Foodtrucks in the Middle of my Road.
It’s only been two weeks, but they’ve flown by quicker than I’d imagined. I started Day 1 super excited about all the delicious GrubSpots I’d be visiting, but by week’s end, the germaphobe in me began to develop symptoms of hypochondria. I started getting nervous about what I’d eaten, and began to worry about the cleanliness of things like my tamales from a garbage bag and whether or not that pretzel rubbed elbows with a few dirty water dogs on the way to my mouth. The only reason I pushed forth was my watching endlessly my own anticucho nomming at Morocho. If this germaphobic hypochondriac from Queens can eat veal heart and lamb in the first week – what’s to stop him from an all out Andrew Zimmernesque grubfest of devouring nothing but the strangest of strange?
Until I wandered onto the streets of Corona at 11 on a Saturday night and witnessed street after street of the strangest and most foreign StreetGrub – goat, tripe, tongue, blood sausage, and basically everything under the moon that would feel at home under the word “cringe” in the dictionary. I was overwhelemed, and went back into my “safe” zone, ordering the safest dish of beef con arroz. I needed to hit restart, and found refuge in an all-day BBQ block party in Flatiron the very next day. I felt recharged and ready to jump back out of my element, so I started week two with a Meatless Monday (I’m a devout carnivore, so this was like T-Rex suddenly having a change of heart and deciding to nom only on grass and leaves instead of Barney). It was a big deal to me, but by day’s end, my stomach was happy, and I’d checked off another of my mini challenges. In actuality, I enjoyed it so much I’m considering Meatless Mondays for the remainder of the month.
As I reach the midway point of my little journey, I’m realizing that food truck owners and chefs offer more than just an alternative to your normal brick and mortar fare. They’re the underdogs, and as such, take that extra step in bringing you the best, most fruitful interpretation of their own distinctive cuisine. It’s not just hot dogs and reheated frozen knishes anymore – in most cases, these are top-notch gourmet meals cooked and prepped in a kitchen no bigger than your closet.
My readers have often commented on the colorful pictures my amateur eye managed to capture (I’m a fauxtographer!), but it’s all in the quality of ingredients. As my palette begins to open, my mind follows suit to the culture and sense of community food trucks bring to their customers. It’s like the crime-deterring side effect of people-watching through windows at Starbucks - and by bringing people out onto the streets, grubbing in the hustle and bustle of the city no longer becomes a necessity, but one of pleasure. It’s a change in pace I’ll gladly welcome with mouth wide open.