Our February Guest Blogger, Dine Out with Mike writes about the local Food Truck Invasion in Wellington and the trucks that visit the Amphitheater on Thursday nights.
How to Navigate the Food Truck Invasions
Picture this. You are driving along, wondering what to have for lunch or dinner. You begin to see all these unusually different, colorful trucks around you, all heading in the same direction. As you get closer to some of them, you notice they are Food Trucks with all different types of specialty foods showing on their sides. So you are intrigued enough to follow them to see where they’re all headed. Finally, you arrive at the rondevous point, and you see them all parking in a huge circle, and opening their windows on the sides of the truck to reveal full kitchens in each one. You park your car, get out and stand in the center and think, “Hmm, This is incredible. What should I get to eat?” Well, having been to all but one of the Wellington Food Truck Invasions, this is how I suggest you navigate the over two dozen (sometimes up to 60) trucks that are there are at each event. The first thing you should do, as I tell everyone, is to begin at one end of the line of trucks (or start at the northern end, if it’s a circle). Take your time, and go to each truck, one by one, and read the menu’s before you decide on anything. You will want to see what each truck has, because for the most part, they all have a special theme to their menu’s. That, and you will want to try a different truck each week, like I do.
With that said, check them all out one by one. Try to see which one sounds like you might want to come back and take a closer look. You can start narrowing it down by the trucks who have things that you may not have tried before, and sounds like something you might be interested in. There are foods that may just not be your thing, but never rule them out until you try them at least once. Hey, I never liked the look of Guacamole, but once I tried it, I was hooked. I have my own list of things I like and don’t like, and I go by that when I decide which one to dine at each week. Occasioanlly I get brave, and just try something completely new. So, after you have gone to each truck, and checked out the menu’s, you are ready to start narrowing your choices. The best thing to do is decide how hungry you are. I usually like to try an appetizer from one truck, an entree from another truck, and still a dessert from another truck. Keep in mind, these are NOT your usual catering trucks, and we all know the nicknames for those trucks. These trucks are mostly owned and operated by trained Chef’s, who make almost all of the food to order. You can “have it your way”, so to speak. For most of them, this is their livelihood, and they do this in a different spot every day.
Anyway, back to the navigation. When deciding what to have, first decide what you want for an appetizer. There are trucks that specialize in french fries, (ie: BFF, Top Fries, Fry Daddy, etc., although some of the other trucks also sell fries). I like to start there. I get an order of fries, (which for the most part are huge), and I walk around nibbling on those while I decide what the “entree” truck is going to be this week. Taking my time with the fries gives me time to think about what I’m in the mood for. There are trucks with a Taco theme, such as B.C.Tacos, trucks that specilaize in burgers, such as Bite Gastrotruck, trucks with a Mediterranean theme, trucks with a BBQ theme, trucks with a southern home cooking theme,such as Food Junkies, trucks with a Philly Cheesesteak theme, trucks with an Italian theme, even trucks with Vegetarian themes. There are trucks with International foods, such as International Classic Cuisine. There are trucks that have seafood such as Pescados Unidos. There are trucks with specific ethnic themes, such as SpringIn RollOut, which has delicious Vietnamese offerings (those are spring rolls pictured below).
My personal favorite flavor combinations are Gianduia (hazelnut and chocolate) gelato dipped in milk chocolate and topped with crushed hazelnuts. It’s like a nutella explosion and it’s fantastic. Another personal favorite includes pistachio gelato dipped in dark chocolate and topped with crushed pretzels. However, on hot summer days my go-to is a simple coconut pop. The reality is, you can’t go wrong with whatever gelato or sorbet pop you end up deciding on because they’re all delicious.
There are frozen Yogurt trucks, fozen Gelato trucks,such as HipPops (pictured above), Frozen Ice’s trucks, and specialty dessert trucks, like Dolce Gourmet Cupcakes. So, as you can see, there is something for everyone from at least one of these trucks each week. Once in a while, I stroll over between the entree and dessert course to have a frozen margarita (or two), at the local mexican restaurant in the plaza next door to the Wellington Food Truck Invasion. Of course not everyone enjoys eating from food trucks, and that’s why this country is so great. You don’t have to. But, if you are adventurous, and are willing to give it a try, you just might have a lot of fun. It can get crowded quickly. Some of the trucks have very long lines, but that’s because they are both good, and cooked to order. So please be patient. Trust me, it will be worth the waite. The people in the trucks are all very friendly and eager to please.
Also keep in mind, there is very little seating and walking and eating can be tricky at times. There is plenty of space to bring your own chairs or folding tables, and enjoy the cuisine, and some of the events have live music or DJ’s to add to the fun. Make it a family affair, and enjoy. Bon Appetit !!!
– Dine Out With Mike
Pictures courtesy of Dine Out with Mike