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Food Truck Revolution

I guess that owing to not living in a dense urban environment, the "Food Truck Revolution" escaped my notice while I wasn't watching. Yea, I'd heard bits & pieces here and there—I seem to recall a local public radio show covering some of the antagonisms in Oakland and San Francisco between food truck licensing/permitting and brick & mortar restaurants. The fixed locations want more barriers and the food trucks want none. Go figure.

The cool thing about food trucks is that they can easily track sales by location, and rather than having to spend money marketing and counting on people to come to them, they just gradually evolve to going where the business is best; that is, if they are relatively free to do so.

I remember back in the day, working on construction sites as a kid and frequenting the catering trucks, which were basically just outlets for packaged stuff like sandwiches and burritos. Even in Japan, there was a catering truck concession that would make its rounds from pier to pier on the Yokosuka US Navy base. We affectionately referred to it as "The Roach Coach."

By the looks of things, they've come a long way, now sporting flashy designs, quality food, friendly service and the whole deal. Earlier this summer Beatrice & I went down to a site in Saratoga, CA, the old La Hacienda and I snapped some photos. You can clip to open the larger versions, especially the menus.

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Well it's a very welcome thing for me. Anything that can motivate people to make better, quality food choices. Looks to me that there's plenty of fare for foodies in general and even "Paleos" alike.

I settled on the massaman curry over rice, extra spicy. Since it's already in a stew, exra spice was provided by red chili flakes. Yikes! I did end up removing about half of them.

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Massaman Beef Curry

Bea & I then split a tuna sashimi taco dish.

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Over the years we've all heard talk about how it would be great to have Paleo restaurants and I believe there might be a few here and there. But given the relative simplicity of Paleo (meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, nuts) it seems to me that a food truck or even a food cart is the way to go. Far less investment and risk is diminished because if one location isn't working out you can find another.

Looks like Charles Aguiling is doing just such a thing in Seattle.

Most impressively, his Kickstarter project to raise $20,000 was successful to the tun of over $22,000 raised. I wish him all success. Hopefully, he or his partners can pop into comments and let us know how things are going, projected launch, and so on.

...Ah, and here's two more. Would love to hear in comments about how things are going for these folks.

Very cool. Let the trend continue. I'm already impressed with the general quality of what I'm seeing and it seems there's always a choice or two that's pretty damn Paleo, but this is an opportunity to be an ambassador for kicking things up just another notch or two.

Any others? Promote away and needless to say, any of you in these areas, stop in and get some food.

Comments

  1. *cough* East Side King *cough*

  2. Hey guys! Thanks for the shout out and support. Not So Fast! Is doing extremely well here in San Diego! People are finally starting to realize that quality wholesome “fast food” exists. This truck has been the best thing to ever happen to us and we are grateful for all of the love and support. We will keep spreading the good food word as long as y’all keep being hungry!

  3. I think these are a great idea – makes me wish I lived in London. There are quite a few there which are getting a good reputation.

  4. Bigs thumbs up on Caveman Truck here in Indy. Had their Leo Tacos a couple of weeks ago (Sausage spiced with cayenne and cumin topped with a slaw of organic cucumber, organic carrot, organic cantaloupe, and cabbage with citrus balsamic dressing on a jicama shell). So good. The jicama shell was awkward at first as it is large diameter, but thin. It was easier to cut it up. The jicama adds a nice crunch.

  5. Thanks a ton for the mention Richard! Things are going well in Indianapolis. It is very rewarding to feel so appreciated by the community. The jicama is sliced thin on a mandoline (or meat slicer if you have it) soaked in water to keep it pliable and heated before taco time. You already know I LOVE you fatbread recipe and as soon as I get a large enough oven on the truck I will have it on my menu.

    • That’s a great idea, Shelby, and I’m sure you’ll be able to play with it to make it a real winner with customers (I’m thinking things like onion focaccia, olive, rosemary, dill….those sorts of things).

      Also, note that because of the fat content, it behaves like a cake. We leave out loaves completely out in the open, covered only by a mesh to keep flies off. I think it’s 5-6 days since I made a loaf and it’s still fresh. So, you might be able to bake in a different facility and keep on the truck.

      …Not sure you’ll want to be calling it it Fat Bread, though. :) One step at a time.

  6. I think food trucks are a great ideal. It would be cool to see them around college campuses. A restaurant quality lunch on the go.

  7. For a small southern city Richmond is fucking nuts about Thai food, it’s everywhere. One of the better RVA food trucks is Thai Cabin. The lady who runs it always knows I’m the one who likes my panang gai without rice, so she throws in a little more steamed broccoli.

  8. I have a very small pizza oven that I may try it in. I think maybe a muffin pan not filled up and it will turn out like a hamburger bun. Animal bread has a nice ring to it and gives you credit. Thoughts ?

  9. Tom Scott says:

    Here is another kickstarter effort in Portland, Or.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/culturedcaveman/cultured-caveman-portlands-first-100-paleo-food-ca

    Haven’t been there yet. I usually make it to Portland about monthly in the summer but have only been there once this year.

    In their video the fail to mention Feed the Animal but give ‘em a shout anyway.

  10. Lute Nikoley says:

    Yeah Richard, you remember when working on the Lakeridge project in Reno, we didn’t ever really have great food, mostly donuts or Danish in the mornings.

  11. We’ve got the caveman cafeteria here in Denver. This food truck just started up about 3 months ago. Their short ribs with marrow sauce is delicious. That’s all I’ve had so far. You can find them on twitter as denvercaveman I think. They hang out at Crossfit gyms and seem to be doing ok. Although the owner is a comedian and so gets a lot of comedy club catering gigs.

  12. To track down other paleo trucks I have a public list compiled on my twitter account @cavemantruck. We have a gluten free/paleo baked goods truck getting off the ground now here in Indy, Chapie Cakes. There is another truck in Denver called the Paleo Wagon. There is also The Health Nut on Wheels in Miami.

  13. Galina L. says:

    My son is a student in the University of South Florida in Tampa. Every time when I visit him in Tampa, we go to the local famous food spot – the Taco bus. Food there is very high quality, fresh, delicious, and rather cheep, the place is open 24/7, looks quite rustic. Of course, students just love it. It that bus they even serve a beef tong and a pumpkin. As a low-carber , I skip the taco itself, but the rest is perfect for me.

  14. This bus isn’t paleo, but close enough that I think we can get them to cater to our requests when we visit so we decided to contribute. It’s another kickstarter campaign as well. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/445734001/two-blokes-and-a-bus