Some chefs get their training at a formal cooking school, or by coming up through the ranks of the service industry. The three brothers behind Basic Kneads Pizza? They learned their craft in the family kitchen. Consisting of a food truck, a trailer, and a custom hybrid, they offer their wood-fired pizzas all over the area. They use locally-milled organic flour to craft their crusts, which are cooked — along with the toppings, of course — at 700-800 degrees before being served up fresh to the waiting masses. Margherita, Meatza (pepperoni, sausage, chicken), and Sweet Thai Chili Chicken are just a few of the options available, and for those of you watching your wheat intake, they also offer Udi's gluten-free crust for a nominal fee.
We've seen several well-known chefs get their starts on food trucks, but rarely does it happen the other way around. Pepe is the sparkling silver food truck of José Andrés — Pepe is his nickname — serving up delicious Spanish sandwiches to the hungry masses inside the Beltway. Standouts include the Pepito de Ibérico, featuring Ibérico pork, Serrano ham, roasted green peppers, caramelized onions, and aioli, the Pollo Frito with fried chicken, the Escalivada with roasted vegetables, and the Gazpacho. Finding the truck via its Twitter feed is easy. Choosing what to order? Not so much.
The Twin Cities' best roast beef sandwich doesn't come from a drive-thru window, but it might come from the side of a truck. Launched last year after successfully raising startup capital on Kickstarter, Bloomy's Roast Beef has quickly become a local favorite thanks to its certified Hereford vegetarian-fed roast beef that's slow roaster in an organic, gluten-free marinade. Aside from the many roast beef sandwiches, this diner-style truck also offers mac & cheese, coleslaw, mashed potatos and gravy, organic corn, and both fries and tots, either of which can be ordered with a side of beer cheese sauce.
C-bus has no shortage of barbecue joints, but it might surprise you to know that arguably the best BBQ in town doesn't come from a restaurant at all. Open only on the weekends, Ray Ray's Hog Pit has quickly become a staple of the local food truck scene, dishing out fantastic pulled pork, brisket, and racks of ribs from a black truck that's parked with walking distance of several neighborhood bars. Side include the traditional mac & cheese, slaw, baked beans, and greens, but the real highlight is the four housemade sauces, which include Sweet, Fresh Jalepeño, Fire Roasted Habanero, and Vinegar Base.
When most people think of Miami, they think of seafood, Cuban cuisine, and cocktails — yet it also happens to be home to some of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the country. Ms. Cheezious is the food truck slinging them, offering patrons a build-your-own option, as well as clever takes on the comfort food classic that involve bacon and blue cheese, sliced apples and havarti, and crab meat with cheddar. Chili, tomato soup, and regular, sweet potato, and cheese fries round out the offerings, which move around from day-to-day — so be sure to check their website or Twitter feed to see when they'll be served up near you.
What do you do with training from the Culinary Institute of America and experience cooking at a three-Michelin-starred restaurant? You start a Beastie Boys-themed food truck, of course. The Eatsie Boys serve up awesome eats like the No Sleep 'Til Philly steak sandwich, Pork Revere platter, and Da Bomb baguette from their Intergalactic Food Truck, and now serve an expanded menu of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, soups, and Frozen Awesome ice cream from their standalone Cafe on Montrose. Coming soon to crash a (bouncy) house party near you.
Straight form the farm to your mouth isn't just an idea — it's a reality for the folks at The Purple Carrot. This brightly-colored truck cruises the East Lansing area serving up super-fresh meals formed from ingredients taken straight from local farmers, who let them know what's fresh. Soups, sandwiches, and salads are on offer, typically with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options available. Just be sure to show up early, because treats like smoked sweet potato soup and carrot cake pops won't last all day.
Clever names will only get you so far — so it's good that Taceaux Loceaux backs up its inspired moniker with great food. As the name suggests, this food truck serves up tacos with a Nola kick, but fear not that everything it serves will be Creole-infused. Options range from the classic bulgogi chicken to a BBQ brisket taco and, yes, even one that's slathered with andouille sausage. As with most food trucks, be prepared to check the truck's Facebook and/or Twitter pages to find out when it will be serving up its stuffs at a spot near you.
Who better to bring Creole cuisine to the Pacific Northwest than a New Orleans expat? Where Ya At is the food truck child of Culinary Institute of America graduate Matt Lewis, offering up classic Louisiana treats like po' boys, muffulettas, jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice, shrimp and grits, corn bread, and desserts like sweet potato and pecan pies and, of course, jambalaya. Of particular note is the Peacemaker, a po' boy packing fried oysters, bacon, pickled hot peppers, and cheddar cheese, but whatever you choose, you're sure to enjoy a taste of the bayou in every bite.
It doesn't need to be breakfast time for you to enjoy the goodies emanating from Waffles de Liege. This gourmet food truck serves up delicious Liege waffles — not to be confused with the far more common Brussels style — that are made with Belgian pearl sugar and a richer dough, resulting in a slightly crispy exterior that's chewy and warm on the inside. Enjoy one the traditional way, with powdered suger, or with toppings like Fosselman's ice cream, fresh fruit, whipped cream, or our favorite, Nutella.
Most food trucks are based on a particular food — hot dogs, bbq, ice cream — or style, so it's refreshing to see one that's genuinely unique. Hailing from the make-believe lands of Merlindia and Benethiopia, the Fojol Bros. serve up Indian-influenced food from a shiny silver truck. Look past the silly costumes and fake moustaches, and you'll find solid offerings like chuicken curry over basmati rice and spinach and cheese with injera, a teff-based bread. They also offer frozen Lossipops to calm down your taste buds after spicy meals, and you can also feel good about your purchase knowing that a portion of the proceeds go to help at-risk youth programs in the area.
We've seen a lot of food trucks, but far, far fewer food trailers. Operating out of a customized vintage 1962 Airstream, Gastropod is a shining silver source of tastyness, serving up Chef Jeremiah's creations with a side of fun. The menu is constantly changing, but always uses the freshest fish, meats, and produce available to create everything from burgers and hot dogs to tacos and dim sum. No matter what's on the menu, you should give the short rib sliders a try if they're available — trust us, you won't regret it.