Saturday night in Stamford, Connecticut. I had just walked out of Tiernan’s Pub with a sunny disposition at one in the morning. People from all over converged on Columbus Park to hear some independent boy band tear up the small stage. The bar scene was packed and uncomfortable after a while. I wanted to go back to my apartment and have a late-night snack that I’d regret in the morning. But then three horrible truths dawned on me: I can’t cook, I don’t have any food to cook with, and I only have five bucks.
As I walked up Broad Street I lamented how I’d have no food. My morning was going to be a rough one. Oh woe is me, what could a young, white, middle-class male with an office job do in the face of such adversity? Well, Fate smiled upon me this evening. As I turned left on Bedford, a big restaurant hub in Stamford, I saw the most beautiful thing these eyes had ever seen. The road was lined with food trucks!
Cheap food! I swear Beethoven’s Ode to Joy played through my head and I’ve never heard that tune before. While I know that last sentence doesn’t make any sense, I’m just going to move on.
Anyways, I saw Bedford riddled with food trucks dedicated to all things greasy. Tacos Locos Tacos cooking the best of…you guessed it. Greek Experience handing out gyros like their candy. And my favorite, this one little spot right outside my apartment that makes meals of all kinds with one little twist, everything’s wrapped in a tortilla. You want buffalo chicken and sweet potato fries, you want that on a white or wheat wrap? I forget the name due to my previously mentioned disposition. Best last five dollars I ever spent.
With the warm weather comes more availability for outdoor activities. Food trucks are the best thing in the world at 1:00 am in the summertime. They are the bastions of Olympus’ nectar. These tiny traveling kitchens going from place to place like gypsy gourmet chefs fill my heart and can make someone’s evening. After a wild night out and wandering around aimlessly, coming across a chili dog or stacked burrito for just a few bucks is just what doctor ordered, but would never recommend.
Here are two books to get you pumped up about the simple joy of being handed a plate of truffle bacon fries from restaurants on wheels:
L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food by Roy Choi (Ecco, November 5, 2013)
Roy Choi decided to leave the traditional restaurant business as a cook and took his gourmet knowledge to the streets of Los Angeles. Choi recounts how this city and its diverse food culture changed his life, inspired his passion for food and the creation of the Korean taco.
The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings From America’s Best Restaurants on Wheels by John T. Edge (Workman Publishing Company, May 8, 2012)
Any wonder how food trucks make their dishes so quickly while not tasting like the corner McDonald’s? Well now you have over 100 recipes from the best mobile chefs in the country. Follow Edge’s travels through America and the wacky people who run these delicious jalopies.