POST REVIVAL -
So is LA the only place that this is totally like a THING or are these big in your home town?
If you live anywhere in Los Angeles, you have no doubt eaten off a “Taco Truck” in the past for a quick lunch or a late night grab after clubbing or working late, but chances are before 2010, you didn’t follow your Taco Truck on Twitter, Track who was eating there on Foursquare or FAN it on Facebook. With the invention of these new tools and the resurgence of Street Food Integrity, Food Trucks are making a huge comeback and lines are around the block!
As a kid I remember seeing the trucks parked in the neighborhood, silver or white usually with a name hand painted across the sides. They were usually surrounded by Men mostly; ordering food, eating. laughing, standing around. When I entered the work-force, the trucks were a lunchtime inevitability, people joked about grabbing a burrito or taco off the “Roach Coach” which left an indellible image in my mind that I needed to overcome to enjoy the new level of Street Food available now. This is not your Father’s Food Truck.
With the invention and more importantly BOOM of Twitter, Street Food is now stalked down! A truck can park in Venice Beach, tweet/facebook it’s location and wait for the lines to begin. People from Downtown, Pasadena, Culver City even Long Beach will actually drive to find it after work, as a dinner treat! They will wait in a huge line with the threat of the food running out before they get to the window just to eat a magnificent GRILLED CHEESE! This is what happens every day for thethat boasts gourmet Melty Goodness. Their website outlines their menu and features a lot of “cheesey” graphics! and of course gives a schedule of where you can find them. The Grilled Cheese Truck was the first of these new animals to catch my attention, mainly because I am a Grilled Cheese fanatic, but also because I saw it mentioned more than a few times on Twitter by people who are definitely NOT your classic “food truck” eaters. I decided, I must find this truck and taste the Cheese!
A short Google session later I was amazed to find more than 40 such Gourmet Trucks including, The Buttermilk Truck, The Kobi Truck, The Flying Pig, Taco Zone Truck, and more… and as I was bookmarking and adding to my Twitter Follows, I found findlafoodtrucks.com and realized... THIS IS A WHOLE NEW BREED OF STREET FOOD VENDORS, something is happening here! Making the most of the new Social Media tools and the Foodie Fusion Crowd as well as Los Angeles’ love for being in on something exclusive that you have to wait in a huge line for… these Rolling Gourmets have opened up a line of business that their parents never dreamed possible for their service.
A Social Phenomenon?
People who follow the Food Trucks use the opportunity to socialize with others in line and meet people they normally wouldn’t have a chance or reason to talk to. They use the trucks as a central meeting point with friends from different cities, so they can Eat and then move to other plans for the evening and some people bring folding chairs and sort of tail gate around trucks that have stationary locations like the Tacos trucks in Downtown who are always located in the Alameda/Traction parking lot. Where is the party at? Just follow a food truck!
In an economy where companies are contracting and people are watching every penny, these small businesses have found a way to “sell out” their product on a regular basis and leave their audience begging for more! Much of the Social Media Advertising is bogus and annoying, intrusive and flat, but for these Small Business Owners, it has been a perfect fit and wisely used. BRAVO!
If you are thinking of starting a Gourmet Food Truck, now is the time, but make sure you are Social Media Saavy and offer something either in the Comfort Food arena, Ethnic Goodness or a Fusion that make mouths water. So far I haven’t run across a CUPCAKE truck! So maybe that is an idea! A lot of my readers are out of state, so perhaps starting your own Food Truck Movement in town would be a fun idea!
A Quick List of Food Trucks: