Get used to it, people (and be grateful): those mobile gourmet go-to’s are here to stay, and some are even raising stakes for the long haul.
The trend-on-wheels gets still sturdier legs and shapes. Now there are food trucks with reserved inside seating, Airstream and VW Microbus food trucks (the new American Diners?), auto-body shops, food truck-style; and entire enclaves of food truck pop-up settlements, giving real restaurant scenes and foodie nabes a run for their money and customers. Restaurateurs in the recession have gotten moi resourceful. They’re now the testing zones for newcomer chefs wanting to see if their concepts will work.
Among the highlights:
1. Port Fonda in Kansas City, opened this month to immediate lines, and well reservations, for their chef’s table inside—very chic, frankly: tacos especiales. In the city’s downtown Crossroads Arts District, hipster central
2. Tacombi at Fonda Nolita, on its second year; in NoLiTa, in old garage, tacos made and sold from a vintage Microbus.
4. Food Truck Square, Tampa. Opened in late February in South Tampa’s very chic and old-school Hyde Park area, it includes Monstah Lobstah, Burger Culture, Mr. Empanada, Tasty Stacy, Wicked ‘Wiches, as well as The Killer Samich Truckl Maggie on the Move, Fat Tortillas Southwest Grill, Fire Monkey, Sinful Pleasure Dessert Co. and Whatever Pops.
5. The Garage, Philadelphia. Opening this month in the Satellite Auto Body Shop, from Jason Evenchik, owner of Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro and Time. Food truck will be housed inside the garage. Modern American fare with seating for 30 and foosball and flat-screens and bar.
6. Skillet Street Food, Seattle area: The mother of them all, opened in 2007, serving chicken and waffles and New American fare, and grown into a lakeside lawn party and homemade product purveyor (Skillet Bacon Spread, Skillet Pumpkin Sauce). The main zone is in an Airstream, helmed by chef Josh Henderson, now opening this month a brick-and-mortar outpost in Seattle’s Capitol Hill zone.
Check out some more awesome Airstream food trucks and other incarnations from all over the country by visiting: http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/the-new-airstream-cuisine