In 2008, Chef Roy Choi began driving a truck around Los Angeles, selling Korean tacos for $2.00 each. By 2010, the Food Network premiered, The Great Food Truck Race nationally. And today, with over 4,000 food trucks on the streets of America, the mobile food industry generates over $1 billion in revenue.
This culinary trend is giving no hints of dying anytime soon as “gourmet” food trucks offer up unique, fresh, made-to-order and authentic food experiences for hungry customers throughout our nation. And Gainesville is no exception. Here is a quick review of your options as you consider something new for your tastebuds – and don’t count on the overcooked hot dog on a stale bun – Gainesville is stepping it up.
Barbacoa, lengua, or carnitas on that taco? Local, family-owned restaurant (also available in a mobile version) Cilantro Tacos offers everything you would expect from tacos, burritos, quesadillas and fajitas, but a whole lot more. Originally from southern California, this family brought with it a love of Mexican food and a commitment the fresh, never-frozen meats.
Using locally sourced meats from farms in and around Alachua and Marion counties, Mayflower Cellars offers bratwursts, Italian sausages, frankfurters and vegan sausages of the highest quality. Handmade in small batches, all sausages are made with humanely and sustainably raised pork.
Mom never served soup and a sandwich quite like this. Soup-to-Nuts tempts you with combinations like pulled pork and mac and cheese grilled cheese, beer and cheese soup, vegan butternut squash and apple soup and even the more traditional creamy tomato and basil. Craving something on the sweeter side? Check out the Clusterfluff. With its combination of peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, and banana on white bread and grilled – you just might go into diabetic shock, but it may be worth it.
Humble Wood Fire
Dough, sauce and cheese – all made from scratch, layered expertly and baked in a wood fired grill. Any more reasons needed to try the pizzas crafted by Humble Wood Fire? Didn’t think so.
Off the Griddle
Co-owned by a UF grad, Off the Griddle is serving up traditional food like burgers and fries, but most certainly with a gourmet twist. Choose from the BBQ Bacon Burger, Avocado BLT, Mahi Mahi Po’boy or go all-in for their award-winning Fish tacos. As a side, why not try the crispy brussels sprouts or stick with the fries, hand-cut of course.
So where can you find these mobile temptations? Visit the Union Street Farmers Market on Wednesday afternoons, or the Haile Farmers Market on Saturday mornings for some, or checkout the food truck schedules of our local breweries like First Magnitude (fmbrewing.com) or Swamp Head (swamphead.com). Tipple’s Brews off Tower Road also features a food truck on certain evenings (tipplesbrews.com) throughout the week. Many vendors also highlight their schedules on their own facebook pages as well.
But if you’re lucky, and you see one drive by, we suggest you follow it – quickly!