Five Ways Food Truck Courts Can Be Improved

The Critic - Miami New Times

The Critic - Miami New Times

By Lee Klein | MiamiNewTimes

1. Bathrooms
Organizers should rent a Port-O-San, or some sort of portable restroom. Most of the truck roundups take place in out-of-the-way locales. When you gotta go, you gotta go, and right now that means you gotta go away from the event altogether. Not smart.

2. Food Packaging
Truckers should be more environmentally conscious in regards to packaging. Caza Crepes places a two-ounce crepe on a plastic plate that must weigh a pound – and then snaps on a thick, clear plastic lid on top. Lots of styrofoam and other irresponsible containers are being used as well. How about wrapping sandwiches, burgers, tacos, and the like in butcher paper or some other lightweight, biodegradable material? And plastic forks, napkins, and the like should be handed out with the meals, not placed on counter. This will not only prevent waste of plastic and be good for the environment, but it will also save the truckers a surprising amount of money.

3. Seats
The Saturday Wynwood Truckers Round-Up featured picnic tables, which was great. That every seat was taken all night is testament to how much folks like to take a seat with their meal. Granted, street food is food made to walk around with, but a limited number of chairs would make the events more enjoyable for families that include kids or the elderly (such as Mimi Sheraton). I used to cook in a food truck that provided lunch for production crews, and we’d stack plastic chairs in the truck’s kitchen galley, then remove them upon our arrival to the site. Each food truck could bring just a few chairs along this way. Problem solved.

4. Diversity
More types of cuisine are sorely needed. There are way too many roach-coach type menus: Burgers, fries, Coca-Cola (hamburgers are to Miami food truck courts what garish candles are to crafts fairs). There are at least two trucks with “Latin” painted on the side (Latin Burger, Latin House Grill) — but precious little in the way of Latin food. Medianoches? Homemade arepas with interesting fillings? Empanadas? Haitian food? Jamaican food? Pizza? Doughnuts? Please, give us just a little imagination!

5. Quality
Right now the success of food truck courts in Miami is due to it being a new and groovy scene. That draw should last another month or two, but for the courts to thrive there will have to be another reason for folks to visit. I mean, one can only eat at Dim Ssäm a go go, gastroPod, Jefe’s, and the other three or four standout trucks so many times before getting bored. We’re not looking for every vendor to serve Momofuku-like snacks, but for these truck courts to last longer than, say, the hula hoop, more vendors that are selling food worth driving to are going to be needed.

Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.