From the basic chuck wagon fare of stews, beans and biscuits, we have come a long way and expect far more than the old cellophane wrapped sandwich of the 50s and 60s, together with stale coffee. Ethnic cuisines and made to order hot foods are now commonplace for melbourne, fl squirrel control services on-the-run office workers, and we’re wiling to pay top dollar for the convenience.
In the 50s, mobile canteens serviced U.S. Army troops on bases and maneuvers, but they were little more than regulation chow. Americans have come to expect far more and innovative sellers gladly answer the call. From ancient ice cream trucks into the hot dog vendors with their Vienna Beef umbrellas, thousands tumble from factories, offices and stores, led to that truck down the road where they know what they will find and do not mind standing in line for it. Who needs stale vending machine foods or fast food burgers once we can get fresh falafel packed into pita bread, a plate of nachos or an authentic fish and chips wrapped in newsprint. What has evolved in the”roach coach” of the past to a venue that launched the career of many executive chefs, food trucks today even cater at special events, college campuses,conferences and weddings.
Let us examine the hottest and latest offerings from such meals-on-wheels throughout the country. Most of these truck operators have restaurants multiple locations, and many are culinary school grad and chefs:
The Taco Truck – a variety of tacos and toppings, as well as burritos, Hoboken, NJ
Fukuburger Truck – the actual last name of its Japanese owner, hamburgers feature unusual Asian toppings and sauces, Las Vegas
Mac Mart Truck – takes mac and cheese to a new level with creative ingredients, Philadelphia
Luke’s Lobster – lobster, crab and shrimp rolls for about $17 (clearly not for those on a budget) New York City
Kogi BBQ – creative and varied Korean cuisine, Los Angeles
Cinnamon Snail – vegan food for the more health-conscious and non meat-eating audience, with not a snail in sight (go figure) NYC
Oink and Moo BBQ – award-winning pork and beef BBQ with all the trimmings, NJ
If you venture into ethnic neighborhoods, such as a large city Chinatown, of course you’ll find a preponderance of their native cuisines dotting the roads, but overall these are the most common menu items across the nation:
Coffee and coffee drinks
Smoothies / healthful drinks and juices
“Grown-up” grilled cheese sandwiches
Cupcakes and desserts
Street tacos and burritos
Mediterranean menus / Gyros
Crepes with special toppings
Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches
Ice cream and soft serve
Shaved ice / Italian ice
In the US, food trucks are a $1.2 billion industry. Despite the obvious challenges such as lack of warm running water, strict regulations, licenses and health laws, food trucks play an important function in our society and provide a vital service to thousands of workers everywhere. Although chuck wagons may simply be nostalgia, the idea lives on. Food trucks. When you just can’t wait to eat.