Hottest food truck menu trends
Want to quickly find the hottest restaurant and culinary trends? Look no further than What's Hot
-- a new online destination and monthly newsletter from Nation's Restaurant News.
This month, NRN gets ready for the warm weather. Learn the latest menu trends for food trucks and gather tips on utilizing outdoor patios, a special report from Restaurant Hospitality.
Also meet this year’s class of culinary innovators, the NRN MenuMasters and hear from chef David Chang on how he adapted kimchi into a popular salad at Momofuku Ssam Bar.
For all of this, and more special coverage of the food, beverage and restaurant trends heating up across the country, visit the new What's Hot
section on NRN.com
Another article I read and this is paraphrased.
There is a new Travel Channel television show called “Food Wars,” which debuted March 9. The show visits cities across the country and highlights the passionate rivalries surrounding iconic dishes, including who makes them the best.
Among those rivalries, the show will delve into Detroit’s hot dog war, the brouhaha over the top Italian beef sandwich in Chicago, and the long-simmering chicken wing debate in Buffalo, N.Y.
In Los Angeles, “Food Wars” focuses on the tensions between two players in the city’s new wave of gourmet food trucks. In one corner is Baby’s Badass Burgers. The concept was founded in late 2009 by Erica Cohen and Lori Barbera, and offers premium burgers, such as the “Cougar” with St. Andre cheese and truffles. (I can't imagine what they are paying for truffles.) The concept implies that the truck is manned by attractive young “Burger Babes” in tank tops and short shorts.
In the other corner is the Grill ‘Em All truck, which launched in January and is operated by chef Ryan Harkins and Matthew Chernus. Harkins apparently worked with Baby’s Badass Burgers for a few weeks before he left to launch his own truck, which has a heavy-metal theme. His burgers are also premium with interesting toppings, such as the “Molly Hatchet” topped with fennel-smoked sausage gravy, applewood-smoked bacon and a maple drizzle.
Where Baby’s Badass is pink and sexy, Grill ‘Em All is dark and masculine. But both offer high-end burgers and compete for essentially the same market—hence the rivalry. You’ll have to watch the show to find out which burger is declared the best by the panel of experts.
Is this a passing fad or a new niche within foodservice that is here to stay?
Evidence is mounting that the trucks may have longevity. Recently, the first L.A. Street Food Fest was held downtown, featuring a number of the new food trucks. An estimated 10,000 people showed up to stand patiently in long lines, and several of the trucks ran out of food.
Meanwhile, at a recent dinner party, guests passionately described their favorite food trucks, illustrating the widespread allure of buying Vietnamese food, cupcakes or gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches off a truck. Prices are low, the quality is high and people love getting a tweet that a favorite truck is nearby.
Still, every truck operator says he or she is looking for a brick-and-mortar location. Many see the trucks as a way to test the waters and gain brand recognition—not something they want to make a career of. As one truck operator told me, it’s just not clear yet whether anyone can really make a living doing this.
Time will tell whether the popularity of gourmet food trucks is passing, but as in the brick-and-mortar restaurant world, the bad truck operations will disappear once the novelty wears away, and the operators that offer quality products will find niches that work for them.
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