Staff Picks - Filling the Food Truck Void
By Molly Durham in Food on Nov 3, 2011 6:00PM
So you probably feel like you're being overrun by food trucks. Not literally, mind you, but everywhere you turn you're hearin' about them. Well... there could be more! There's everything from tamales to frozen yogurt roaming the streets and spamming your Twitter feed, so why not other culinary treasures? Everything can be translated into street food. Here are our picks for what food trucks we'd like to see come to fruition.
I would like to see a sushi truck. I'm not sure if that falls under "cooking on the truck" - if so, wait a while for the laws to change - but I want an entire refrigerated truck. Filled with fish on crushed ice, with a sushi chef in there carving and mixing. One side should open up to reveal the sushi chef, and it should have an aquatic theme - blue, fishes, perhaps even an actual aquarium somewhere in there. If not, stuffed fish hanging from the top. In an ideal world, in winter it would convert to a Sukiyaki/hot sake truck.
I'd like to see any of the deep dish heavy-hitters selling pizza by the slice out of a truck. Yeah, it could get messy when we realize that this is a two-handed affair, and we can't just fold the slice in half like our New York brethren. Nevertheless, I would gladly risk a sauce-stained suit for an individual slice of pie on the street.
Chicago clearly loves grilled cheese, and has shown it by supporting Cheesie's and Melt Sandwich Shoppe. Now it just needs to go mobile. This would only be possible after passing ordinances allowing chefs to cook on trucks, because any grilled cheese lover knows that you can only eat it hot off the grill with cheese melted to perfection!
Indian food - I want to be able to leave work for lunch and come back breathing fire from Indian spices. Sure it might not make for the best office environment, but god will it be tasty.
I'll tell you this, as the resident Food Truck Tracker, it's been more than once or twice I've thought about what I'd open, come the day regulations allow cooking on-board. My idea? Minna's MYUN, myun being the Korean word for noodles. Summer would offer cold soba noodle salads and spicy, cold buckwheat noodles (nengmyun) and winters would offer a variety of build-your-own ramen combos: think fancy cup-o-noodles with homemade noodles. Also, the truck would be designed to look like a roaming cup full of noodles, with noodle strands spilling out the side. Just saying.
I'm not as into food trucks as everyone else in Chicago (maybe because I work from home and they never rove to my part of the city), but there should be a truck that drives to bars around closing time and sells piping hot fries topped with cheese, chili, or curry sauce. They should also sell Gatorade so you can down a bottle and feel great the next morning.
Speaking of drunk food, I could seriously get behind a falafel truck. The "Sultan's Caravan," perhaps? Fresh pitas jam-packed with crispy falafel balls or spicy lamb shawarma, dressed to the nines in hot sauce and tahini...that's one sexy sandwich. I'd go home with that.
What trucks would you like to see?