By Linnea Covington | Zagat.com
The climbing temperatures can only mean one thing: food-truck season is back. From grilled cheese to pizza cones and festive cupcakes, we found 10 new(ish) trucks that are bringing a slew of delicious treats to major cities across the U.S.
Evolution Revolution in Seattle, WA
Chef Singyn Hunter started cooking by making pierogi with his grandmother when he was eight years old. Since then, he’s worked all over the world, and he’s now settled down in Seattle to serve his New American street food. On the menu, you can find a succulent porchetta sandwich with smoked paprika, bacon-cheddar tater tots, edamame hummus and bacon chocolate-chip peanut-butter bars. Of course, Hunter couldn’t start his own “kitchen” without offering his family’s pierogi, though he’s laced his Polish dumpling with oxtail stew to give it a new-world kick.
The Salsa Truck in Chicago, IL
At the beginning of the year, The Salsa Truck owner Dan Salls made history in the Chicago food-truck scene by passing his health inspection and becoming the first legal vehicle to cook, sell and serve food out of a truck in the Windy City. True to its name, his Mexican offerings get an extra kick from a dozen freshly made salsas, including bright and spicy roasted jalapeno hot sauce or the salsa frijole with black beans, habanero and fire-roasted tomato. An economical, $9 quesadilla lunch comes with chips, a drink and a choice of two salsas. Also on the menu are traditional Mexican street-food eats, including chile verde, rice with cilantro and lime, five types of tacos and pozole with crispy pig ear.
Epic Cones in Dallas, TX
This may be the smallest food truck in the scene, but the toasty cone stuffed with cheeses, meat and sauce packs a giant burst of flavor. True, the idea behind Epic Cones isn’t new – they actually have a brick-and-mortar shop – but cones on the move just debuted at the end of 2012. Dig into handheld versions of pizza, BBQ brisket, curry chicken salad, scalloped potatoes and bacon, vegetable frittata, apple pie and Dallas-style cheesesteak.
Fat Falafel in New Orleans, LA
Last November, this scrumptious falafel and fries truck debuted on the streets of New Orleans to much fanfare. The menu proves simple – you can coat your tasty fried chickpea balls with tahini, a Lebanese garlic sauce called toum or zhoug, a cilantro hot sauce. There’s also an eco-friendly MO: the owners compost all their food scraps, their fryer oil is turned into biodiesel and all packaging is recyclable and/or biodegradable. They also use as much local meat and produce as possible, sourcing from Cajun Grain, Cleaver and Co., Mountain Rose Herbs and Hollygrove Market and Farm.
Old Traditional Polish Cuisine in New York, NY
Get your pierogi on at this traditional Polish food truck, which has been seen all over the city. There are also plump, grilled kielbasa and specialty juices for $2 per bottle in cooling flavors like apple mint, raspberry mint and cherry mint. Bonus: the truck is designed to look like a quaint Polish tavern, minus the mugs of beer and buxom wenches.
Cupcake Carnivale in Philadelphia, PA
If you’re hankering for bright, festive cupcakes, this six-month-old truck is the one to follow. On any given weekday, they offer plenty of buttercream-topped flavors like Chocolate Jubilee, The Pink Lemonade Stand, Cotton Candy and Spring Carnivale (lemon cake with white-chocolate/lavender frosting). Each tasty treat is baked in Princeton, NJ, before it’s dished out in Philly. You can usually find them in the same place, but they do have a few surprise pop-up locations where you can get your cupcake fix. Head to 33rd and Arch Streets in University City, Monday through Friday, from 10 AM to 5 PM, or check out their website at the link above.
Viet-Nomie’s in Atlanta, GA
Inspired by the chef’s Vietnamese roots, this A-Town truck aims to serve up traditional bites in true street-food style. Try the thit bo luc lac, aka shaken beef, served on jasmine rice. Or opt for bun cha Hanoi (grilled pork marinated Hanoi style), the scrumptious jazzi roll noodle boats or a refreshing gỏi cuốn summer roll. Follow them at the link above or via Twitter at @VietNomies.
Mausam Curry N Bites in New York, NY
Thank goodness the team behind the brick-and-mortar Mausam in Secaucus, NJ, has crossed the river with their new food truck to bring spicy and savory curries to hungry New Yorkers. Grab a bowl of traditional chicken tikka masala, vegetable biryani, samosas and kati rolls and take a bit of the East to go. For $9, you can get the Curry Rush, a boxed meal complete with curry, rice, a side dish and soda. Mausam is the Indian word for “season,” and we expect this truck to weather them all.
First Bite Gourmet in Ft. Worth, TX
This new Ft. Worth food truck dishes out stellar fare, but it also operates with the community in mind. The owners donate the “first-bite” portion of every meal to help feed those that are less fortunate. That means when you order their veggie-laden grilled cheese, fresh-cut fries, tacos, carne asada spring rolls or grilled peanut butter and jelly, you’re giving a piece of that meal to others. Now that’s a delicious way of sharing.
Frencheeze Food Truck in New Orleans, LA
Flock to this darling truck where the mascot is, you guessed it, a French bulldog. Aside from an adorable logo, the NoLa truck offers an array of cheese-focused sandwiches including The Bootz, made with sharp cheddar, colby and Swiss on sourdough, and The Rachel, which combines smoked gouda, provolone and fresh Creole tomato on peasant bread. Each sammie can even be made with gluten-free bread.