Food trucks are everywhere these days, so learn how to separate the meh from the mmm!
Major cities have long been blessed with food trucks, and now mid-size and smaller towns are seeing the mobile eateries pop up in abundance. But when it gets to the point that your local food truck hub is as crowded as the tiny, bustling kitchens inside these vehicles, it can be hard to choose just one.
Of course, the best way to find out which food trucks are the best is to try them all. But if you need to grab lunch in a pinch, there are a few signs that a certain truck is where it's at.
Worth the wait
Just like regular restaurants, a long line indicates fresh, well-made food. Popular eateries tend to offer something that the competition doesn't, and they also go through their ingredients quickly, so that you're unlikely to be served week-old veggies.
The obvious drawback here is that you may find yourself waiting upwards of 20 minutes for your food. One way to get around this is to hit up the truck around 11 a.m. to beat the lunch crowd. You can also wait until after the rush, but beware -- they may be out of some items by then.
Check out their internet reputation
Online review sites like Yelp and those found in local news sources can give you candid opinions from people who have visited these mobile restaurants. Additionally, see if your area has any food blogs where people might be buzzing about the hottest new food truck.
Twitter is another way to see how popular an eatery is, as you can just check out its number of followers. This social networking site is also a good way to see where your fave trucks will be stationed during upcoming days.
Food Network has developed a free application for iPhones and iPads called Eat Street, which helps you find food trucks and street venues in your city. It includes locations, menus and a list of specials.
Look for fusion menus
Many of the newer food trucks around are shucking the tradition of serving hot dogs, fries and lemonade, and instead creating menus that blend cuisines from different cultures. Asian and Latin fusion foods are especially popular, as noodle bowls and tacos are particularly portable.
Choosing mobile restaurants with these unique items may ensure that you're getting a meal from people who innovative thinkers, which is the sign of a good chef. Not to mention that you'll be getting a lunch that's totally different from the usual.
Dining at quirky food trucks may get you thinking about how to shake up your home-cooked meals. Fusion meals often contain the best of both worlds in terms of flavor, ingredients and cooking methods – and you might totally impress whoever you're cooking for!
This South of the Border Thai Chili
combines a Tex Mex fave with Thai spices for a total WIN. Chili Dahl
takes regular chili to the next level with Indian spices, and this Peruvian Steak and French Fry Stir Fry
is a mind-bogglingly amazing dish that blends American, Asian and South American cuisine. This recipe for Tuscan Hummus
blends the savory flavors of Italy and the Middle East for a killer appetizer before any meal.
While you're in fusion mode, consider finishing your meal off with the Asian-Latin Thai Basil MOJITarita