Just wait till you see what I'm eating on the road these days!
I've recently become a convert to eating at food trucks when I travel. It all started at the Aloha Swap Meet in Honolulu, where I joined a mysterious long line at an unmarked white van, only to discover the most incredible cinnamon sugar coated malasadas. From that one experience, I was convinced on the merits of food trucks. On reflection, it wasn't such a leap for me – growing up in Cape Breton, I was a frequent visitor to the community “Bus”, a static school bus transformed into a takeout shack with the most amazing club sandwiches. I've long known that great food can come from humble settings!
It's no surprise then that I made a beeline for a group of food trucks clustered at one end at Front Street while visiting Traverse City, Michigan. Traverse City is well known as a great food destination and is particularly famous for it's annual cherry festival. Front Street's food trucks are a great representation of the diverse agriculture and talented chefs of the area and I was eager to try as much local food as I could! During our visit, we sampled deviled eggs, roasted corn on the cob, farmhouse chili, and cheddar chive pierogi with apple-bacon coleslaw. Delicious!
Food trucks are a perfect solution for the value minded traveler in search of a delicious, affordable lunch with a dash of real local spirit. Food trucks offer lower prices than the average restaurant, passing on the benefits of their minimal overhead. While their menus may be limited, what they do make, they make very well – they wouldn't stay in business otherwise! Lunch trucks also allow a young chef’s raw talent to shine through. Their creativity isn't stifled from years of being a sous chef and their pockets needn't be deep to afford their own place.
Of course, not all food trucks are perfect. You will inevitably get a certain percentage of trendy, overpriced meals that are inexplicably popular. If you're not sure if a food truck is a good choice, just look at the line. If it's long, fast moving, and filled with people from all walks of life (from student, to business exec, to worker, to families), chances are it's right for you! Remember, it’s not great value because it comes from a truck – it’s the price, quality, and flavor that makes it a wonderful deal.
Increasingly, municipalities and food lovers are creating websites and apps that track the rotating locations and schedules of the food trucks, making it easier than ever to find these nomadic culinary delights. I can't wait to try more on my future travels!
As always, I welcome and encourage your comments. Do you frequent food trucks when you travel? How about in your own hometown?
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