Food trucks were once overlooked – rather, shunned by most folks. Getting food from the side or back of a truck was deemed sort of lower than the fast-food alternative. I live in Traverse City, Michigan. And alongside me, live scads of food trucks. Here, we even designate a corner block to it. It's perfect for those on-the-go, with no time to wait in a restaurant line.
You’ll find around six to nine of these food trucks at The Little Fleet (so named due to the “fleet” of trucks and the “little” parking lot available to them) in downtown. Don’t get me wrong: There is enough to ponder with just the six to nine trucks for a wonderful healthy Mexican fiesta bowl, a fruit or veggie drink smoothie, or a tried-and-true slow-roasted pork smothered with sauce tall on its bun – and a side of sweet potato fries, of course. I just wonder… when did the perception change? When did we go from the inevitable “roach coach” reasoning to all-new swanky eats on the street out of a truck?
Open until midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends during the summer, it’s a far cry from an after-bar trip to Taco Bell or McDonald’s. One can cop a squat at a picnic table or venture inside to the bar. Yes, a bar.
It is a strange (yet cool) thing about this food truck establishment – the addition of a bar on location. However, in the winter when it’s basically too cold to breathe outside in Northern Michigan, The Little Fleet adds a mini food truck inside of the bar for a popup restaurant. Wannabe chefs rejoice – each month a new chef creates their dream restaurant in this tiny kitchen!
Now when I lived in California, where to me the conception of the food truck all began, I wouldn’t step a toe near one. Secretly, I wanted to – just to say I tried it! But my cohorts in crime, aka friends, would have laughed at and snubbed me quicker than a teenager Snapchats. The trucks at the Little League baseball and soccer games were mostly for the families who had to get “that type of food.”
No more! I am a major fan of the food truck now, as my food truck community is turning foodies into truckies. But is it a replacement for a “real” restaurant?
What do you think: New foodie fad or here-to-stay trend?