We don't go into the city as nearly as much as we would like, so when I got the opportunity to be a secret shopper for NYCFA I couldn't refuse. We were going into the city for the weekend and back home on Monday, so it all worked out.
How did this all begin?
It’s became a great entrepreneurialmove for someone who wanted to start a restaurant when credit was tight. Also for consumers because these businesses tend to be very affordable (and) convenient — they come to you. We saw a surge in food trucks a few years ago in NYC and in Hoboken. All over matter of fact.
You can't afford rent in some areas of a city, so these guys do themselves and us a favor. The food truck business process- figure out a short menu that is consumer friendly, lays out nicely, easy to put together, buy a truck, license it for food via the city health department, and find out legal locations to park. Build it and they will come- sound familiar? Of course it can take time and education on the entrepreneurs part before jumping into this... I always joked about it.
In some areas of Dallas, especially the Hispanic neighborhoods , you can find the best taco stands- Portable push carts with hot dogs and tacos and breakfast burritos and ice cream, and some of the best outside of a restaurant, or even your own cocina.
So they have always been around in some form or fashion selling hot dogs to gyros in limited fashion.
Complaints are often lodged against the trucks, because they can cause traffic jams and park illegally even if only for short periods of time. Cities are trying to work with these companies because even they realize what a boost it is to the economy these days.
What does NYCFA do for food trucks?
NYCFA helps spread the word and educate the public by providing a public service message...
Food trucks are great for NYC. They stimulate culinary innovation, draw tourists, provide jobs, and contribute revenue to the city. They offer a valuable service to New Yorkers, help energize the streets, and are an important part of the social fabric of the city.
If you have a food truck in the area you pass and think "Hmmm, I wonder what the food is like?" Just stop and try it sometime. You will be helping out the little guys! This trend has been taking off in other cities besides the north east. We did it! And it was all good.
Above photo- Red Hook Lobster Pound- $16 Lobster Roll
I found it a bit pricey, but it was good. Reminded me of a place in Northfork LI, and similar price.
Kimchi Taco Truck- $4 for beef rib, chicken, and pork tacos with Koren flavor twist...and tasty!
Mexicue- $3.50 for two smoked chicken tacos...very filling and my favorite...
Where can I find these food trucks in NYC? The NYCFA lists the companies which in turn list their whereabouts daily. We found these guys just in front of the new Conrad by Hilton Hotel off 102 North End Avenue. We needed to find a few to review, and what do ya know our hotel listed them outside our hotel. How convenient!
"I experiment with Flavors"...
Elizabeth Stelling, hails from her home state of Texas and has been involved in the food industry via institutional, fast food, B&B's, ethnic eateries and other restaurants since she was fourteen. Now living n New Jersey she has ran her own cafe, teaches culinary classes, runs a small boutique catering and staffing business, restaurant consulting for NJWBO, is a personal chef and shares her love of cooking with local, organic, healthy, and natural ingredients with the community.
Chef E is a member of Slow Food and the American Wine Society, Princeton, New Jersey. She has published written works of poetry and media pieces, as well as ran Open Mics in the Princeton, NJ area.
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