Wednesday, May 7, 2014

It’s A New Season…

Spring is finally upon us, and to other self-proclaimed foodies out there, that only means one thing – it’s food truck season! I cannot tell you how excited I am to stroll down Marquette Avenue and 2nd Avenue to try new food trucks and visit my old favorites. Click here for a map with the locations of various food trucks in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

For my first food truck stop of the season, I went to a favorite of mine – The Moral Omnivore. Their wild rice sliders are topped with rosemary pickled radish and a lingonberry wine reduction and are ridiculously good. My other two favorite food trucks are Hola Arepa and Vellee Deli. Hola Arepa serves Latin cuisine and specializes in Venezuelan stuffed arepas. As some of you may know, the owners of Hola Arepa are opening a brick and mortar restaurant on Nicollet Avenue and East 35th Street. Unfortunately, their food truck will not be making the rounds until a few weeks after the restaurant opens, but don’t worry—if you are like me, you can get your fix at the new restaurant next week! Vellee Deli specializes in the fusion of Asian and Mexican cuisine. Their truck can generally be found outside of Capella tower on 2nd Avenue and 6th Street. 

As we enter food truck season, the ongoing conflict between food trucks and skyway restaurants will likely become more evident. In particular, some of you may remember when the owner of Peter's Grill asserted that the primary reason his restaurant closed was due to the popularity of food trucks. As Andrew Zimmern stated, it is the great food that food trucks serve that drives customers away from the skyway restaurants. One can just look to the number of food trucks that have developed into brick and mortar restaurants to see their success. For example, in the past few years, World Street Kitchen (another favorite of mine!), Smack Shack, and Hola Arepa have all opened restaurants due to the success of their food trucks.

As with most things, customers are driven to the product that provides them with the most utility. Food trucks offer a wide variety of excellent food nearby with prices that are comparable to skyway restaurants. Think about it – on one block, you can choose among Mexican, Indian, Contemporary American, Italian, or Asian food, all more innovative than your standard salad or sandwich that you can get in the skyway. Not to mention how great it is to see the sun while enjoying good food with friends and colleagues after being in hibernation mode all winter.

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