FOLLOW THAT TRUCK! That spiffy sea-foam green food truck you may have seen tooling about West Palm in the past two weeks is certainly worth chasing. It’s the Curbside Gourmet, a take-out window on wheels, dispensing some pretty outstanding “street food. Yes, tacos and burgers are street food, but these are no random tacos and burgers. They’re tacos as in fresh cilantro-and-lime shrimp tacos and burgers as in grass-fed Black Angus burgers with heirloom tomatoes. (Oh, and the hand-cut fries come truffle oil-optional.)
Then again, chefs Rick Simek and Mary Brittain Cheatham come to the food truck business with discriminating palates. He’s a former private chef and movie-set caterer. She’s an artist (she created the truck’s funky signage) and a recent grad of the Florida Culinary Institute, where Simek also earned his chops.
Their daily menu is a testament to their shared belief that even street food should be locally sourced, in season and “honest.” Hence the Swank Farms garden salad ($8), the chilled sweet pea with mint soup ($4) and the fresh-caught mahi tacos on corn tortillas fresh made that morning at a Lake Worth tortillería.
We had these tacos for lunch one day last week when the tricked-out truck parked along a scenic stretch of North Flagler Drive, just south of Currie Park. Kicked up with some blackening spices and served with a wedge of lime, they were bursting with flavor. We also sampled the Korean BBQ pork tacos (tacos are $3 each, two for $5), sweet-savory bits of pulled pork brightened with sweet cucumber relish.
Simek says he hopes to add more trucks to Curbside Gourmet. The current truck was custom-made in Miami, where the street food trend has exploded and even chain restaurant-loving suburbanites have gone food-truck crazy. “I’m hoping the same happens up here,” he says.
We’re hoping so, too – especially if it means more mobile menus listing items like crabcake sliders with lemon-tarragon aioli.