A quick Sunday post to satiate all you folks who gave up deliciousness for Lent:
Though this might be a trend nationwide/in Philly that already reached its saturation point (thanks a lot for the overexposure, Tyler Florence), I do love me a good food truck.
I stayed away from them for a long time; in my parents’ time, food trucks were dubbed “roach coaches” and only people who needed to lose a lot of weight via food poisoning to fit into their wedding dress ever dared to eat from one.
Some socio-foodologist could probably trace the history of gourmet food trucks better than I can, but it’s my understanding that the trend started in Los Angeles with the Kogi BBQ truck, which tweeted out its location every day; the thrill of the hunt, probably as much as the food itself, created a massive following.
The first time I became aware of gourmet food trucks in Philly was with the Buttercream Philadelphia truck, owned and operated by “the Cupcake Lady,” Kate Carrara. Kate was right on the crest of the cupcake wave, and was almost single-handedly responsible for bringing the craze to Philly.
Probably about two years ago now, more and more gourmet trucks began popping up: Vernalicious, Chewy’s, Pitruco (with a brick oven in the back of the truck!), Guapos Tacos (by Iron Chef Jorge Garces, now more or less defunct), Foo Truck, Say Cheese, among dozens of others (some great, some not).
Thankfully, there’s a great line-up of trucks just down the street from where I work at the intersection of 33rd and Arch Streets here in Philadelphia. Spot Burger makes what might be the best bang-for-your-buck burger I’ve ever had. Mac Mart is one of the newest of the bunch, but serves some deliciously satisfying spins on classic mac n’ cheese.
And, of course, my favorite has to be Rival Bros. Besides the super-dreaminess of its owners/operators [Get ahold of yourself, Jeff!], they make what is by far the best latte I’ve ever had…and their hand-drip ain’t too bad either.
This crop of food trucks is great because you’re getting some really high-quality goods at solid–though not dirt-cheap–prices. However, if you consider the food to be of the same quality (or better) than that of a sit-down restaurant, you’re saving money and time.
If the rumors of a food truck area in the new Disney Springs section of the Walt Disney World Resort turn out to be true, they could do a lot worse than emulating these guys.