In my brief flirtation with Los Angelesfood trucks, I manage to sample, or at least attempt to sample, four diverse offerings that each presented some insight into the current state of street food in LA. I already waxed foodetic about Kogi, whose food may not be worth the 45 to 60 minute wait that can sometimes come with some of their Korean tacos; but, who provides a real value with pretty good grub from an insanely well run truck (or trucks as the case may be).
So against that standard, I was able to frame two other food truck meals and one “are you freaking serious?” failure of epic proportions. We’ll start with the solid, get to the just okay, and wrap it with a serious cry for one truck to get their shit together. Hopefully, in 1500 words or less! #ICanBeVerbose
If you get into a discussion about food trucks, Kogi, a Korean taco truck pronounced with a hard g, is likely to get a mention or two. Not only did Kogi BBQ and chef Roy Choi ignite the truck craze, but they did so by fusing Tex-Mex with Korean food sensibilities. Now a little empire unto itself, Kogi’s story is synonymous with the story of the food truck and its conceptual growth. On any given day in the Los Angeles area, you’ll find one of the Kogi trucks drawing a crowd.
We at Roaming Hunger do our best to keep up with what’s going on in the food truck world (Follow us via @RoamingATL and @RoamingHunger). Thankfully, our job is often times made a bit easier thanks to the work of guys like Todd Brock, the ATLien who moonlights over at Serious Eats.
Brock just posted a little food truck slideshow featuring some of his favorite Atlanta food trucks and street vendors. In all, 11 vendors that encompass everything from popsicles to Korean tacos are featured. Brock took it upon himself to snap a shot of each listed vendor and do a little write up in case you need the 411. Check out who made the list after the jump!
More than a few people have taken notice of Rattletrap Street Coffee. The mobile outlet for Chambers, Pair & Donchey Coffee Company has a habit of showing up at a lot of the popular street food events here in Atlanta. Now, Allies for Razorfish has put together this little ditty for your educational enjoyment. If you haven’t visited with the Rattletrap gang, you can find them simply by following them on twitter via @Rattletrap_ATL!
Tex’s Tacos, an Atlanta Tex-Mexfood truck, is set to open a restaurant (of sorts). Anyone driving on Roswell Road during off hours (aka non-meal time) near its intersection with Irby Ave. is likely to see the bright orange/yellow/red Tex’s Taco truck sitting in front of a tiny little building on a tiny plot of land. That’s 3173 Roswell Rd and it currently serves as the prep kitchen for Mac Helms and Harrison Jones, Tex’s responsible folk.
Helms informed Roaming Hunger via twitter that duo plans to start serving food out of that location in one to two months. It’s a relatively small location, so we suspect that this will be a walk-up eatery with no more than a few tables; however, we haven’t got any more information than what Helms told us. In the meantime, be sure to keep up with Tex’s Tacos over on their Roaming Hunger profile page, where you’ll find pictures, tweets, and a location map to help you keep track of Tex’s at all times. You can also follow the truck directly via @TexsTacos
Back in early June, The Great Food Truck Race came storming into Atlanta. The Food Network’sfood truck TV show was filming the penultimate episode of their season two competition. Well, TFN has just released the trailer (aka preview) for the upcoming season. So all you food truck fans, mark your calendar as the show kicks off on August 14th at 10pm/9 central. Oh, and for all of you anxious fans, check out Roaming Hunger’s recap of the Atlanta stop as well as my review of what came off the trucks.
The tale of the WOW Food Truck is a long and sordid tale of murder, intrigue, betrayal, and arepas. Okay, not so much on the first three, but yes on those Venezuelan corn-cakes. Wonderlicious on Wheels, aka WOW in its short form, is a brand new food truck from Wendy Cross and her partners at Duck’s Cosmic Kitchen. Launched just this week, we at RoamingHunger.com made sure to get all the meaty details.
WOW’s inception dates back to New York City in 2008/2009. At the time, street food wasn’t even a word in Atlanta’s lexicon and the explosion was in its infancy in other cities. Cross was visiting her brother in New York and looking for a something different for dinner. Her brother David, yes … THAT David, suggested that Wendy and her partner check out an arepa joint.
Having exactly no idea what an arepa was, it took Cross some time to realize that her brother wasn’t pulling a fast one on her. No, the comedic ruffian was in fact suggesting that Wendy try out one of those corn-cake sandwiches popular in Venezuela, Colombia, and much of Latin America. After just one bite, Cross made a promise to herself: “I have got to bring these to Atlanta.” Roughly two-years later, she has made good on that promise.
Oh, and before we get too far into this, it should be known that I didn’t suddenly go all DSLR like Jimmy or instantaneously morph into Smetko. No, the reasons these pictures look so silky smooth is on account of one Laura Polmear. She did some hunting around the festival and was kind enough to provide Foodie Buddha with the kick ass shots. Heck, she even grabbed a shot of that lamb gyro I got to sample (more on that in a bit). Anywho, if you’d like to see the full scope of her skills, check out the Flickr Howell Mill Food Park set and then look at her blog. But I digress …
I’ve garnered a reputation for being a bit of a hard ass on Atlanta restaurants and restaurateurs. I still see our culinary landscape as lagging significantly behind cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. However, it’s often hard to compare such things, especially when you can’t exactly have a meal in two cities at the same time. However, with the advent of the mobile food kitchen (and thanks to reality TV), ATLiens were given an opportunity to see what things might be like elsewhere. And though something isn’t better just because it’s in another city, most of what rolled into town on Memorial Day Weekend should serve as a notice to both foodies and truck operators: we can do better.