Great food finds are everywhere. New restaurants are popping up all over the place. But popping up in those asphalt expanses we call parking lots and city streets are food trucks.
At a point in time, a food truck was not the kind of place anyone with a refined palate would dine. Mexican food, with its simple and easy to store ingredients, had made a home for itself in these mobile cooking stations. But in recent years, all over the country, the idea of a food truck has taken up roots and is spreading like dandelions in the front yard during summer.
It’s surprising to see what’s riding around the streets and being served to the public. There are crepes, hot dogs, desserts, cupcakes, hot coffee, cold smoothies, burgers, bratwurst, bahn mi, delis, soul food, Italian, barbeque, pierogis, seafood, shaved ice, sushi, Chinese, and even Thai food. Whatever craving strikes, there’s a chance it’s on a truck and finding its way to hungry people. But how does one find these trucks on the move? With the social media monster, these food trucks post what they are doing, when they are doing it, and where. Simply search for “food trucks” in Google, and a long list of links appears with names and places where one can grab a bite.
I visited San Francisco a few months back and the food truck triumphant is alive and well. Its major gathering called Off The Grid happens every third Friday of the month with about 30 trucks converging on the north bay side of the peninsula at Fort Mason. San Diego has similar events, smaller in size, but happening in every direction of the county from the mountains, to the beaches, to the border. Dallas has stations set up across the city where different food trucks come weekly and serve lunch in an outdoor “food court”. Philadelphia has its “Night Market” in different locations during the summer where thousands of people get together for street food, music and more.
The food trucks serve for more than just cheese steaks and cream cheese, too. Las Vegas is more known for expensive eats, quick treats, and massive buffets, but the local food trucks have made a niche for themselves. There are smaller congregations every week in various locations, but the bi-yearly South Point Gourmet Food Truck Fest brings in rigs from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver. Speaking of L.A., it has some serious trucking of its own going on. From Irvine to the San Fernando Valley, and from Santa Monica to Long Beach, lunch is rolling with four-wheeled kitchens frequenting corners where you will find lines of folks around the block waiting for their favorite mobile meals. There are well over 200 food trucks that call the City of Angels home, so variety is the main ingredient in Southern California.
For those who were nervous to try a dish off a food truck, these fears are no longer warranted. The prices are generally reasonable, the portions are usually medium-sized to heaping, the fare is often locally sourced, and of course, it’s going to be fresh. It’s almost always a party when like-minded folk make their way out to grab great grub and enjoy the community. Take a look around for food truck meeting places. Try some new dishes and get to see what makes your culinary scene unique.
© Restaurant Agent Inc.