Rolling Feasts: A Guide to Orlando Food Trucks

Maitland Food Truck Pod ( Stephen M. Dowell, Orlando Sentinel / October 4, 2011 ) The sidewalks are crowded during a recent Tuesday food truck gathering in Maitland at Lake Lily.
By Heather McPherson | Orlando Sentinel
Maitland Food Truck Pod ( Stephen M. Dowell, Orlando Sentinel / October 4, 2011 ) The sidewalks are crowded during a recent Tuesday food truck gathering in Maitland at Lake Lily.

Food trucks show no signs of slowing down

Dinner or a snack is likely rolling up to a location near you as the mobile-food vendors phenomenon keeps on trucking across the country.

Food trucks and mobile kitchens are not new, but with the Food Network‘s the “Great Food Truck Race” and the Cooking Channel‘s “Eat Street,” suddenly the chuck wagon has traded its dusty demeanor for a hipster happening.

Here in Central Florida, our modern food trucks can trace their roots to construction-site mobile canteens, chow wagons following agricultural harvests and cattle drives, independent barbecue trailers and ethnic-food vendors.

Mark Baratelli, creator and producer of Orlando Food Truck Bazaar and, has been a key player in organizing food truck pods, rallies and bazaars.

In 2009, Central Florida’s diversity was reflected in the assortment of food vendors offering authentic South and Central American fare along South Orange Blossom Trail.

This year, the stage was set for a culinary convergence as gourmet and restaurant trucks came into their own with eclectic menus, eye-catching trucks and savvy sales techniques.

Mark Baratelli, creator and producer of Orlando Food Truck Bazaar and, has been a key player in organizing food truck pods, rallies and bazaars.

“These events emphasize community,” he says. “The circle of vendors becomes a front porch of sorts for neighbors and friends to meet. Walk through any of these events and you find participants plopped down in folding chairs to relax and children laughing and playing nearby. What a great use of city parks and land that might otherwise not be used on that day.”

The best way to keep up with food trucks is to follow their Facebook pages and Twitter, says Joey Conicella, co-owner of the Yum Yum Cupcake Truck. “Schedules are constantly influx. These aren’t fixed locations like restaurants.”

National Restaurant Association research shows that in just one year, the number of consumers who say they would be likely to visit a food truck has increased significantly.

And the vendors run the gamut from trend-riding entrepreneurs to established caterers and restaurateurs.

“Food trucks present opportunities for restaurants to expand their operations and presence,” says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the association’s Research and Knowledge Group. “Mobile food service can be a good way to extend an existing restaurant brand beyond the four walls of the establishment.”

One of the newest trucks is Alex Flores’ Twisted Cuban. A graduate of Johnson and Wales University in North Miami, Flores offers a menu ranging from the traditional (Cuban sandwiches, fritas and flan) to his own twist on classics such as arroz con pollo.

“The truck has given me a new way to bring the Cuban food experience to customers,” says Flores, who also operates the Half Full Coffee House, a café in DeLand. “My goal is to make believers out of skeptics who think Cuban food is only about black beans and rice.”

Flores has joined a convoy more than 50 Central Florida food trucks. Today, we’re offering a sampling of these creative meals on wheels. Most can be followed via social media but others are catch as catch can.

Allan’s Jerk Shack: Authentic Jamaican food; Friday nights at the corner of Orange Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Orlando; 407-668-9225 and Facebook

Arepas El Cacao: Menu star is the namesake arepa popular in Colombia, Venezuela and other Spanish-speaking countries; 5545 International Drive, Orlando; 321-202-4983; Facebook and @Arepaselcacao on Twitter

The Batter Bowl: Dessert on wheels and catering; 407-601-4248;, Facebook and @batterbowltruck on Twitter

BigBrunos Bites: Hot dogs, including bacon-wrapped hot dogs, vegan brats, cheese steaks are standards but you may find scotch eggs, banh mi, duck fat fries and fried Oreos; Facebook

Big Wheel Provisions: Chef Tony Adams celebrates local, organic food in a big way; Facebook, and @bigwheeltruck on Twitter

Casa De Chef: Cuban sandwiches, burgers, rice bowls and more; Facebook

C&S Brisket Bus: Mobile gourmet delicatessen with generous portions of cured, smoked, baked and braised foods; Facebook, and @CSBrisketBus on Twitter

Chimi King: Dominican Chimichurri burgers; Chimichurris ChimiKing on Facebook

CK Jerk Shack Island BBQ: Jerk meats, coconut rice and beans, Jamaican callaloo greens and more; 407-301-1363, Facebook, and @CKJerkShack on Twitter

Country Chuck Wagon: Pot roast, hot dogs, chicken or beef quesadillas and more; Facebook

Curbie’s Sidewalk Café: Gourmet hot dogs, specialty sandwiches; Facebook and

El Cubanito: Cuban sandwiches, milkshakes and more served Monday-Saturday, 2237 N. Forsyth Road, Orlando; 305-305-7438

El Nuevo Tun Tun: Puerto Rican tripleta sandwiches and more; Facebook

El Sabor De La Vida Tacos: Authentic tacos and enchiladas; 13602 W. Colonial Drive (across from Kmart); 407-242-7143

Firehouse BBQ: DeLand truck began as a competition barbecue team; Facebook and @TheFireHouseBBQ on Twitter

Fish Out of Water Sushi Truck: Local restaurant veterans prepare fresh sushi; Facebook and @FishOutOfWater8 on Twitter

Fro2Go: Frozen yogurt with toppings, vegan sorbets, cookies; Facebook, website under construction and @fro2gotruck on Twitter

Gastro-Truck: Chefs Catarina Triacca and Lori Bragg sell gourmet grilled cheese; Facebook, and @GastroTrina on Twitter

Gator Country BBQ: Florida-style barbecue for catering and food-truck events; 407-230-0621, Facebook and

Juanchos Grill: Colombian hamburgers, hot dogs and more; look for the fire-engine red truck on East Colonial Drive just west of Alafaya Trail; Facebook

Kalbi hau5: Asian barbecue with a gourmet twist; Facebook, and @kalbihau5 on Twitter

Korean BBQ Taco Box: Four trucks with different locations in Central Florida specializing in Korean fare with a Mexican twist; Facebook, and @koreanbbq_2011 on Twitter

Kuko Christian Food Truck: fresh barbecue pork kebabs, burgers and more: 7958 E. Colonial Drive in Orlando; 407-968-3244

Le Empanada: Specialty empanadas, seasonal soups and salads; 325 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park; Facebook, under construction and @laempanadatruck on Twitter

Mama’s Fixin’s: Soul food and barbecue; 407-451-2569 and Facebook

Melissa’s Chicken and Waffles: Specialty waffle sandwiches; Facebook

Mil’s Latin American Café: Burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, fries, onion rings and a variety of Latin foods; Friday and Saturday evenings in the Oakridge Road and south Rio Grande Avenue area and other places; Facebook

Monsta Lobsta: Lobster rolls and salad and more; Facebook, and @monstalonsta on Twitter

One Love Kitchen: Caribbean and Jamaican jerk fare; often found in the Pine Hills area near 5001 W. Colonial Drive in Orlando

Pinones En Orlando: Stuffed mofongos and more at on the corner of Curry Ford and Conway roads; Facebook

Pupusas: Salvadoran stuffed tortillas at 12962 W. Colonial Drive in Winter Garden; @pupusasorlando on Twitter

Red Eye BBQ: All meats are seasoned and slow-cooked over an assortment of aromatic woods; Facebook, and @Redeyebbq on Twitter

Sunset Ice: Specialty Italian ice truck based in Merritt Island; Facebook

SwedeDISH Food Truck: Authentic Swedish cuisine on the go; Facebook, and @SwedeDishTruck on Twitter

Tastebuds Catering: Every Saturday at the Winter Park Farmers Market; and Facebook

The Crepe Co.: Fresh-made sweet and savory crepes; 407-792-3566, Facebook, and @TheCrepeCompany on Twitter

The Crooked Spoon: Traditional quick serve with a gourmet twist; Facebook and @TheCrookedSpn on Twitter

The London Fish & Chippy: Lake County-based authentic English fish and chips; 352-406-4645 and Facebook

The Taco Co.: aka The Taco Lady, serving up authentic Mexican food at west Colonial Drive and Marshall Farms Road in Ocoee; 407-506-6570 and Facebook

Travelling Gourmet: Mobile commercial kitchen operated by Chef Silvia, an honors graduate from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary College; 321-262-6628, Facebook and

Treehouse Truck: Gourmet sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs and more; Facebook and @treehousetruck on Twitter

Twisted Cuban: Alex Flores’ fusion of Spanish, African and Caribbean cuisine; Twisted Cuban on Facebook, @TwistedCubanmft on Twitter

Uncle Jones’ BBQ: Located on the former site of the legendary restaurant of the same name, 1370 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs; Facebook

Vegan Hot Dog Cart: Features American standards such as hot dogs and burgers at 59 N. Orange Ave in downtown Orlando; @vegandog on Twitter

We All Scream Vegan Ice Cream Cart: Dairy-free frozen desserts; Facebook and @_WeAllScream_ on Twitter

Winter Park Fish Co.: Popular restaurant takes to the streets in its mobile kitchen; Facebook, and @WinterPrkFishCo on Twitter

Yum Yum Cupcake: Creative little cakes with a gourmet twist; Facebook, and @yumyumtruck_fl on Twitter,0,1808314,full.story