You don’t have to be a die-hard foodie to know that food trucks are one of the biggest trends happening in the world of food and restaurants right now. These mobile trucks were once simply a way to get a quick bite to eat. Now, many have their own following of thousands of loyal fans and serve up restaurant-quality gourmet fare at lunch truck prices. Chefs like them because they are easier to start up than a brick and mortar restaurant (just turn the key!) and lower start up costs allow them to be more creative with their, usually small, menus. Diners like them because lower costs mean lower prices and you can try food that you can’t find just anywhere – although you may still have to find it by tracking a particular truck down on Twitter.
Food Trucks: Dispatches and Recipes from the Best Kitchens on Wheels contains a guide to food trucks from all over the country, from Los Angeles to Seattle to New York City. It starts out with a brief look at some of the reasons that food trucks exploded in popularity over the last few years, and what makes them work. The rest of the book is a combination of food truck reviews and recipes. It’s a mix that will appeal to food truck fans who will appreciate the extra info about some of their favorite places to eat, as well as to food truck novices, who want to get their feet wet and find some solid recommendations to start their food truck experience. There aren’t recipes from all the trucks in here, but if you want to make food truck fare at home, recipes that include Kimchi Quesadillas and Lemongrass Chicken Bahn Mi are enough to get you started.
Each chapter of the book gives a little more information about how and why food truck culture evolved there – and it didn’t all start in the past few years. For instance, in Los Angeles, food trucks were already on the road as early as the 1970s. The trucks included in the book cover names that you’ll recognize (especially if you live in one of the included cities), such as Roy Choi’s Kogi Truck as well as others that you might not be quite as familiar with. The idea of making some of the dishes that make these trucks so popular in your own kitchen is appealing, because this way you don’t need to chase a truck down or live locally to try the food. The book is full of photos of truck food, truck customers and lots of neighborhood scenery that gives the impression of a “drive by” tour of all these food trucks – and that is pretty much what this book delivers.