Street-eats, Hub-grub or Mobile-munchables – whatever you call it, since 2009, Food Trucks have steadily gained popularity in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Portland, Minneapolis and finally they have come to Boston thanks to the tireless efforts of many including my friends Todd and Ron of Food Truck Nation! Check out this recent spot on TV Diner with Billy Costa.
People imagine different things when they hear the words “food truck” if they haven’t seen one. One of the most common misconceptions is imagining the silver truck that pulls up to job sites, honks it horn and serves up pre-packaged sandwiches and bad coffee. This is not what food trucks are at all. Food trucks are mobile kitchens serving up fresh, often gourmet fare. They have sinks, running water, refrigerators, grills, ovens, fryolaters – all of the essentials – just a little bit smaller and packed into every available inch.
They range in size from 7 to 8 feet wide and 14 to 30 feet long. The equipment and storage are lining the inside of the truck with a skinny aisle down the middle where two averaged sized people can pass back to back. It’s a tight space and you definitely get to know your team. You can’t help but bump into each other.
In my spare time I work on a food truck with my friends at Food Truck Nation serving up the finest grilled cheese sandwiches in Boston. Our eight varieties of sandwiches are made with delicious organic and locally sourced ingredients including Iggy’s bread. We offer 8 kinds of sandwiches ranging from traditional cheddar on white to Nutella, Fluff and bananas on Brioche.
While sandwich assembly and cooking gets done on the truck, we prep all the ingredients in a commissary. This is the same place we park the truck, plug it in to get the refrigerators cold, fill it up with water, get ice to keep drinks cool, etc... Prep for grilled cheese isn’t complicated but one critical tool that would take up a lot of valuable space on the truck is a deli slicer which we use for cheese and tomatoes. It’s also handy and a time saver to have full sized ovens and cook-tops to cook the bacon, onions and mushrooms we use on some of the sandwiches
The team is 2-3 people depending on the expected crowd. At roughly 15 feet long, we can’t really fit anymore than that in our truck. Just like in any restaurant, the pace is crazy for the rush and then it’s over. We clean up, pack up and drive the truck back to the commissary. It’s a great day! Find out where we’ll be next by following the grilled-cheese truck on Twitter @FoodTruckNation.