Monday, 15 August 2011

Food Trucks - Meals on Wheels This Summer

Looking Meals On Wheels is the big thing this summer, here I pick out some of the top players in London's Food Truck sensation for the site London Confidential.

The idea of a food truck conjures anything but gourmet visions, bringing thoughts of grimy burger vans and the odd ’99 that costs well over 99p. This is changing, though. In America, the food truck is the latest hot trend, and now it’s wheeling its way across to London. Pulled pork, lobster rolls and braised lamb have never fared so well on four wheels.

In New York, it’s fair to say that the food you can’t find in a truck probably isn’t worth eating anyway. The phenomenon has come so far that the New York Times recently voted for its Top 25 Favourite Food Trucks, with the winner being Moshe’s Falafel, which has stalls on both 46th Street and Sixth Avenue. This side of the pond, the British Street Food Awards are following in these footsteps. Though the awards aren’t exclusive to food trucks, it’s mobile gourmets that are dominating the rankings, with last year’s winner, The Meatwagon, at the heart of the movement in this country.

The Peckham-based burger van is out to change the reputation of the often-greasy roadside snacks, with its simple but artfully created burgers being widely regarded as amongst the best the capital has to offer. In true food truck style, The Meatwagon has no set home, but rather pops up all over town, at pubs, festivals and events. Owner Yianni Papoutis, creates hype (and long queues) via Twitter, attracting flocks of foodies with the merest mention of a location.

Social Media can be credited with the sudden rise of this way of eating in London, with the free promotional possibilities of Twitter, Facebook and blogs, combined with the minimal financial investment needed in comparison to a physical venue, making setting up a food truck accessible to anyone with the ideas and wherewithal to do so.

Now that The Meatwagon has laid the tracks and put the movement into gear, Food Trucks are popping up at a rate of knots and transcending from the foodie sidelines into the mainstream. The recent Real Street Food Festival at the Southbank Centre is exemplary of this sudden popularity, showcasing moveable feasts spanning Malaysian stewed beef, artisan chocolate, Korean kimchee burgers, roast hog and top-notch coffee.

Even celebrity chefs are getting involved. The aptly named Street Kitchen, sees Pearl chef, Jun Tanaka and Food Initiative founder, Mark Jankel, take to the roads of London in a converted airsteam, serving high-end bistro style dishes in takeaway boxes.

Other meals on wheels to look out for this summer include Luardos, who are a regular at Whitecross Street Market in Shoreditch and have gained quite a following for their authentic burritos, served straight from their ‘Mexivan’; Pitt Cue Co., who are serving pulled pork and craft beers from their pop-up spot under a railway bridge on the Southbank; and Rock Lobsta, who pledge to bring ‘all things lobsta to all people’, and finally gives the NYC’s favourite street food, the lobster roll, a London home.

Track ‘em down and tuck in!

Truck Tracking:
 Never miss a bite, follow the trucks wherever they go:

Luardos: @Luardos
The Meatwagon: @TheMeatwagonUK
Pitt Cue Co.: @PittCueCo
Rock Lobsta: @RockLobsta52 

>> Originally published on London Confidential

1 comment:

  1. New York City isn't new to food trucks. You can see them anywhere, selling burgers, hotdogs and even pizzas. Since it's a busy city, they also need foods that are quick to cook. They don't need to sit down. They can even eat on their way to work. This Fish and Chips truck looks cute.

    Duncan Moredock