A phenomenon has well and truly arrived! ShopAbility’s Dan Tripolitano comments on the rise and rise of Taco truck, among other fresh and mobile food options popping up around Melbourne.
Going down to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in Mid-March, I had a chance to come face to face with Melbourne’s food trucks. What started as 1 or 2 mini-kitchens in a truck driving around the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne (c’mon south of the river Councils!) has now turned into something quite remarkable. At last count there were 10 different trucks including: Beatbox Kitchen, Cornutopia, Taco Truck, Gumbo Kitchen, Dhaba, Grub Food Van, Le Sausage, Massive Weiners and Grill’d Airstream.
Fortunately for me, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival managed to organise Food-Trucks-Unite. On the day I went, the Taco Truck, Dhaba and the Beatbox Kitchen all converged in the same place on the Northbank for an afternoon of food tasting.
While the Curry Truck and Beatbox Kitchen looked inviting, there was only one place I was interested in – the taco truck. Unfortunately, so was everyone else! Luckily I just beat the rush because by 3pm they had sold out of fish tacos, by 4pm there was no chicken and by 4:30pm they had sold out of absolutely everything.
So what is it that makes these so attractive, is it the new format? Is it just a fad? Well not in my opinion. There are a number of reasons that the Taco truck has every reason to succeed. The food is fresh, it’s made right in front of you and the lemon and limes are right in front of you. It feels reasonably healthy, well, better than our other take away friends anyway. It feels authentic – fish tacos, chipotle mayo, Tapatio salsa all on the menu. It’s simple, there are 5 things you can order and that’s it. You can customise your heat for those of you that like your habanero sauce. And yes there is something intangibly cool about being able to park on the side of the road and serve food.
Oh and they are also fully integrated with social media, if you want to know where they are at during the week get onto Facebook or twitter. You can even try www.wherethetruck.at, which looks like it is trying to assemble them under one roof.
Now to find that Gumbo Kitchen…