If you haven't had a chance to read my article about learning to like food trucks, go find a copy and read it!
If you have, and want to tell me I'm an idiot or agree with me or tell me I'm an idiot AND agree with me, have at it in the comments.
Here's the intro:
Last time I checked, you could get dumplings at any Chinese restaurant, high-quality gourmet ice cream from, you know, the grocery store and pizza just about anywhere.
So why do so many swear by buying those same foodstuffs off a truck?
OK, so maybe your standard Chinese take-out dumpling isn’t going to have Chirba Chirba’s Grass is Greener, stuffed with mustard greens, collards, smoked tofu, mung bean vermicelli and roasted turnips.
And you can’t go anywhere other than Pie Pushers for a State of Nirvana: pesto, roasted chicken, caramelized onions, spinach, bleu cheese and mozzarella piled atop the “Durham-style” hand-tossed thin crust that chef/owner Mike Hacker developed with help from his mother.
But still. Is any of that really worth standing in line for 30 minutes or more, then eating outdoors? Especially considering there are so many mom-and-pop brick-and-mortars that can do similarly delicious things at the same price point with air conditioning, indoor plumping and ample seating? My position always has been: not really.
This, of course, is sacrilege of the highest order among our city’s foodie faithful. Food trucks are a symbol of our innovative spirit and part of the “cool” factor so highly prized by everyone from devout locavore hipsters to the Chamber of Commerce. (Note: I realize it was totally uncool to put “cool” in quotes. Get used to my squareness.)
But my admittedly few prior visits to food trucks left me underwhelmed with the experience and, frankly, the food. Some of that I chalked up to overhype, so I hit the reset button and set out to discover what I’d been missing.
If nothing else, it was an interesting journey. A hot, ant-infested, patience-testing, often tasty, sometimes disappointing, surprisingly expensive, interesting journey.