- Celebrating the indie spirit: owned and operated
In my little city chains abound, so I'm crushing on food trucks... all two of them. Used to be three, but the BBQ food truck on the Jonesborough Highway folded a few months back. When new ones spring up my fb friends and I squee with glee at the sightings and we mobilize via smartphones updating the when and the where. I'm all about supporting the independent food operator, the single chef operating on her/his own, trying to make a living doing what they love; following the bliss where it leads, so supporting authentic food when and where it appears with my mouth, intestines, and money is my main priority.
- Bringing the flavor: the secret sauce
What is the secret sauce? So many things. Great food prepared to order. Generational recipes. Maybe ethic in origin, possibly new to the region the food truck serves. Excellent condiments--a true secret sauce whose ingredients the chef doesn't disclose only says "a mix of vegetables..." Easy rapport at the widow when customers place orders. Conviviality between customers as they make menu recommendations, some ordering to go and others resting at picnic tables and ordering seconds and third rounds of fajitas, empanadas, plantains.
- Serving the masses: location, location, location
Don't know about your locale, but my experience is that food trucks are a gendered experience. Unless you work outside, you don't eat outside and don't get to know food trucks. It's mostly men eating at food trucks 'round here. But that's likely not a national trend at all and doesn't fit what I've seen in cities. Unless, one gender is more concerned about their calorie intake (hell, there's skinny cocktails & skinny vodkas) and not likely to indulge at the food truck? And my point about location is likely local, too. Food trucks are situated in outlying areas: church parking lots, empty lots, lots in-between shopping centers. Haven't interviewed my potential food truck victims yet, so I don't know the specifics about arrangements they've made with property owners, but their locations are curious because as far as food goes, our food trucks are in primo locations for feeding folks in transition--as in running errands at lunchtime or leaving the univeristy in the evening. Thus food trucks are notable for being the only viable non-chain food option available for a mile. That was the case for the BBQ food truck until a fast food chain fish place came up not long ago. I'm sure that explains it all and proves my theory.