Today as I was standing in the 39° F weather (that’s 3.89° C for my metric friends and 277.039K for my physicists) waiting for the woman running the truck to hand me my bowl of rice with various toppings, I realized that I like a whole bunch of food trucks. So, today I am going to answer 20 questions on the phenomenon of food trucks!
Thanks this week go to Erin, John, B, Nicole, Ballpoint, Sandy, John, Susan McG, Bill Grapes, Khoi Pham, Steev, Justin, Matt, Brain S, Amy B, the wife, and (at the last minute) Joel and Some Other Guy. Let’s get to the questions!
1. What food truck phenomenon stymies you the most?
The naming conventions are things that are often lacking. The particular phenomenon on naming conventions that really gets me is when the name of the food truck has nothing to do with the food being served. For example Dr Mom’s Tasty Treats. What the hell does that truck serve? The other and most egregious naming issue is the misnomer. For example: Cuccina Alfredo. That truck serves quick pastas and sauces with a selection of proteins to put on it, right? For an upcharge they will throw cheese on top and melt it till the cheese is bubbly, right? Wrong, it sells uninspired cheese burgers. WTF?!?
2. How far would you walk for your favorite food truck?
That really depends on the amount of time I have to indulge for lunch. If there were no time limitations, I would go a mile or two.
3. Why are food trucks a thing now?
They are relatively cost effective. It is cheaper to create a food truck without wait staff or rent. That is why food trucks spring up and then eventually become permanent spots. For example, Sweet T’s is a cajun place that has been a food truck for a while and is now opening up a brick and mortar restaurant with a full kitchen and everything. Many times a food truck is a stepping stone.
4. Why do hipsters seem to be drawn to food trucks that serve “Asian fusion”?
Because it is very easy to make a food truck and have it be asian fusion.
5. Wtf is Asian Fusion, and why do I want it served from a truck?
Because almost anything can be asian fusion. Throw some sriracha on it and viola it is asian fusion.
6. What is the strangest food truck you've ever seen and how did they make any money with a niche food item?
Hmmm… That is an interesting question. The most niche thing I have seen is Alice's Aebelskabels. (I think she is no longer in Columbus though, so this link might be a dead link soon) They are danish pancake balls. Some are savory and some are sweet. They are incredibly niche, but basically it is sweet or savory pancakes that are dippable, but super specific and niche.
7. Have you seen Chef? Did it want to make you become a food truck owner?
I did see it, or at least most of it. It never really hooked me. I am pretty sure that nothing could ever make me want to become a food truck owner. Long hours in a cramped space with weird environmental comfort (either too hot or too cold). Nope, not for me.
8. What sort of food trucks do you wish there were more of, what sort of cuisine?
I would love to see more food trucks that have specifically gluten free options, but that is because I need to be gluten free. I would love more options.
9. What sort of food would you NEVER order from a food truck?
Any. Meat. On. A. Stick.
10. Does the Weinermobile count as a food truck? If it is not technically a food truck, how much would you pay to drive the Weinermobile for a few hours?
I do not believe the Weinermobile serves food. I think it only has Oscar Meyer promotional gear for sale and no hot-dog makings to speak of. I think I would put up a fiver to drive it around a parking lot.
11. Why don't more food trucks look like food, like in the Richard Scarry books?
Umm… because those is weird vehics, yo. Honestly, one is just an ear of corn with wheels on it.
12. Would you eat at a restaurant run by your favorite food truck?
Yes, yes I would.
13. If they served sloth meat at a food truck do you think it should be slow cooked?
One pot sloth and dumplings? 8 hours on low. Yep. A food truck that just has 14 slow cookers in it of simmering sloth and little dollups of bread. mmmm.
14. Can I have my own food truck? I would like it to have curry and roast beef with roast potatoes in it (on alternating days).
You can definitely have your own food truck. You are golden for roast beef curry with or without potatoes. Heck it could be Orange Juice Bar and Curried Beef with Roast Potatoes. You could push it really further. Really throw some stuff together on the back a converted U-Haul truck
15. Is there a food type that food trucks could not do?
Traditional Middle English roasting. One cannot roast a duck in a pig in a cow in a truck. (I would call the truck “Spitz” and it would look like the 1968 US Summer Olympic Team’s Opening Ceremony uniforms. The amount of meat you got would be ordered by the a number of gold medals… it is still in the concept phase)
16. Chef (which features food trucks) made me want to try a cubano, which I did. Have you had one, and if so, what are your thoughts?
I think I had one years and years ago. It is a pressed ham and cheese sammich on a very specific type of bun. When we were younger and I could eat bread, there was a cuban diner we went to occasionally with the geography grad students. They were not very good a choosing restaurants. This was fairly okay.
17. Which food truck provided you with the *gift* of intestinal struggles?
I have never gotten any bugs from a food truck (that I know of) So, nothing as of yet. There is still time though.
18. Being a celiac, which food trucks have options for those with food allergies?
There are a good list of local ones that I have found work out fairly well for me. Most of them have really strong possibilities of cross-contamination, so if you are truly celiac or strongly allergic to gluten, there is a BIG chance that most food trucks will not be safe. That being said, I have found with food trucks the owner operators are really good at interacting with people with questions via social media or email. I have facebook messaged and tweeted at many a food truck to see what is safe for me to consume. Most have a list that is handy, and a few just say nothing. Today I had Loco No Moco Rice Bowl with Spam from Aloha Streatery. They have marked very clearly on their menu what is GF and what is not.
19. Can you explain why food trucks can try such weird flavor combinations? Why do those combinations work?
Crazy flavor combos sometimes are magic. For example, the Loco No Moco Rice Bowl with Spam is a medium grain rice bowl with fried chunks of Spam, dice pineapple, a cilantro lime aioli, some Hawaiian bbq sauce (a small drizzle only) and chopped fresh cilantro. I do not like pineapples and I am not super keen on Spam, but the first time I tried this, I decided to do what the menu suggested, and then the next time modify the order to my liking. Turns out, they had it right. The pineapples really worked. It gave a hint of sweet to go witrh all the strong umami flavors going on. The saltinesss and the crispiness of the fried Spam were excellent counter-points to the relative softness of the rice and sauces. But it also could have not have worked. Food trucks can get away with trying different things because since their location is transient, the menu can be somewhat transient as well. Restaurants are destinations, whereas food trucks are much more happenstance. If their menu does not work, they can, most likely, much more easily modify it than a restaurant.
20. If fuzzy wuzzy was a food truck, what food truck would fuzzy wuzzy be?
Well, I would shorten the name of the food truck to Fuji Wasa’i, and the truck would sell asian fusion sushi. My menu would be:
Fuzi Wasa’i (Shrimp nigiri with choice of 2 sauces)
Wasa’i Bear (Pork belly maki with choice of sauce)
Fusion Wasa’i (BBQ Pork nigiri with choice of 2 sauces)
Hadano Air (Salmon sashimi choice of sauce)
Fuji Wasa’i (yellowfin tuna uramaki roll with apple and choice of sauce)
Wasa’i Berry (filet mignon maki with a raspberry compote and choice of sauce)
Foo Sea Wasa’i (catch of the day uramaki roll and choice of sauce)
That last one was difficult
Mainly because I don’t like sushi
And it is just silly beyond belief
I need to get to sleep
The wife took the red-eye from Cali last night and I picked her up at the airport at 5:20 this morning
I am the tireds
I need to start up the exercising again
The left knee is bothering me again
I have a couple interviews going on right now
Hopefully there will be some interviews to post soon
Turns out Aaron Kuder is one of Marvel’s “Young Guns”
He is one of the best
Congrats to him
I am tired and this needs formatting
Holy crap! This is 20 Questions Tuesday 400, isn't it?
Wow, I do not know how to celebrate stuff
Good night all and
Have a great weekend