Mobile Lunch Trucks in Indianapolis: Breaking the Monotony of Fast Food

by Jim Brown | Indianapolis Reporter for Hello Metro

A rapidly expanding fleet of varied and very competitive mobile lunch trucks in Indianapolis is providing new adventures in midday dining. This new mobile meal phenomenon has embraced Indianapolis. The invasion of new mobile lunch trucks in Indianapolis is breaking the monotony of fast food — and at tasty and remarkably reasonable prices.

West Coast Tacos
One of the first competitors in the Indianapolis mobile lunch truck market, West Coast Tacos moved here from Los Angeles in 2010 and jump-started the business. Owner David Lee sells tortilla-covered steak, pork, chicken and vegetarian tacos and burritos from what could be misconstrued as a rebuilt UPS delivery truck. West Coast Tacos is simple, but consistently good. West Coast Tacos takes cash only.

Duo’s Slow Fast Food
In late 2010, Becky Hostetter joined a small but growing chorus of mobile lunch truck operators. Hostetter’s new Duo’s Slow Fast Food is among the most unique and health-oriented of today’s mobile lunch options. She outlines her vision pretty succinctly: “We are not Naptown. We are awake, aware and working hard to find a voice for all of our inhabitants.” A recent menu featured a “boat” sandwich, including house-cured bacon, caramelized onion, tomato and arugula; and quinoa salad, topped with mango, almond and curry dressing.

Scratch Truck
One of the newest additions to the city’s mobile food-to-go biz is the Scratch Truck. Started after owner Matt Kornmeyer was laid off from his job, the Scratch Truck rolled onto the market in early June 2011 offering such fare as a one-third pound custom burger topped with bacon marmalade, arugula and gorgonzola cheese on a toasted soft roll, and “green chile mac & cheese” – elbow macaroni mixed with roasted poblano peppers, red peppers, red onions and corn, with pepper jack cheese.

Hoosier Fat Daddy Bus Café
You won’t miss this vehicle when it passes by! A big blue bus highlighted by a luxurious painting of a fictitious woman known as “Amelia Love,” another new Indy lunchmobile is Hoosier Fat Daddy Bus Café. Owner Tom Rockwell gave up a 20-year nursing career to take up truck-lunching. Rockwell has offered more-standardized American fare such as a pork tenderloin sandwich and chicken salad gyro, but also some surprises, such as the “pit bull” – andouille sausage and cheese coated in corn bread and slathered in spicy bourbon ketchup.

Mabel on the Move
Another new-entrant moving meal makers is “Mabel on the Move,” run by a former real estate broker and her husband who actually drove all the way to the Catskill Mountains to acquire their instantly recognizable aluminum Airstream trailer, out of which Alan and Kate McKibben offer their lunch options. Since March 2011, Mabel on the Move has offered healthy, local and mostly organic “good for you” fare, Kate says, including homemade soups, gourmet salads, as well as exclusive plates like organic grass-fed beef hot dogs.