OLIVER: During the 80s, while working for an aerospace company, I was a daily consumer of lunch truck cuisine. The truck that came to our facility was manned by a guy we all called Mr. Tony. Mr. Tony kept a great truck and his food was always fresh. He featured a nice variety which included breakfast croissants, polish and egg sandwiches, burritos and any sort of burger and sandwich at a reasonable price. I left aerospace and launched my business in 1992 and that brought an end to my exposure to the Lunch Truck. Now it is 2012, Mr Tony is gone and there is a new breed of lunch trucks rolling around. You no longer call out to the person behind the window, “pastrami burger, por favor”, now you may wind up ordering a cream cheese and onion ring burger, chinese food, sushi, cup cakes, or a group of sliders. Lunch Trucks have gone gourmet, in fact, terms like Lunch Truck or Roach Coach are all names from the past, now it is “Food Trucks”. People just don’t eat at them either, you follow them. Now there are TV shows about it. You can follow Food Truck groups on Twitter and meet up with them at various locations. Some even are involved in Food Truck Gatherings where several trucks will show up and you can sample from many different mobile culinary delights. That’s what today’s story is all about.
Today we got a message from Debbie, she claimed there was going to be a gathering and to come hungry, she also stated that there would be some of the contestants from The Great Food Truck Race. We rolled up to the parking lot and immediately saw the gathering of food trucks. In bright pink there was Fry Girl, and with Iggy Pop playing on their sound system was “In You Face” with their very metal themed truck. The Lime Truck from The Great Food Truck Race was also there along with a selection of trucks of different varieties of food.
I decided to go for some fried fish from Fry Girl. Seemed different, and their mini-donuts they were giving away were excellent. It was fun watching as the automated donut maker worked its thing on an overhead mirror.
I also ordered some perogies. These were filled with spinach and cheese and were a nice change. The fish and chips tasted very good and surprisingly light for fried fish. We don’t have enough good choices for fried fish in the LA area, so it nice to see that you can get a pretty good Fish and Chips meal off of a Pink Lunch Truck.
The fries are typical skinny fries, they work, but fatter ones would have been better and would have kept to the fish and chips feel a little more.
I also visited the Cup Cake Truck and brought home a box of 4 cupcakes for the family. I made the mistake of getting them right before we were leaving and thus only a few cupcakes were left. It looks like they only bring about 120 cupcakes, so you had better get in line right away for some of their of their special cupcakes.
These cupcakes are not like your mother used to make. They have unique flavors like “breakfast”, which is basically a hollowed out cupcake (Trojan horse cupcake is what I call it) filled with breakfast foods. Very tasty, not really a cupcake, more of a tiny premium cake.
Lunch Trucks are generally not welcome in the Torrance area and gatherings of them are not at all tolerated. There are a lot of people debating back and forth as to whether or not they should be allowed and if they hurt local business.
If you have not been to one of these gatherings you might want to give it a try. We and others tweet out where the latest gathering will be. It is a product of Social Media that we can have these spontaneous gatherings pop up around us. So check your message box for the next gathering, bring a jacket, some cash and let yourself try out some of the mobile cuisine traveling around in our area.
CARL: Sorry for the blurry picture of my burger…..it was FREEZING COLD outside. I wanted to find a seat and wolf down that burger before it got cold. Mission accomplished. But I am getting ahead of myself…..let’s start at the beginning. My friend Debbie Bernstein posted a blurb about the “Din Din A Go Go” on her Facebook page and I was intrigued. I see lots about lunch trucks on TV but rarely do they venture into Torrance. I have heard from friends that Torrance is not a lunch truck friendly town so that may explain why I so rarely see them here. I’ve wanted to partake in the fun so this was my chance and besides, I had a recommended food choice – the “Witte (pronounced WIT-E) Burger” ($8) from the metal looking “Grill ‘em All” truck. Grill ‘em All was pumping out the rock tunes and the folks manning the window seemed to embrace the metal thing – a good start. I tried to order some fries to go with it but they had no sides – just burgers. I did manage to grab a Diet Coke from the built in ice chest ($1.50). At first glance the Witte burger’s cream cheese, deep fried bacon, and onions sounds like an accident waiting to happen but it was surprisingly good. The cream cheese was nicely melted, the bacon added a crispy texture and the burger itself was a generous size.After devouring the Witte Burger I let things settle a bit and took in the food truck ambience. A truck called “Fry Girl” caught my attention so I hopped in line and figured I’d be inspired by the time I got to the window. I was all set to go with Sweet Potato fries but at the last minute switched to the Apple Fries – boy, was that a great move! The Apple Fries ($5) are literally fried apple slices served with cinnamon sugar, caramel sauce & cream cheese whipped cream. On paper it doesn’t sound so great but it was AMAZING. I would drive far out of my way to get these again! I dug the Lucy truck experience and I’d for sure do it again. It was off eating in the parking lot of a Pep Boys but worth it. Thanks Debbie!