By John Linn – There’s no Dish column in this week’s print edition — in its place is a feature story I’ve been writing for a few weeks on South Florida’s food trucks. These mobile kitchens, painted in bright colors and hip artwork, are the latest trend to hit the area, popping up in droves all over Miami and Broward. They take egalitarian street food and turn it on its head — creating downscale concoctions that would make any burger nerd blush or gourmet fusion that meshes local or organic ingredients. To some folks, these trucks may signify little more than the “roach coaches” of old. But to the thousands that follow them on Facebook and Twitter, they’re a shining beacon on the dining scene — a promise that, even here in superficial South Florida, it’s not always about how many millions some restaurant spent on its dining room or how many scantily-clad tenders are behind the bar. Sometimes, it’s just about the food.
Good food is exactly what drew Aaron Byers into the food truck business.
Byers, a 33-year-old guy with a black baseball cap and a distinctive surfer drawl, operates Nacho Bizness, a 10-by-10-foot aluminum trailer serving international takes on tacos and burritos based in Fort Lauderdale. He says of all the best food he’s tried, much of it has come from underground eateries like food trucks and taco shops. “It’s like walking down some Tijuana alleyway and seeing a roll up window with a little old lady inside, and all she’s doing is shaving pork and making carnitas all day,” says Byers. “You take one look and know it’s going to be good.”
Before opening Nacho Bizness in June, Byers worked as a mate aboard luxury yachts. The luxurious career afforded him plenty of opportunity to travel around the world and do his favorite thing: eat. But even as he traveled, his mind always returned to a running joke he had with his brother, Jay. “We always talked about one day grabbing our surf boards and setting up a taco stand on the beach somewhere,” he says. “We wanted to get out of the rat race.”