By Sara Billups | Red Tricycle
Back when we were kids, the ice cream truck was the closest most of us came to a mobile food vendor. But with the food truck trend bringing colorful bites to dozens of parking lots in Seattle and on the Eastside, it’s a great time to be a kiddo in Seattle. Since restaurants on wheels specialize in churning out fast eats, it’s common to find a plethora of quick-to-prepare melty grilled cheese sandwiches and mondo biscuits coming from food truck kitchens around town. But parents on-the-go and on-the-hunt for healthier options from street food purveyors will need do a little searching to find nutritious options. We’ve scouted out local carts serving bites so tasty your hungry monkeys might not realize they’re chowing down on kale or whole grains. Read on for our picks.
Note: Food truck locations and hours of operation can change, so be sure to check each truck’s Twitter feed before heading out the door.
Bright lemon yellow food truck Caravan Crepes is a kid-magnet and a cheery contrast to rainy days. The menu conjures warmth from Hawaii, where owner Brooke Sumner worked in a creperie on the North Shore for years before returning to the Pacific Northwest. She opened Caravan last year, concocting an interesting menu starring local, organic ingredients you’ll feel good about feeding your kiddos. Try the Shorty’s: a shareable crepe stuffed with chicken, mozzarella, Harissa, arugula and pickled sweet corn. If you’re looking for ways to satisfy picky eaters, give the roasted spring vegetable crepe a shot: pine nuts with lemon and parsley, melted havarti and pesto transform Plain Jane vegetables.
Odds are, your kids just need to hear the words “taco” and “truck” and they’re ready to hop into the car. But instead of the same old beans and rice gut bombs, check out Contigo. The mobile eatery opened last year and bills itself as “modern Mexican” for its creative takes on kid-approved classics. Case in point: tacos filled with sweet potatoes and pecans or caramelized onions and dark, leafy kale.
It’s hard to imagine an eatery, either mobile or brick-and-mortar, that’s healthier than I Love My GFF: The whole menu is sans gluten and features free-range meats and ingredients without GMOs. Whether they have a gluten sensitivity or not, kids will like ordering “sunshine bowls” filled with sprouted quinoa, chicken and lots of veggies, then dusted with fresh feta and toasted pumpkin seeds. Kiddos can split a single order, then sweeten the deal with chocolate chip cookies made using coconut flour and sweetened with agave nectar.
Possessing a name kids will unquestionably love (rivaled only by Cheese Wizards and Happy Grillmore) with food to match, How Pickle Got Out of a Jam debuted at this year’s Mobile Food Rodeo May 5 in Fremont. The rotating menu changes based on what’s fresh for the season. Uber nutritious lentil soup is balanced by dunkable biscuits that arrive with a side of house-made jam, like lemony nectarine. Every meal comes with a homemade pickle, too, be it snap peas brined in sugar or yellow beans with basil.
COMING SOON: Outside the Box
Outside the Box is Seattle’s first food truck based on the paleo diet. There’s not a trace of processed food, added sugar, gluten or dairy on the menu, but you will find simple, inventive plates that are big on flavor: Kids might just think that pureed cauliflower covered with coconut milk is actually rice. Until the food truck rolls out a regular schedule, Outside the Box currently offers a weekly meal delivery service, with prepared eats delivered to your door on Sundays.
Hungry for more?
Dig into eggplant, basil and roasted tomato sandwiches at the Renton-based Bistro Box; chickpea soup with pita and housemade yogurt sauce at Za’aTar; and fresh rolls at Vietnamese-inspired Curbside.