Latest recipes

When It Comes to Providence’s Food Truck Scene, Size Matters

When It Comes to Providence’s Food Truck Scene, Size Matters

Can a city or town known for its brick-and-mortar food scene benefit from having a vibrant food truck scene? I believe the answer to that question is unequivocally yes! Having lived in what is arguably one of the best food scenes in the U.S. (particularly for its size) the past 10 years, I have observed the rise of the food truck scene alongside the city’s more established restaurants in New England’s second largest city, Providence, Rhode Island.

In 2013, Rhode Island had its fair share of food-related accolades when the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists were announced. Additionally, in 2012, Providence was named the top destination in the United States for “Food/Drink/Restaurants” in Travel + Leisure magazine’s “America’s Favorite Cities” poll. Providence is also home to the oldest operating American diner on wheels: Haven Brothers. Basically, this city knows food — both fine dining and casual options!

Click here to see the Providence Food Trucks Slideshow!

Providence is also home to one of the premiere culinary arts school in the U.S., Johnson & Wales University. It has seen its fair share of culinary giants walk its hallowed halls, such as chefs Tyler Florence, Emeril Lagasse, Michelle Bernstein, and Aarón Sanchez, who are all alums of this school.

Over the past five years or so, Providence has also undergone a significant bump in public events like farmers’ markets, concerts in its parks, festivals, and other arts and cultural activities around the city. Food trucks have quickly become an integral part of those events. In fact, this coming September, Providence was named the host city for the Taste Trekkers conference, the nation’s first food tourism conference, and you can bet food trucks will not only be on the agenda, but on the streets working their magic.

Providence’s food truck scene is growing, but not bursting at the seams, which makes it an interesting comparison to larger cities. There are actually market force lessons to be learned. In a January 2013 article in the Huffington Post by Rachel Tepper entitled “Food Truck Failures Reveal Dark Side, But Hope Shines Through", the article cites food truck association leaders stating “that 100 trucks launched in 2012 in Los Angeles and 35 failed”, and “30 trucks have gone out business since 2009” in Washington, D.C.

Providence’s food truck scene is different in that since it is a bit more compact, the bar is increasingly rising with each new truck that comes on the market (both in quality and being different from others already roaming the streets), and I also believe there’s increased room for competition. Also, unlike some smaller cities where there can be mixed reaction to food trucks, they are being woven into the fabric of the community in Providence. If there’s a public event worth being at, you can bet there will be multiple food trucks there. Additionally, with lots of activities going on, the city has helped to get many of these trucks off the ground. In other words, it’s an ecosystem thing. Providence’s ecosystem is a friendly environment for highly creative ventures, such as the ones included in the slideshow.

The Best Food Trucks in Santa Fe

Most discussions of fine dining in Santa Fe veer toward places with candles, cloth napkins, and things like chairs. But as a connoisseur of the city’s food trucks, I can vouch for the rising caliber of good food at reasonable prices—if you don’t mind eating in a parking lot. Smart entrepreneurs who really know how to cook, drive, and park are scattered throughout town, often in unusual locations that visitors and even locals miss.

Finding them sometimes requires tapping into your inner explorer. There’s no central food-truck location, but in one part of the city𠅊irport Road, on the south side𠅎nough of them bunch together regularly enough to constitute a certifiable scene.

You’ll also find smaller clusters at Meow Wolf, in the Siler Road district, in the big downtown parking lot across from the Roundhouse, and at Tumbleroot, a brewpub, distillery, and music venue on the western reach of Agua Fria Street.

Getting started in this niche business takes money, time, effort, and a DIY sensibility. For the most part, the owners of these trucks found their vehicles online, bought them used, did the necessary fix-it work themselves𠅎verything from applying paint jobs and logos to installing appliances𠅊nd devised ambitious menus. Vendors are required to obtain a $100 annual permit from the city, earn regulatory approval from the state (the  New Mexico Environment Bureau licenses and inspects food trucks with the same scrutiny given to any brick-and-mortar restaurant), and submit to a safety inspection by the Santa Fe Fire Department.

Alas, many trucks launch but don’t last. I’ve been frequenting them for years, and I can think of half a dozen good ones that rolled in and rolled away. The trucks I love best are the ones that add fire to the flavor. Here are six worth checking out.

Above: Compas Tacos. Photographs by Douglas Merriam.

6161 Airport Road (505) 795-6979
Airport Road, a long, densely commercial stretch that runs from Cerrillos Road to NM 599, is informally known as Little Chihuahua, thanks to a high concentration of Mexican immigrants who’ve given the neighborhood a distinctive feel by opening food trucks, full-service restaurants, groceries, panader໚s, and clothing stores with a taste of home.

The number of trucks in the area changes—usually at least six𠅋ut Compas Tacos, a bright-red structure that sits in the middle of an empty lot just east of the KSK Buddhist Center, is one of the most popular, judging by the number of vehicles clustered around it. Compas serves a typical mix of Mexican street food—tacos with meat fillings like carne asada (grilled steak) and carnitas (slowly braised pork), burritos, quesadillas, and tortas. Everything is prepared with obvious care.

The guiding hands here are Jesus Garc໚ and his wife, Minerva Rodriguez. Garc໚ is originally from Chihuahua and has lived in the United States for 25 years. He opened Compas in March of 2017 after racking up several years of experience in Taos restaurants and opening a weekend-only location off Camino las Campanas. “I cook what I like and what I know,” Garc໚ says through an interpreter. “I never get tired of it.” Most of his customers are from Mexico, he says, but 𠇊mericans” stop by, too. One of the most requested items is a mix of shrimp, bacon, and beef called Mar y Tierra (sea and land). Garc໚ says he loves this line of work and will keep at it, “God willing” and as long as there’s an audience for his food.

1352 Rufina Circle (505) 386-6343
A bright-orange truck featuring a striking Day of the Dead skull on the front, Palate occupies prime real estate for a food truck: It sits about 50 yards from the entrance to Meow Wolf, the wildly popular interactive art installation that draws visitors from all over the world. The owners, Angelica Reed and her husband, Chase, opened it in the summer of 2017, after buying a truck from a retired military veteran. They were living in Farmington but missing family and friends in Santa Fe, so they decided to come back and figure out a new way to make a living for themselves and their infant daughter, Layla. “I can confirm that the best changes happen when you step out on a limb and strive for more,” Angelica says. “We had no clue what we were doing when we started, or how we were going to make it, but we already felt lighter.”

Angelica says the menu combines tastes of Santa Fe, where she’s from, and Houston, where Chase is from. They take pride in using good, fresh ingredients—some of them bought at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market𠅊nd it shows in signature offerings like red-chile-braised beef tacos and fried-green-tomato po’ boys. The menu also features a section called “Not Tacos” (one typical item being a gourmet take on a grilled cheese sandwich) and affordably priced options for pint-size appetites. Have a party on the horizon? They cater, too.

807 Early St. (505) 500-0033
Look for the burly jalapeño mustache curled at the ends𠅊 logo for Chile Toreado, a beloved and battered old trailer (there is also mobile food cart on the Santa Fe Plaza) that’s earned a loyal following since opening in the early 2000s. For years, El Chile Toreado sat in a scruffy parking lot on Cordova Road, near the railroad tracks, but that era recently ended, sending customers into a flurry of panic. You’ll now find it tucked away in a shady spot on Early Street, in front of their future brick-and-mortar restaurant. It will one day again relocate, retaining the same white metal box painted with chile peppers and a brightly lettered list of offerings, plus an expansive buffet of toppings—pickled onions, pico de gallo, cabbage, and a salsa picante that will make your ears ring.

El Chile Toreado’s menu includes tacos, burritos, and quesadillas made with a variety of savory fillings, including carne asada, carnitas, and barbacoa (slow-stewed, spicy beef). They also sell four kinds of hot dogs, a nod to founder Luis Medina’s background in the food business. The 62-year-old Medina moved back and forth between Mexico and the United States for years, finally settling in Los Angeles, where he first became a hot dog vendor. He relocated to Santa Fe after seeing it during a road trip with his daughter, Berenice, who was looking at colleges and eventually attended Le Cordon Bleu. The truck is a family affair𠅊mong those at the grill are Berenice and her brother, Lester. Each has a tattoo of their business’ logo.

During Lent—which runs from March 6 to April 20 this year𠅌hile Toreado serves delicious tilapia tacos, partly as a service to patrons who’ve given up meat.

Above: The Bonsai Asian Tacos.

1599 S. St. Francis Dr. (505) 316-9418
Juan Carlos Ruvalcaba, the owner of this spicy operation with a hybrid name, is originally from Mexico City and first came to the United States in the mid-1990s. He started out in Los Angeles but moved to Santa Fe in 1998 after visiting a friend and feeling charmed by the place. He worked in restaurants for years, starting out as a dishwasher, then graduating to line cook as he made food at notable Santa Fe restaurants such as the Rio Chama Steakhouse, Anasazi, and Rancho Encantado, the Four Seasons resort north of Santa Fe. While working there under former chef Andrew Cooper, he heard about a used food truck for sale and, with the blessing of his wife, Carmen, decided to go for it. He did the truck’s paint job himself—green bamboo on a red background, with a logo featuring a bonsai tree. The name came to him after Cooper told him that restaurant branding matters. “If you have a good one,” Ruvalacaba recalls being told, “people get into it.”

Ruvalacaba’s menu is inspired by a famous L.A. food-truck operation—Kogi BBQ Food Truck and Catering𠅊nd by dining experiences he’s had in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The tacos are pretty spicy and very creative. Current offerings include fantastic tofu tacos, pork belly bourbon tacos, and shrimp tempura tacos.

Corner of Paseo de Peralta and Old Santa Fe Trail (505) 316-5084
When you pull up to El Sabor Tapas y Masss—which sits across the street from Kaune’s Neighborhood Market, near the Roundhouse—you may notice that the Spanish word for “more” gets two extra letters on the truck’s red, white, and blue paint job. Why? El Sabor’s owner, Ever Paz, is being playful, letting you know that his tapas are more substantial than ones you may encounter elsewhere. And he sells more than just tapas. The standard daily menu contains a whopping 24 items, including flash-fried avocado with pico de gallo and lime yogurt sauce, a hot ham sandwich with tomato, avocado, and green chile, and chicken and beef fajitas.

Paz hails from Escuintla, a city in south-central Guatemala that’s roughly the size of Santa Fe. He came to the United States in 1995, when he was 19, and found a home in restaurants, working over the years at the Hotel St. Francis, El Paseo Bar and Grill, and El Farol Restaurant, where he was executive chef for five years. After moving on from there, he bought a used truck in Colorado, worked it over�ing new kitchen equipment and painting the exterior𠅊nd opened in May of 2017. His wife, Ana, and son, Kevin, work with him.

This spring, he’s planning to debut a Spanish-style sandwich called a bocadillo, which consists of slow-cooked pork tenderloin, provolone cheese, lettuce, and tomato on a bun. He is also hoping to launch El Sabor on the Links, a brick-and-mortar restaurant at Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe Golf Course, which would serve breakfast, lunch, and bar menus.

1741 Llano St. (505) 316-2228
La Loncherita serves pupusas𠅊 Central American style of turnover with a thick corn masa exterior and a savory filling, charred on a griddle. The owners of this bright-blue truck, husband-and-wife team Geovanni Menendez and Vilma Peraza, have roots in El Salvador. Menendez is from Santa Ana, the nation’s third-largest city and a historic coffee-processing hub. Peraza is from Chalatenango, a smaller municipality near the border of Honduras. They’ve been in Santa Fe for 13 years and met each other here, opening the truck in June of 2015. It sits in a rutted dirt lot near major shopping centers off busy and cluttered St. Michael’s Drive.

Menendez handles the prep work Peraza does the cooking. She learned to make pupusas at a restaurant in El Salvador, and one of the truck’s signature fillings𠅌hicharrón, which in El Salvador means cooked, chopped pork—is a secret family recipe she got from her mother. A good bet is the truck’s most popular order: a pupusa revuelta containing chicharrón, beans, cheese, and lorocoan, anꃭible flower bud that grows in Central America and Mexico. It comes with a side of curtido𠅊 tangy pickled cabbage salad𠅊nd two choices of salsa (picante or regular). One or two is enough for lunch, and they cost only $2 each. There are vegetarian options, too, including espinacas (spinach) and mushroom. Dollar for dollar, this is one of the best lunch deals in town.

Three other Santa Fe trucks that can fill you up.

The Santa Fe Kitchen (3668 Cerrillos Road)
Parked in front of a pawn shop, this cheerful red-and-yellow trailer serves tacos, tortas, quesadillas, hamburgers, and Frito pies.

Santafamous Street Eats (502 Old Santa Fe Trail)
A next-door neighbor of El Sabor, Santafamous makes one of the best breakfast burritos in the city.

Abo’s Caribbean Kitchen (at Tumbleroot, 2791 Agua Fria)
Offers three kinds of chicken𠅌urry, barbecue, and jerk—with tasty sides.

If you stop and think about what happens when all the plants are gone, it can become obvious. If it’s not, maybe the results of the simulation can shine some light.

With energy source running out, beings closer to the top of the food chain can still survive and make progress for a while, by feeding on those lower in the food chain. Oblivious to their upcoming destiny, however, sooner or later they go extinct too.

Z. Fras, “Artificial life simulation,” M. S. thesis, University of Zagreb,
Zagreb, Croatia, 2014.

Is it weird to quote your own thesis? I don’t know, is it? Perhaps.

Let’s pretend that’s fine for a bit, because the data is real, the simulation is real, the title is obvious and the world is, not just metaphorically, on fire, so you’re not here for the answer to the question, you’re here to go deeper. You’re here because you hope there’s more. You’re still reading because you hope we can do something about it and you want to know what your part is. Or that’s my mental image of the kind of person you are.

If it was all black and white, we would end here. Quite literally. We’re killing our forests, our plants are dying, simulations are predicting our demise. We ought to write our eulogies as we look at the smoke raising on the horizon as the setting sun paints beautiful, bloody, hues. Our only hope for life would be the Phoenix of the next civilization raising from these ashes, thinking to themselves “What the heck happened to these guys, they had such advanced technology…”. Because life finds a way, and if it was a movie, it leaves room for a sequel.

Luckily, world has shades of gray, and like the bloody sunset, it has color, visible and invisible spectrum. Simulations are not copies of the real world, and this is our first movie, not the sequel.


Achan, by Wendy Eaton – November 1998
Admonition for Workers, Lay Members and Ministers Regarding Colonization, by E. G. White – September 1997
Agriculture = The ABC of Education, by E.G. White – June 2001, and April 2003
An Appeal to Church Members for Upcoming Church Elections, by Richard Lapensee – January 1999
Ancient Vs. Modern Israel, by Wendy Eaton – September 1995
Business Meetings, by E.G. White – October 1997
Camp Meetings, by E. G. White – July 2012
Camp Meetings, by E.G. White – September 2015
Centralization at Battle Creek, by E.G. White – June 2006
Characteristics of God’s Church, by Wendy Eaton – August 1999
Church and Conference Election, by Golden Kayawa Hingabantu – September 2007
Church Business Matters – November 1997
Consolidation of the Publishing Work, by E.G. White – February 1999
Copyright or Right Copy, by Richard Lapensee – July 1999
Does God have a Visible Church on this Earth? By Nicholas Anca – January 2014
Have You Sown the Wind, to Reap the Whirlwind?, by Jerry Eaton – January 1999
Heresies, by Timo Martin – January 2000
In God’s House, by E.G. White – April 1997
Keep it Simple, by Jerry Eaton – July 1999
Labour Unions, by Timo Martin – August 2000
Leadership Skills, by Henry Dering – September 2014
Lessons from Battle Creek (colonisation), by E.G. White – April 1997
Light in a Dark Place of the Church Militant, by John Thiel – August 2008
Jesus – Our Real Church, by S. Raj Israel – November 2006
Miracle Workers and the Remnant Church, by Sunil Joseph – December 2000
Meeting Places, by E.G. White – January 2000
Muddy Waters, by Wendy Eaton – April 1998
Music: Do we Manipulate it, or does it manipulate us? By Jerry Eaton – February 1997
Neglect not your Church, by Xavior Chelliah – August 2004
Organization – June 1996
Reverence and Respect, by Wendy Eaton – July 2017
Satan’s Helpers in the Church, by Timo Martin – December 1996
Scabies, by Wendy Eaton – August 1997
Secret Sins and Their Consequences Upon the Church, by Nicholas Anca – June 2011
Something that Must be Avoided, by Nicholas Anca – September 2011
“Sometimes You Just have to Wink” – Winking at the Weak, by Idel Suarez – July 1996
Summery of the Report of the Session of the GC in 1951 – March 1999
Testimonies are Righteous, by David Sampathkumar – September 2003
The Body of Christ, by Teresa Corti – November 2006
The Camp Meeting, by Golden Kayawa Hingabantu – November 2004
The Church, by Timo Martin – January 2003
The Church and Pure Religion, by Victor Shumbusho – August 2016
The Church and The Truth, by Henry Dering–April 2013
The Church Called Christian, by Jerry Eaton – August 1997
The Church Militant, by E.G. White – October 1995
The Church of God, by Augustus Ratneiya–March 2013
The Church of God and its Role in Our Lives, by John Thiel – December 2009
The Church of God Versus Babylon, by Timo Martin – March 2006
The House of God, by Nicholas Anca–September 2013
The Humble Minister, by E.G. White – May 1998
The Precious Truth — New and Old, by Joel Jungubawa Msiska – June 2011
The T.I.E. Syndrome, by Jerry Eaton – June 1998
The Temple of God, by Augustus Ratneiya – May 2015
The Two Responsibilities of the Church, by Ivo Ionov – May 2002
To Be Exact, by Chester Cosby – February 2000
Watchmen on the Walls of Zion, by Wendy Eaton – December 2001
Women’s Role in the Church, by Timo Martin – September 2007
Why be a Seventh-day Adventist of the Reform Movement?, by Xavior Chelliah – January 1999
Your Church, by Xavior Chelliah – May 2007

Not all of Rhode Island's food stories in 2013 were good news. In 2013 GoLocalProv went through the health inspection records for Providence-area dining establishments and unveiled a list of the worst offenders.

Two of the restaurants had more than 30 violations each, with many others racking up numerous trangressions each. The violations range from minor observations to the more serious including cross-contamination, lack of proper food storage, employees not wearing gloves when handling ready-to-eat food, hand washing, or sick employees at work.


United States Edit

In the United States, the Texas chuckwagon is a precursor to the American food truck. In the later 1800s, herding cattle from the Southwest to markets in the North and East kept cowhands on the trail for months at a time. [6] In 1866, the "father of the Texas Panhandle", Charles Goodnight, [7] a Texas cattle rancher, fitted a sturdy old United States Army wagon with interior shelving and drawers, and stocked it with kitchenware, food and medical supplies. Food consisted of dried beans, coffee, cornmeal, greasy cloth-wrapped bacon, salt pork, beef, usually dried or salted, and other easy to preserve food stuffs. The wagon was also stocked with a water barrel and a sling to kindle wood to heat and cook food. [8] [9]

Another early relative of the modern food truck is the lunch wagon, as conceived by food vendor Walter Scott in 1872. Scott cut windows in a small covered wagon, parked it in front of a newspaper office in Providence, Rhode Island, and sold sandwiches, pies and coffee to pressmen and journalists. By the 1880s, former lunch-counter boy, Thomas H. Buckley, was manufacturing lunch wagons in Worcester, Massachusetts. He introduced various models, like the Owl and the White House Cafe, with features that included sinks, refrigerators and cooking stoves, also colored windows and other ornamentation. [10]

Later versions of the food truck were mobile canteens, which were created in the late 1950s. These mobile canteens were authorized by the U.S. Army and operated on stateside army bases. [11]

Mobile food trucks, nicknamed "roach coaches" or "gut trucks", have been around for years, serving construction sites, factories, and other blue-collar locations. [12] In big cities of the U.S. the food truck traditionally provided a means for the on-the-go person to grab a quick bite at a low cost. Food trucks are not only sought out for their affordability but as well for their nostalgia and their popularity continues to rise. [13]

During the 2010s the economic changes caused by the Great Recession, technological factors, and street food being "hip" or "chic" have combined to increase the number of food trucks in the United States. [14] [15] The construction business was drying up, leading to a surplus of food trucks, and chefs from high-end restaurants were being laid off. For experienced cooks suddenly without work, the food truck seemed a clear choice, and a smaller financial investment than a brick-and-mortar restaurant. [14] [16]

Once more commonplace in American coastal big cities like New York City and Los Angeles, gourmet food trucks are now to be found as well in the suburbs, and in small towns across the country. [17] [18] [19] Food trucks are also being hired for special events, like weddings, movie shoots, and corporate gatherings, and also to carry advertising promoting companies and brands. [20]

In 2011, USA Today noted that food trucks selling pricier food were gaining popularity across the United States, contrary to a common perception that food trucks are typically run-down and found at construction sites. [21] In 2009, New York magazine noted that the food truck had "largely transcended its roach-coach classification and is now a respectable venue for aspiring chefs to launch careers." [12] These gourmet trucks' menus run the gamut of ethnic and fusion cuisine. Often focusing on limited but creative dishes at reasonable prices, they offer customers a chance to experience food they otherwise may not. Finding a niche seems to be a path to success for most trucks. While one truck may specialize in outlandish burgers, another may serve only lobster rolls. [22] Food trucks are now even Zagat rated. [ citation needed ]

Gourmet food trucks can also offer a unique dining experience. With the rise of millennial diners, experiential dining has become more main stream, driving restaurant and food truck owners to create a unique experience for their customers. As food trucks are mobile, this provides an advantage to gourmet trucks to take their experience anywhere they may please. [22]

Tracking food trucks has been made easy with social media like Facebook and Twitter, where a favorite gourmet truck can be located at any moment, with updates on specials, new menu items and location changes. [23] In fact, it could be argued that social media was the biggest contributing factor to the breakthrough success of the gourmet food truck. [24]

Food truck rallies and food truck parks are also growing in popularity in the US. At rallies, people can find their favorite trucks all in one place and as well provide a means for a variety of diverse cultures to come together and find a common ground over a love for food. [3] [25] [26] On August 31, 2013, Tampa hosted the world's largest food truck rally, with 99 trucks attending. [27] The Tampa Rally broke its own record by bringing together 121 food trucks in 2014. [28] Chicago Food Truck Festival hosts over 40 trucks each year with 60,000 guests participating over two days in Chicago. [29] And food truck parks, offering permanent locations, are found in urban and suburban areas across the US. [17] [30]

The popularity of food trucks lead to the creation of associations that protect and support their business rights, such as the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association. [31]

Food trucks are subject to the same range of concerns as other foodservice businesses. They generally require a fixed address to accept delivery of supplies. A commercial kitchen may be needed for food prep. There are a variety of permits to obtain, and a health code to observe. Labor and fuel costs are a significant part of the overhead. [32] [33]

Legal definitions and requirements for food trucks vary widely by country and locality. For example, in Toronto, Canada, some of the requirements include business and liability insurance, a Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration for the truck, permits for each municipality being operated in (downtown, various suburbs), a food handler certificate, appropriate driver's licenses for drivers, assistant's licenses for assistants, and a health inspection. [34]

As the rising number and popularity of food trucks push them into the food mainstream, region by region, problems with local legislators and police reacting to new situations, and brick-and-mortar restaurants fearing competition, have to be worked through, in some cases creating significant business uncertainty. [35] [36] [37] Chicago long held the distinction of being the only city in the United States that did not allow food trucks to cook on board, which required trucks to prepare food in a commercial kitchen, then wrap and label the food and load it into a food warmer. In 2012, under pressure from food truck owners and supporters, including the University of Chicago Law School, regulations were changed to allow on-board cooking, however, controversially, food trucks are required to park 200 feet away from any restaurant, which virtually eliminates busy downtown locations. [38] [39] [40]

In the US, specialized food truck outfitters offer comprehensive start-up services that can include concept development, training, and business support, in addition to outfitted trucks. [41] In the US, food trucks are a $1.2 billion industry. [42] By 2017, the US food truck industry had surpassed $2.7 billion. [43]

Expansion from a single truck to fleets and retail outlets has proven possible. Los Angeles-based gourmet ice cream maker Coolhaus grew from a single truck in 2009 to 11 trucks and carts, two storefronts, and over 2,500 retail partner stores by September 2014. [44] [45]

The libertarian Reason magazine states that in US, cities, food trucks are subject to protectionist regulations designed to prevent them from competing with brick and mortar restaurants. For example, in Chicago, a regulation prevents food trucks ". from selling food within 200 feet of brick-and-mortar restaurants and, hence, prohibit them from operating throughout the city's downtown area", which critics have called an "anti-competitive" rule for food truck operators. [46]

In 1936 the Food Code spread its regulatory umbrella to include food trucks as a result of their introduction to society. [47]

Food trucks have unique health risks compared to regular land-based restaurants when it comes to food safety and the prevention of foodborne illness. Most food trucks do not have access to adequate clean and hot water necessary to wash hands or to rinse off vegetables, as required by most health codes or regulations. [48] [49]

In June 2017, The Boston Globe reviewed the 2016 city health records and found that food trucks had been cited for violations 200 times, with half of the violations being minor in nature and the other half being serious violations. When compared to fixed location restaurants, the city closed nine of the 96 licensed food trucks in 2016 and closed only two out of 100 restaurants. A majority of the serious violations were related to the lack of water and hand washing. [48] An earlier study showed that Boston food trucks, on average, received 2.68 violations per inspection between 2011 and July 2013, while restaurants received 4.56 citations for violations per inspection. For "critical foodborne violations"—defined by the city as activities that contribute to foodborne illness, such as improper labeling of ingredients—food trucks and restaurants were roughly equivalent, with 0.87 violations per inspection for food trucks, and 0.84 for restaurants. [ citation needed ] .

Universities glom onto food trucks

Call them what you will: mobile canteens, lunch wagons, catering vans or even the pejorative “roach coaches.” Food trucks, once the “restaurant” of choice for employees outside of manufacturing plants, steel mills, military bases and more, are back.

They are popping up on street corners in major cities across the country, to the delight of city dwellers tired of the same old delis for lunch and to the chagrin of city health officials and some brick-and-mortar restaurateurs. And they have found safe haven in some non-commercial operations, most notably on college campuses.

Fourteen percent of respondents to The Big Picture say they employ food trucks. Usually, in healthcare and B&I, food trucks are commercial operators who contract with individual institutions to serve their employees. But at many colleges, the trucks are often purchased and outfitted by the foodservice department as just another food outlet.

“In non-commercial foodservice, especially colleges, food trucks are excellent for three reasons,” says foodservice consultant Tom MacDermott. “College campuses have the kind of space to make use of mobile foodservice. Foodservice departments often have the ready capital available to invest. And students are a good target for food trucks because they sell the kinds of food young people like: quick, cheap and portable.”

At Fresno (Calif.) State University, bulldogbites became the newest food outlet this fall when the red-checked truck rolled onto campus. The truck is operated by University Dining Services and alternates between two sites on campus Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to breakfast items offered all day, the truck serves burgers, grilled cheese, wraps, salads and a variety of sides. No item costs more than $6.

Megan Sarantos, assistant manager at the University Center, is in charge of the truck, which cost $45,000. Students, faculty and staff all had a hand in determining the menu.

“We came up with a menu that is diverse enough to satisfy customers,” she says. “We have a number of healthy choices, as well as vegetarian items, along with burgers, tacos and sandwiches.”

At Michigan State University in East Lansing, Eat At State On-The-Go pulls double duty, according to Culinary Services Director Guy Procopio. During the week the truck can be found behind Shaw Hall, where it serves 200 customers a day. When the Spartans have a home game, the truck moves to Spartan Stadium to become another tailgate option.

According to The Big Picture data, Michigan State isn’t alone in this practice. Most operators—61%—use trucks to sell meals at special events, like MSU’s football games.

Since 2010, the University of Washington in Seattle has operated three trucks: Hot Dawgs, Motosurf and Red Square BBQ. General Manager Andrea Benson says the trucks were bought as an option after dining services saw the growth of commercial trucks in the city.

“We regularly receive requests from outside vendors to come on to campus, and we say no because we already have our trucks,” says Benson. All three trucks are located on Red Square and were specifically designed, according to the campus website, “to bring the authentic, affordable and tasty street food experience to campus.”

Hot Dawgs serves a variety of kosher hot dogs, in addition to a vegan sausage and a chicken sausage. Motosurf offers Hawaiian, Korean and Pacific Islands street food, and Red Square BBQ sells barbecue sandwiches, sliders, mac and cheese and sides such as potato salad, baked beans and cole slaw.

Dining Services also saw the value of trucks when the university renovated More Hall this past summer, stationing two trucks on the lawn outside that building. With the reopening of the hall, the trucks have been closed and will be used by the catering department for special events, says Benson.

An institution’s size doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to food trucks. Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, with only 1,900 students, has The Bird Feeder as a late-night mobile dining option. The truck sells a variety of sandwiches, chicken tenders, cheese sticks, fries and fried pickles, with a price range between $4 and $6. Eric Turzai, director of dining services, calls the truck “an inexpensive way to satisfy the late-night dining habits of today’s college student.”

Of the other non-commercial markets, the least likely segment—on paper—to be able to make use of food trucks would be K-12 schools. However, many districts summer feeding programs could be tailor-made for food trucks.

The Miami-Dade County (Fla.) Public Schools put that idea to the test earlier this year when it used a food truck to serve meals to students at 10 sites. Carol Chong, R.D., director of food and menu management for the district, says the program served as a pilot and was sponsored by a number of food manufacturers such as Schwan’s Food Service. She says her team will evaluate the test to determine whether it is feasible over the long term.

Foodie Fest is coming: What you need to know about each food truck

The food truck trend continues to grow around the Upstate, and customers are finding their way to the mobile eateries in droves. But in Anderson, food trucks are still working on gaining acceptance.

Last year, the Foothills Alliance and Civic Center of Anderson came together for the first Foodie Fest food truck rodeo and it was such a hit that the groups are doing it again. On April 22, Foodie Fest welcomes 10 food trucks to the parking lot of the Civic Center for an afternoon of eating, drinking and fun.

The vendors have been announced, and we have everything you need to know to plan your way around the festival and enjoy every aspect your tastebuds desire.

The Donut Guy, Winnsboro

You know the excitement you get when Krispy Kreme puts out "hot and ready" donuts? The Donut Guy does that each and every time an order comes in. The truck prides itself on made-to-order mini and large donuts with flavors like red velvet and strawberry shortcake. But we are really interested in the Fruity Pebbles donut and the peanut butter cup donut. What must those taste like? The Donut Guy is making the trek from north of Columbia to satisfy all the sweet teeth at Foodie Fest.

Moonshadow Concessions, Franklin Springs, Ga.

Moonshadow Concessions is an enigmatic "mobile food concession" entity. But what they lack in marketing, they more than make up for in flavor. Their offerings include items like chicken tenders and fries for the kids and lemonade, iced lattes and limeade for the rest of us. And look for fried Oreos and deep-fried cobblers for dessert.

Size Matters BBQ, Columbia

One of the quirkier additions to the Foodie Fest family, Size Matters BBQ is a renovated school bus that slow cooks smoked meats and is famous around Columbia for homemade sauces. They will serve up pulled pork sandwiches, grilled chicken and barbecue tacos and nachos. Just look for the big, bright school bus and get ready for a little barbecue.

Size Matters Seafood, Columbia

From the folks who brought you Size Matters BBQ, the Size Matters Seafood side is filled with shrimp and grits, fresh crawfish and gumbo. For the seafood fix you didn't know you needed, they will be set up right beside the barbecue.

The Snow Castle has dozens of crazy flavors, many coming from its mobile venue. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

The Snow Castle, Greenville and Woodruff

Snow Castle is known in Greenville and Woodruff for their 116 flavors of shaved ice. Of course, that's in their brick-and-mortar spot, so it's doubtful they will bring that many to Foodie Fest. But don't be surprised to see some of the more unique flavors (like dill pickle, Mai Tai and roasted marshmallow) making an appearance. Plus, they have gourmet hot cocoa and other treats.

One Love Fusion Foods, Greenville

A food truck rodeo wouldn't be a food truck rodeo without nachos and tacos. One Love Fusion's food truck specializes in jerk chicken nachos and eclectic tacos filled with a variety of island flavors. They can be found in Greenville and Clemson on the regular but are making a special stop in Anderson for Foodie Fest.

One Love Foods will have plenty of spicy nachos and more at Foodie Fest. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

Moroccan Cookbook, Rock Hill

Everyone knows about kabobs, wraps and sandwiches, but have you ever heard of pastilla? It's like a Moroccan pot pie filled with dried fruits and seasoned beef and it's, well, delicious. Moroccan Cookbook food truck serves international fare like kabobs along with American favorites to offer a little of everything. They will also put together plenty of vegetarian items for anyone trying to cut back on meat.

Moroccan Cookbook brings international flair to the Foodie Fest in Anderson. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

Feel Good Food Truck, Aiken

Looking at the Feel Good Food Truck's varied menu, it's pretty easy to want just about everything. A steak sandwich, a pressed Cuban sandwich, a turkey/apple/swiss press and something called the Ultimate Grilled Cheese will have you yelling "TAKE MY MONEY!" But add the fried mac and cheese balls and smoked chicken wings and you might just spend that nest egg as well.

Feel Good Food Truck will be at the Foodie Fest in Anderson on April 22. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

Freebird Food Truck, Greenville

Getting a burger, hot dog, bratwurst or fries from a food truck is one of the best feelings in the world. And eating it is pretty good too. Freebird Food Truck from Greenville hand-patties the burgers and uses local meat from area farmers. One burger is piled high with house-made pimento cheese while another will hold the truck's famous chili.

Northern Suga, Anderson

One more sweet treat couldn't hurt, right? Candied apples, chocolate-covered strawberries and a variety of sweet and salty popcorns are the specialty of Northern Suga, and once you see them, it's going to be hard to resist.

There will also be beer and non-alcoholic beverage sales at Foodie Fest from TRZ Management as well as inflatable playgrounds for the kids.

This year, tastes will be on a ticketed basis. It will be $20 for eight tasting tickets and $36 for 16 tasting tickets. Tickets will also be required to purchase all drinks. There will be no cash sales at any vendors except the ticket booths. Wristbands will be required to purchase alcohol and to get into the inflatable area. Cost of each wristband is $2.

The Guide


“Riot medicine is the practice of medicine in an adversarial environment.
It exists outside of formal and State sanctioned medical services. Practitioners of riot medicine go by many names (riot medics, street medics,
demonstration medics, action medical)”

duties of a riot medic may include handing out water during a peaceful
demonstration, providing late-night jail support for arrested comrades,
caring for injured protesters and bystanders during a riot, or extracting
and providing lifesaving interventions for combatants during an armed

Can be certified/licensed or not, can be partisan or neutral

“Riot medics comfort traumatized comrades as much as they heal their

“This book is written from an autonomous, anarchist perspective.”

Chapter One: Organize!

The more aggressive the police are, the more likely you can’t use traditional EMS services.

Police may attempt to arrest at hospitals.

You may be providing care in jail.

“Your responsibilities during actions are something you are likely
already familiar with. They may include:
• Providing care to injured individuals
• Spreading calm when others may panic
• Evacuating injured persons to safety
• Interfacing with traditional EMS
• Setting up makeshift clinics to care for multiple casualties
• Instructing patients on aftercare
• Providing emotional and psychological support for patients experiencing trauma”

Study other street medic organizations, take any trainings they provide, be aware of how the police or anti-democratic forces in your area operate. Exercise.

Learn other languages that may be around the area of operation. In Texas, this means being bilingual in spanish.

  • Mutual aid
  • Patient confidentiality
  • Informed consent
    • Their version of informed consent is not the same as Red Cross’s. While you should try to get informed consent for every step, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether helping someone who’s unconscious or delirious is coercion or not. Red cross says you have ‘implied consent’ in these cases.
    • This includes ignoring police orders and continuing to help patients

    Don’t get yourself injured or arrested if you can avoid it, as you become a drain on the resources you’re there to protect.

    Avoid medical tourism or, on the flip side, a martyrdom complex

    Chapter Two: Organizational Structures

    “Riot medicine inherently means operating under conditions that are
    adverse to administering prompt and ideal care for patients”

    “A scenario that should be avoided is an unwillingness to work together between traditional medical personnel and riot medics. This may endanger patients’ lives.”

    “While acting as a medic, you may work as part of a medic collective,
    be embedded in an affinity group, or work as an unaffiliated individual.
    No matter how you choose to operate, you must always work with a

    “Your buddy does not have to be a medic themselves, and they may simply be a comrade you can pair up with at actions.”

    “Some common responsibilities you and your buddy have toward each
    other include:
    • Being a second set of eyes while scanning for patients or danger
    • Providing a second perspective or opinion for a situation (medical
    or otherwise)
    • Being the devil’s advocate or voice of caution
    • Dividing equipment and carrying redundant equipment
    • Double checking equipment
    • Reminding the other to eat and drink
    • Being alert while the other rests
    • Controlling a crowd while the other assists a patient
    • Preventing people from taking photos or video of a patient
    • Being a secondary for two-person CPR
    • Assisting with moving or carrying a patient
    • Communicating with EMS, other medics, or other groups while the
    other is helping a patient
    • Debriefing each other at the end of the day
    • Supporting each other’s mental health in the long-term”

    “If you are predictable, your presence can encourage people to come out to
    actions, and it can create a willingness for comrades to take action they
    otherwise might not.”

    Working as a group can help avoid burnout by round robining who goes to what. Also helps with medic mental health as you have people to talk to who understand. A group has an easier time getting supplies together and forming a non-profit.

    A collection of medics (or other people) put together from disparate home groups for the course of a single or more actions is called a “working group”.

    “Medics who cannot be as physically active may want to set up water and first-aid stations for actions.”

    When forming a group, consider adopting a code of conduct to help provide group identity. Consensus statements can be made on a per action basis to help others understand who the medics are for the course of that action. This can be done by the working group itself.

    The St. Paul consensus may or may not be in your interest. It honestly depends on whether you think anarchists are on the same side as you or not. There are times, like Charlottesville, where a diversity of tactics was warrented and others, like many protests during BLM, where violence was against the wishes of the Black Organizers putting together the protests. The point of a consensus statement is that all affinity groups in the region ought to have consensus on these issues. If organizers do not, then you don’t have a consensus with them.

    Just as we should consider a diversity of tactics, we also have to be aware of accelerationists and agitators attempting to do things in the name of the action. These things may not be in the best interest of the action.

    Chapter Three: Pre-action Planning

    Plan 3months to a year in advance for long term actions. The main point of planning is to ensure you have the resources necessary, including emotional reserve to avoid burn out.

    A good idea is to both take into account reoccuring actions like holiday marches, and keep a reserve for reactive actions, such as responses to police shootings. Scale need to what the actions need, different protests might run into different medical needs depending on their size and tactics.

    Plan for what happens if you’re injured or arrested. Keep a change of clothes at a friends house, give a friend a key to ensure they can feed animals if you’re away. Get in touch with legal resources before you need them.

    It’s easier to train and rely on standard operating procedures, SOPs, as the ‘default plan’ for any action, then put any tailoring/purpose statements out about a week before the action. It’s also easiest to already have a mission pre-understood by your group, so that consensus statements are easier to forge. A week out is also a good time to check inventories of supplies.

    One day out, any more tailoring based on news/new discoveries since a week out. Inform an emergency contact where you’re going, pack your medic bag, print maps (in case cell phones go out). Consider shaving facial hair so your mask works better.

    Day of, remove piercings, make up, use only water based sunscreen. Review plan last time with group, check in with buddy, try and get food and water down. Check your groups medic bags for any shared equipment.

    Food Carts Portland

    The Story: Do you know where Guyana is? Did you know Portland has an authentic Guyanese food cart? Most don’t, but when you visit Bake on the Run at Piknik Park in Sellwood, owner and chef Michael Singh will use hand gestures to describe the country’s location sandwiched between Venezuela and Suriname and north of Brazil. A pretty cool description to get you in the mood for some authentic Guyanese cuisine.

    Michael and his mother Bibi are the team behind Bake on the Run. I had the pleasure of meeting them awhile ago on one of my food cart tours while they were visiting Portland to see how we do it. Even then, I was intrigued to hear about the different dishes they were planning to offer, so when I discovered they opened the cart, I ventured south. Guyana has a number of culinary and cultural influences going back centuries ranging from Portuguese to Chinese and those influences are showcased in the dishes Mike and Bibi offer. On the menu you’ll find Bibi’s Chow Mein, noodles in teriyaki and soy mixed with veggies and chicken.

    I was intrigued by the the namesake dish, the bake. A lightly fried bread which I can only describe as a modded puffed pastry, but less sweet is filled with your choice of items. I chose the Portuguese salted cod omelette. While we think of omelettes for breakfast, placing it in the bake was perfect for lunch. The mix of fried bread and the salty cod was divine and to top if off, Michael proffered some of his homemade spicy sauce which gave the dish the perfect amount of kick. You can also get the bake with a chickpea and potato curry or go sweet with jam and Nutella.

    Portland’s food cart scene continues to evolve and I’m happy to report that new vendors like Bake on the Run are here to feed a new generation of eaters. You can find Bake on the Run’s authentic Guyanese cuisine at Piknik Park Food Cart Pod in Sellwood off Tacoma. They are open daily for lunch and offer covered and heated seating and a beer cart. When you visit, say hi to Mike and Bibi and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

    Watch the video: Providences Food Truck Scene (October 2021).