southside food isn’t all pizza as some outsiders believe; rather, it is a variety of different foods from the numerous different cultures that inhabit south Chicago. It didn’t come as much of a surprise when he opened the Organic Taste of Chicago some 15 years after his initial relocation.

The Organic Taste of Chicago isn’t your everyday restaurant for several reasons. Most notably, it operates primarily out of a high tech vending truck and serves authentic Vienna Beef products imported from Chicago along with fresh organic vegetables and meats. Menu options range from traditional Italian beef sandwiches to sliders (mini burgers), tossed salads, polenta, polish sausage, and even gyros. Menu options are subject to change to suit the time of year or event that the business is serving. One thing, however, is always certain: the Organic Taste of Chicago has a dish that can please just about any hungry customer.

If all the above wasn’t enough of a claim to fame, the Organic Taste of Chicago uses Renogy solar panels to power its truck! Right now, they are using one 100W Renogy solar panel and a battery bank. At a full charge, the truck gets 10 hours (6 daylight and 4 nighttime) of power. Steve said he hasn’t resorted to using his generator since installing the panel. Solar panels provide a quieter, greener alternative to traditional gas generators and are often less costly.

So if you’re ever in Reno, Nevada looking for some great Chicago style food, be sure to stop by the Organic Taste of Chicago. You won’t just be getting a great product, you’ll also be getting something produced in a more responsible, sustainable manner. We’d like to thank Steve for sharing his great story with us, and we couldn’t be happier to call him a customer. For more information about the Organic Taste of Chicago, please visit For more information about the 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panel that Steve uses on his truck, please visit