Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Food Truck Poll Examined

Let us swing our sporks in the air and lay claim to conquering the mighty food truck…..or not!?!?

The only conclusion to be drawn from the recent food truck poll is that people are very polarized as to their willingness to embrace this up and coming trend. Either you’re willing to drive across town for a food truck treat or you wouldn’t touch their tacos if they pulled right up in your cull de sac. Eliminate my vote and it’s split straight 50/50.

Is that biodesial? Does that fryer oil run straight through the engine? How does the Department of Health visit if you don’t have an address? How long have those dogs been in that water or how long has that foie terrine been around? I got some warm nuts while in NYC a long time ago. They where the best nuts I’ve ever had. I tried the hot dog cart a few times working down town….give it up for the dog cart guys that’s a tough life! I think I even had a bite from the famed OU burrito buggy back in the day. Obviously I’ve not died since and it seems logical that for these individuals to continue doing business they need to be clean which seems to be a lot of peoples concern.

There seems to be a lot more prepared food out there for our consumption. For instance I remember going to the West Side Market as a child and the only prepared food available was a pizza bagel, and boy these were a great treat, but now there are an overflowing handful of prepared food stands. The deli counter has made similar progressions, along with the frozen food sections. People want a meal, they want it quick and easy, and the food truck is helping us get that.

Here in Cleveland we are just now embracing the food truck, but in Columbus there seems to be a much more established community. Blogger Bethia Woolff has a great insight on the capital cities local taco truck scene. And Jamie Wright brought to light some other transportable kitchens of interest such as the Rad Dog offering some vegan items, or Foodie Cart which offers Japanese crepes and can be accessed on Facebook.

What’s my take? As a chef I can appreciate the food truck as a now viable option to get a foothold in the business aspect of the culinary arts. As a consumer I can appreciate the price point that comes with a food truck. Yet I’m somewhat skeptical about food safety, but like I stated before it is in the best interest of the food truck operator to keep up sanitary conditions. Looking into it more I would be interested in seeking out an ethnic based food truck, something unique. On the other hand if I can get the same thing at the corner restaurant I’m willing to pay a few extra dollars for the giant flat screen with Sportscenter and the A/C blasting.

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