Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Food Truck Phenomena




Last August The Food Network brought us "The Great Food Truck Race". This seems to have sparked a phenomena of Gourmet Food Trucks sprouting up in many areas of the country. Miami has been blessed to be in the middle of the phenomena! On Friday Night I had the pleasure of venturing to Kendall , Florida (25-30 min drive) to see what the hullabaloo was all about. I really had no expectations. I had a few "Twitter" bytes with one of the "Organizers" "Miami Food Trucks"and was assured of a "Beast" of a Burger upon arrival!


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 I have to admit I was pleasantly shocked when I arrived. When at a stop light a block before our destination I started to see rows of car after car parked on the sides of the road on the grass. I began to wonder can it be for "The Trucks"? Nooooo c'mon, can it? My dining companion seemed to think something was going on like maybe a "Fair"..but as we got closer we realized, YES it was for the Miami Food Trucks!




video
This is a video upon arrival, it's rough because it was taken at night, but it gives an accurate picture of what I saw upon arrival.
It was jammed! Parking lots, sidewalks, grass, corporate parking lots, milk store parking lots.
People had heard the news, Miami has Gourmet Food Trucks!
We modestly say the crowd was Great! A wait in line for good food was to be had. My companion and I were excited to peruse the area to see who and what was there. There were to be 20 Trucks. Seemed like more. The aromas were fantastic! The array of different tastes was amazing. From Dim Sum to Burgers, Gourmet Grilled Cheese to French Crepes and Korean BBQ! What choices! Miami Restaurants don't offer these choices!
We were quick to note, that many of the trucks were prominently displaying their "Social Network" attachments. Most had "Facebook" Logos and "Twitter" Logos prominently displayed right in their truck's design. This didn't suprise me as this was the way I had found out about the trucks myself. Although Our local TV Network NBC 6 had done a story on them just in the same week. I missed it.
The theme of the nite seemed to be "sample" and go "here and there". I asked many patrons if they had a favorite and not many had one concrete thing that was their favorite. As I moved from Truck to Truck it was Quite clear who the favorites were. The longest lines seemed a clear indicator.


©2011 FoodisLove


A fan favorite seemed to be "Latin Burger & Taco". A Gourmet Food Truck initiated by Ingrid Hoffman, Food Network and Latin Food Television's answer to The Barefoot Contessa. Ingrid started the Food truck just a month before the start of The Food Network inception of "The Great Food Truck Race". hmmm wonder
(I personally waited in that line for over an hour.)



My companion and I decided this was not the best way to spend our time, so we split up after an intial walk around. In my wait in line I came upon a few Young people who were very free with their opinions of the goings on. They had just come from "Ms.Cheezious" who touts a great Menu of Gourmet "Grilled Cheese Sandwiches". My new companions tasted the "Crab and Swiss" and a "Proscuitto and Havarti". The Procscuitto a Hit, while the Crab just "Ok". 


©2011FoodisLove


Meanwhile still waiting in line,  I caught a glimpse of my "Friend" over by Montaco. A Latin Flavor Truck that originated in Montauk, NY, but has emigrated to South Beach for the Winter :) They serve mostly "what else" but Tacos! My "Friend" gave high regard to their Steak Taco, but he said the Fish Taco was by far the BEST he had ever had. (he is from California, where a fish taco is a staple). So if you stop by Montaco, order the Fish Taco! Fantastic!

When my friend was done with Montaco, I sent him off to sample something else.


©2011FoodisLove

He came back with a "Korean BBQ Taco". I had never personally tasted a Korean BBW Taco, but apprently it was good,  before I could ask for a bite, it was GONE! He had stopped at the "All Points Eatery". Their tagline is: "I'm not a chef, I just cook alot". Good for them I say! It was one of the smaller Trailers in the middle section of the crowd. It had a smaller line, I'm sure because it was a "no frills" kind of spot. For me those are the ones I gravitate toward. I am a home-cook. A good one! I know that food doesnt have to be presented on fine china to be good food! My Friend gives it high marks! Give it a try.



Yes, I was still in line at this point. My ear to the ground, listening to other's conversations trying to get a feel of where to send my friend next.The place to try seemed to be "Grill Master". The people in front of me, were apparently doing the same thing I was. Sending scouts out for samples while waiting. So when their scout came back, he raved about the Kobe Beef @ Grill Master. So off my Friend went. The line @ Grill Master was substantial. I made my way to 2nd in line before he came back. when he returned, he was sad to announce that by the time he had reach the Window they had run out of "Kobe". We were disappointed. My Friend said he was not going to have waited in line in vein, so he brought back a Pulled Pork sandwich  and an Order of Onion Rings. I did get a bite of the Pulled Pork Sandwich. It was "ok" not much sauce and loaded with slaw.
For the 11.00 cost of the sandwich, $16.00 with the "O" Rings, My Friend was less than impressed.

Regarding Cost: For the most part Items ran below $5.00. right around the $3.50 - $4.00 range. w/ Grill Master topping out. For the total night we spent approx 40 dollars incl Grill Master. Not bad for a night out, with such range in choices.


©2011FoodisLove

I did get to the front of the line finally @ Latin Buger & Taco..I was dying to order my "Latin Macho". A Chorizo, Chuck & Sirloin Burger, topped with Oaxaca cheese, Carmelized Onions, Jalapeno Peppers (not for me), with Ingrid's Avocadolicious Sauce or Red Pepper Mayo. Doesn't that sound Fantastic? All for the price of $6.75 ! Well, it might have been great. I'm sure for some it was, but once I finally reached the window, they had SOLD OUT!!
I agreed with my Friend, that to wait in line for an Hour I was going to get "something". I ordered a Chicken Mole Taco. Ok, it wasn't the "Macho", but WOW. It was Fantastic! the sauce was authentic and the chicken flavorful! Had I known it would be so great I would have ordered 2.
But I wasn't going back in line for more....



©2011FoodisLove

Lastly for the night, (my feet were killing me) I just wanted something sweet to end the evening.

©2011FoodisLove

I had 3 choices, walk all the way to the other end to see what was happening at "Sugar Rush" a version of Sweetness Bake Shop on wheels", stay up front where I had a choice of Crepes from Caza Crepes, or take a walk back over to "Burger Beast" , where "Fireman Derek" was serving up his "World Famous Pies". I chose Fireman Derek! Thanks to the Burger Beast I was able to have a wonderful Cocnout Cream Pie and My Friend had a Key Lime. They were a great ending to a Very good night!

Thanks so much to Miami Food Trucks for bringing us Delicious Gourmet Samples, Miami is proud to have you! Great Job!
If you'd like to sample any of these trucks or are interested in knowing where they are just click on any of the link and their schedules or info is there. If you click here & follow Miami Food Trucks on Twitter, they update locations multiple times a day.
For a list of Your Local Food Trucks, try this site : http://www.mobilecravings.com/.