By Holly Leber | Times Free Press
Looks like food on the go is here to stay.
The nationwide trend of food trucks has been growing in Chattanooga — one, Southern Burger Co., is even in the running to appear on the Food Network. Fresh on Fridays, a weekly Friday convergence, kicked off last month at Miller Plaza.
Now foodies (or should we call them “truckies?”) can look forward to tasty truck treats early in the week as well. Street Food Tuesdays will kick off at Warehouse Row on Tuesday.
Six trucks and food carts will park at the Motor Court at 1110 Market St. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors will include Southern Burger Co., Famous Naters, Bull Dogs, The Crepe Outdoors, Good Dog Go and Dailey’s Delights.
“The great thing about street food is that it allows a great variety of skilled food presentation without having to actually commit to a permanent fixed menu and location,” said Michael Phillips, a managing director at Jamestown Properties, which owns Warehouse Row. “Part of what we want Warehouse Row to be about is really presenting and facilitating a conversation about best-in-class retail, best-in-class fashion and food, and getting people engaged. I think street food is a great way to do that.”
Street food, Phillips said, allows talented cooks or food artisans who might not have the means to open a restaurant to present their work to the public. “The barrier to entry for someone who makes a great popsicle or a terrific ice cream is so much lower than having a whole restaurant. So you get people who are excellent home cooks who get to experiment with commerce and business.”
Nathan Flynt, chef and owner of Famous Naters, said having a food truck allows him to do just that. “It was time for me to move out on my own and do my own thing,” he said, “and I decided I would throw my hat in the [food truck] ring.”
He appreciates the mobility of the truck, but also appreciates the stability of having regular haunts such as Fresh on Fridays and, now, Street Food Tuesdays. “I am looking to partner with anyone who can help grow the business,” he said. “And food trucks are so new in Chattanooga that having [regular spot gatherings] really helps expand the knowledge of what’s going on.”
Flynt said there is a collegial atmosphere among Chattanooga’s food truckers. He said he’s enjoyed fare from Good Dog Go and Southern Burger Co., among others.
“We just love the variety and the heart people put into this. These are very, very, very hard-working people who put a lot of pride into the food they serve,” he said, “it is absolutely supportive. Every time I have some of their fare, it makes me want to rise to another level and meet them where they are. We all eat at each other’s places. The more the merrier.”