Despite having started over four years ago, gourmet food trucks have survived the test of time and remains a solid trend today. Anyone who only believes in the old “roach coach” stereotype has not ventured out to try food from a gourmet food truck. Nowadays however, an abundance of new food trucks have surfaced called their food gourmet, attempting to capitalize on the uprising popularity of food trucks. Sadly, many of the new food trucks make food of mediocre quality, thus tarnishing the reputation of the true gourmet food trucks. I go out and test these food trucks so you can know which ones deserve your patronage. Check out the five food trucks below that I recommend seeking out this winter. You may find some pleasant & delectable surprises at these, as well as any food trucks that they roll with when you visit them.
West Texas Egg Roll
If you want to open a gourmet food truck, you certainly cannot go wrong with comfort food. Food truck followers can tolerate new and experimental foods, but to the masses, the food trucks have to serve something familiar to get that initial following going. Rolling out almost once a week or less, Texas Chili Pie Co. brings a taste of Texas to Los Angeles. This food truck serves traditional and fusion variants of Fritos & Chili. Many of their creations come in a tortilla bowl, while some get rolled into an egg roll and fried. The result of the latter comes out looking like a fried burrito stuffed with chili or BBQ beef. If you want to appeal to many people, how can you go wrong with chili and BBQ beef? Honestly, for as simple as it appears, it tastes comforting, despite how many calories each pie contains. If you crave a meaty guilty pleasure, seek out Texas Chili Pie Co.
Quatro Formaggi w/ Prosciutto
Typical American consumers order pizza in order to feed a large amount of people for a low price. Although not mass produced, the quality remains fairly average. When you start to see an increase in the quality of the pizza, typically the size decreases as a tradeoff. Sometimes you need this size decrease in order to deliver a high quality pizza fit for one serving. For pizza like this, follow the large woodfire oven on wheels known as TJ’s Woodfire Pizza. More than a food truck, this massive woodfire oven in a trailer broils authentic Neapolitan woodfired pizza for customers in no time flat. The menu contains typical toppings of pizza, such as classic like margherita and BBQ chicken to lesser common toppings like quattro formaggi (four cheese) and chicken pesto. Technically one pizza can serve two people, but after one bite, why bother sharing? You will want the entire pizza to yourself once you bite into the soft thin crust with a harmonizing blend of sauce, cheese, and toppings. Make this one pizza pie you will want seconds of.
Grilled Pork & Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Salad
With the influx of gourmet food trucks, people had to shed their preconceived notions of the roach coach stereotype. Instead, most food trucks received a new branding of “good food, not good for you” in response to the massive amounts of calories, carbs, fats, and more in the food. Since most food trucks fall under this category, finding a food truck with healthy eats feels refreshing. As one of LA’s few vegan-friendly food trucks, Mandoline Grill proves that you can eat great food that will not make you feel guilty about eating it. This Vietnamese food truck serves sandwiches, noodles, salads, tacos, and nachos, all Vietnamese style complete with meat and veggies. While sandwiches and noodles contain plenty of carbs, people watching their diet should look towards the tacos or salads. Tacos come on corn tortillas and contain meat, pickled carrots & daikon, cilantro, and hot sauce. All these ingredients benefit your health more than do harm. For a larger and even healthier meal, opt for a salad – mixed greens, cucumbers, pickled carrots & daikon, shallots, and peanuts, served with your choice of sauce. With a few substitutions, anything on this food truck can come out as vegan. Thanks to Mandoline Grill, you can have your food truck food, and eat it too!
Black Garlic Patty Melt
Many food trucks focus their cuisine around a broad category or region, such as Mexican, Chinese, or Korean food. Others base their menu around a type of food, such as burgers or tacos. Rarely, food trucks will dedicate their entire menu to one ingredient. We rarely see these types of food trucks because of its small niche and difficulty in maintaining a following. But when the marketing and demand exist, the people will come to eat. Garlic Scapes dedicates their menu to the love of garlic. As their name suggests, all food from this food truck contains garlic in some form. As an acquired taste, some people love it, some people loathe it. For someone like me who loves garlic, I usually ask for more. Garlic Scapes tries to find the middle ground in terms of how much garlic to include in every item. For garlic lovers, always ask them to put more garlic in your food, as you may not taste enough if you order it stock off their menu. Take warning: most of their menu items tend to fill you up, so if you want to save room, split your food with someone.
1. Patty Wagon
La Vie En Rose
More often than not, quality and quantity relate indirectly to each other. When you gain quality, you sacrifice quantity. Consumers have varying preferences, so sticking with one cannot always realistically occur. With today’s gourmet food truck community, the industry prefers quality over quantity, and Patty Wagon adheres to this with their food. Patty Wagon utilizes the freshest sustainable grass-fed beef in their mini hamburgers, indicating less calories & fat, and more vitamins & nutrients in the beef. Bigger than sliders but smaller than full-sized hamburgers, Patty Wagon’s mini hamburgers contains exquisite toppings on their beef patties with fresh bread baked daily locally. They even named every menu item after a 30’s or 40’s song because back then people ate real beef before industrial chain food existed. One would normally find this type of quality in a restaurant, but as full hamburgers. High quality mini hamburgers on a food truck = GENIUS. Go try one of these mini hamburgers and become a believer!