Fresh off his tour last week of BoCoCA, Brian has returned this week with a rundown on some of the many NYC food trucks, whose profileration in the last few years can only be described as an explosion. There’s a bit of an “arms race” to offer the most unique and quality food, right off the street. These ain’t your father’s food trucks! Bon Appetit!
If any American city has been swept by the food truck phenomenon, it is New York. But urban food trucks have evolved away from the traditional “roach coach”, or the ever-recognizable Mr. Softee. Over the past decade or so, the variety of truck-served cuisine has exploded, creating somewhat of an entire mobile food industry.
Street food has long been a New York City staple, but never to this extent (until now). Coffee and tea trucks host a range of complementary desserts and pastries; a bistro on wheels, what a concept! But the coffee truck isn’t the only one zipping through the city. Today, these trucks are fitted out to serve up almost anything, from grilled cheese to quiches to Korean BBQ. Several gourmet food trucks are grabbing parking spots all over town, and are creating some buzz while serving up high-quality meals from an unusual venue.
But how do you know where to find these trucks? EASY. There are plenty of ways to get up-to-date information on the location of the food truck you’re looking for. The best method that I have come across is the Mobile Munchies Twitter feed (moderated by New York Street Food), where individual trucks post their current and future locations, along with timetables and daily deals. Also, most vendors have their own website with a menu and schedule for the current week. Some of the popular ones even provide a number to place phone orders, making one of the quickest meals even quicker.
I decided to set out to Union Square one evening to grab a bite from the some of the trucks in the area. I visited the Mobile Munchies Twitter feed to see who was in the area, and as always, several trucks were parked within a few blocks of each other. My first stop was Korilla BBQ, which still had their window open, but had run out of all meat and most vegetables by the time I arrived (≈8:15PM). So, on I went. I walked to the west side of the park to find three open trucks: the Pizza Truck, the Frying Dutchmen, and a regular Mr. Softee. The Pizza Truck offered dollar slices of cheese pizza only, which tasted like a dollar slice. Nothing special. In fact, I have had much better dollar slices elsewhere downtown (namely 2 Bros Pizza).
Parked in front of the pizza truck was a Belgian fries truck called the Frying Dutchman. As a lover of Pommes Frites in the East Village, I felt it was necessary to make the comparison. I ordered half regular fries and half sweet potato fries with a variety of dipping sauces. My favorites were the Truffle Shuffle and the Maple Apple Butter, but the food as a whole was a little disappointing. The quality of the fries was nothing to rave about, and the other sauces were just OK. Although not on wheels, Pommes Frites is a much better option for around the same price. Also, I noticed later that the worker who handled the transaction ripped me off a dollar fifty, so I won’t be visiting the Frying Dutchmen again.
I walked over to Sixth Avenue and up to 21st street where a waffle truck was stationed. Wafels & Dinges is one of the city’s waffle trucks, and being bright yellow, it’s easy to spot. The menu has some interesting takes on the waffle that are worth checking out. A few things caught my eye, like the Pulled Pork Waffles, but I decided to settle on the WMD. Called the “Waffle of Mass Deliciousness”, this waffle was topped with slices of strawberries and whipped cream, and was drizzled with Nutella. The people behind the truck counter were very friendly and seemed genuinely happy to be working there. Although a little pricy, the waffles were incredibly tasty, and I will definitely be back to try the Pulled Pork Waffles.
A street lunch no longer means just Halal food or a hot dog. Grab a truck-made healthy shake and a schnitzel, or for dinner, visit one of New York’s lobster trucks. With such a variety of ethnic flavors, eating out no longer requires you to enter a storefront. Mobile food has never been easier, and who knows, your favorite food truck might just come to YOU!
I know the Korilla BBQ truck is a favorite of many here in the Urban Edge office, although I have yet to check it out personally. One of my favorite NYC food trucks for a little pick-me-up is the Cupcake Stop truck, which often can be found parked around the corner from our office. They have a rotating selection of 50 flavors, and you can get mini cupcakes if you want to sample several.. Try the Red Velvet cupcakes, or the Key Lime, two of my favorites. I can’t wait to try to French Toast and Bacon cupcake… anything with bacon, is OK with me.