Street Meat Meet-n-Greet, Wheeled Meal Deals, and a Mobile Map App

Someday, hot dog cart. Someday - Robert Torzynski/Flickr

by Matt Byrne | AVClub.com

Someday, hot dog cart. Someday - Robert Torzynski/Flickr

In a time when it seems like the entire city and culinary world has gone gaga for food trucks, no matter how good their wares are, it takes a lot to show culinary restraint. The city’s still not allowing actual cooking to go on inside these trucks, but that may change, and The A.V. Club is committed to staying on the cutting edge of the cutting edge. Thus, the street eat beat.

• April 19th is going to be a big day for the Chicago Food Truck scene: Nearly all of the functioning food trucks in the area are planning to participate in the city’s first ever food truck summit. The event is in conjunction with the release party for Food Trucks: Dispatches And Recipes From The Best Kitchens On Wheels, a new book by Heather Shouse, Time Out Chicago’s Senior Food & Drink Correspondent.

Each participating truck will be selling one signature item, which will reduce competition between vendors and allow for maximum sampling for attendees. This landmark event will go down in the parking lot of the Goose Island Brewpub and will be a great entryway into the world of Chicago food trucks.

• In the spirit of Living Social, Eversave, Dealster, ChiTownDeals, WagJag, and local natives Groupon, FoodTruckDeals.com launched last week, offering daily deals on food trucks. For now, the company appears to be working exclusively with L.A. trucks (there are over 100 active trucks in the greater Los Angeles area), but who’s to say a Meatyballs or a More Mobile deal is too far off?

• Speaking of LA-based food truck innovations, TruxMap, a free iPhone and Android app, crawls the webosphere (mostly Twitter) and compiles location information about lunch wagons near the user. Instead of combing through their ever-refreshing Tweetfeeds for a close meal, users looking for a trucked lunch can use the app (which displays trucks as blue dots on a Google map) to figure out which vendors are nearby that day. Once lunch is over and bellies are stuffed, the app accepts review and photo submissions, hooking up future diners with tips and recommendations.

• Chicago celebrity chef Graham Elliot announced plans to convert a VW bus into a delivery-style food truck featuring food from his new fast-casual joint, Grahamwich. Rather than trolling the streets daily, Elliot plans to roll the truck out only for special events, a business model that even the most curmudgeonly of brick-and-mortar restaurateurs could hang with. The Grahambulance is set to launch in June, just in time for street-festival season.

http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/street-meat-meetngreet-wheeled-meal-deals-and-a-mo,53206/