Has anyone else noticed the food trucks that are popping up all over the place?
Up until now, we had limited options for a quick, cheap lunch: fast food, a hot dog stand on the street, or maybe grabbing a pre-wrapped sandwich at a convenience store in the lobby of your building. But some chefs are daring to compete with these options, and they are succeeding. They are taking high-quality food and fancy recipes, and selling them out of carts or trucks in heavily populated areas. And it’s working! If you can get a $2 short-rib taco made with all fresh farmer’s market ingredients, why would you ever go to Taco Bell again?
This concept is successful for a couple of reasons. People love high-quality, nutritious food, but they also love affordable food. Cooking and selling from a truck is one way to meet both of these demands. The overhead costs are very low, and they can keep the menu simple enough to suit all tastes.
I think this is a great concept, and I encourage you to support the people who are trying to make it work. Some trucks are independent, while others are affiliated with great local restaurants. In Denver, The Gastro Cart serves a $7 gyro made up of roasted lamb, tzatziki sauce, napa cabbage, guajillo-mint foam, and naan (classic bread from India). Sounds delicious! You can also get fresh waffles from a street cart (it’s worth it to walk past the cart each morning just for the smell), and there’s even a vegetarian/vegan food cart that sells favorites from a great local restaurant.
Some of these carts or trucks use social media such as Twitter or Facebook to notify fans of their whereabouts or what the specials are on the menu for a particular day. For example, the delicious Cake Crumbs shop in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood recently started operating a cupcake truck. The driver makes his way throughout the city each day, and tweets his location and how long he’ll be there. People show up to buy cupcakes, and he usually runs out before the day is over.
Anyway, I think this is a great concept and could help replace an unhealthy lunch with something that is a touch more nutritious, much more tasty, and still very affordable. I recommend googling your city and “food trucks/carts” to find out what your options are. If you live in a major city, you’ll have many!