After moving from a small Midwestern community to a large metropolis like Los Angeles, I found my food world literally turned upside down. Like the loose change falling out of a kids pocket while hanging on the monkey bars restaurants, bistros, cafÃ©s, etc., literally seemed to be spilling out of the city.Â With all the diverse cuisine and â€œlocal spotsâ€ to choose from, I actually, for the first time in my life, found myself overwhelmed by food.
What was once a simple choice of a handful of diners or a dozen or so ethnic food restaurants instantly became a ‘Whereâ€™s Waldo‘ of dining.Â Becoming hungry had become a burden.
Often, we rely on word of mouth or a review by the â€œlocalsâ€ of the restaurants we ought to try.Â However, when youâ€™re new, getting to know the locals can take a while and thatâ€™s longer than Iâ€™m willing to wait for breakfast- Iâ€™m talkinâ€™ 20 minutes — tops.Â So whatâ€™s a guy to do?
Well, I opened the local paper and began reading.Â I figured there ought to be reviews, â€œcityâ€™s bestâ€ lists, or at least a coupon that might tempt me in the right direction.Â Sure enough, in the events section of the newspaper I found a â€œlocal digsâ€ column that featured different places to dine; places that were fun for the kids, easy on the wallet, and/or downright tasty. There, in bold letters were the underlined words you see at the top of this very column- â€œFood Trucksâ€.
The child in me wanted to bust out his matchbox cars as my mind tends to word-associate, but the adult in me just wanted to grub. According to the article, these â€œfood trucksâ€ would park at the fairgrounds EVERY Thursday from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.Â Being that I read this over the weekend, it meant I had to harness my childish desire to jump on my bike and race to these food trucks A.S.A.P. and instead, justâ€¦ wait.Â The torment of waiting was hell.Â I held myself over with pizza and sub sandwiches. Dullsville!
Finally, Thursday had arrived.Â Never had I experienced something quite so appetizing. Imagine RVâ€™s converted in to mobile gourmet restaurants with walk-up windows (take out only).Â Now imagine a dozen or so of them all conveniently gathered in one location and picnic tables to boot!Â Amazing, right?Â But the truly incredible thing was each truck had a niche; a particular dish or style of cuisine which they specialized in and delivered to their customers in an over-the-top manner.
One truckâ€™s menu consisted of about 15 different bacon selections- everything from a traditional BLT (of course done â€œtheirâ€ way) to Bacon Wrapped Mac ‘n Cheese Ball (Mamaâ€™s recipe, no out-of-the-box crap), and even a fried PB&J Bacon Pocket (a bacon weaved and wrapped, crust-less white square of bread with creamy peanut butter, not chunky and strawberry jam- classic).Â Needless to say, I tried them all and nothing, NOTHING, could interrupt the intimate moments I shared that afternoon with my bacon mistressâ€¦ except for the everything-cupcake truck.
Donâ€™t judge me! Iâ€™m a growing boy who needs his nourishment and cupcakes have always made my heart tickle.Â Now, they had every combination of cupcake you could imagine: vanilla, lemon, red velvet, blueberry, green tea and so on.Â However, I would find the lover Iâ€™d just left at the previous food truck sneaking her way back into my heart.Â I ordered the Vanilla-Maple-Bacon-Cupcake Push-Pop and rekindled the salty/sweet passion only recently departed with reckless abandon.
The dessert was handed to me — a stick with a foil wrapped cylinder tube on top.Â Upon removing the foil, the clear plastic push-pop container (similar to the classic ice cream novelties we remember as children) was left naked, exposing a layered dessert of perfection.Â Pushing from the bottom, bacon (real bacon pieces) sprinkled on top of a layer of maple butter cream frosting was the first portion of dessert to expose itself to the eager eater (in this case, lucky me).Â Pushing further exposed a layer of moist vanilla cupcake, followed by more bacon pieces, more frosting, and finally, another layer of cupcake. Heaven was no longer a place for the devout.Â It was real, it was in a parking lot, and I was there.
That dayÂ I left satiated and numb.Â The experience was a food-lovers death wish.Â I remember after eating, looking around at what I had just experienced for the first time and I was simply blown away.Â How I was ever able to pick just a few things from the vast selection of deliciousness, Iâ€™ll never quite know (though I recommend rock/paper/scissors for the truly indecisive)?
Each truck had its own unique way of presenting their niche-food, one as enticing as the next.Â From the moment you arrive, you can literally taste the aromas of the varying cuisines- Argentinean tacos, French fries, and Korean BBQ to name a few.
With prices ranging from $2.50 for a slider, to 9$ for a blow-your-mind-bacon-sandwich combo meal, anyone can afford to stop by for at least a taste. Though, unless youâ€™re a master of self-restraint, Iâ€™d anticipate spending about 10 Bucks sampling a few different items from a few different trucks.
Oh!Â Be sure to leave your diets at home and bring a couple friends, that way you can all share what you orderâ€¦ though sharing might be more difficult than deciding what to eat in the first place!