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, cafés, etc., literally seemed to be spilling out of the city.  With all the diverse cuisine and “local spots” 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 ‘Where’s Waldo‘ of dining.  Becoming hungry had become a burden.

Often, we rely on word of mouth or a review by the “locals” of the restaurants we ought to try.  However, when you’re new, getting to know the locals can take a while and that’s longer than I’m willing to wait for breakfast- I’m talkin’ 20 minutes — tops.  So what’s a guy to do?

Well, I opened the local paper and began reading.  I figured there ought to be reviews, “city’s best” lists, or at least a coupon that might tempt me in the right direction.  Sure enough, in the events section of the newspaper I found a “local digs” 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- “Food Trucks”.

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 “food trucks” would park at the fairgrounds EVERY Thursday from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  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, just… wait.  The torment of waiting was hell.  I held myself over with pizza and sub sandwiches. Dullsville!

Finally, Thursday had arrived.  Never had I experienced something quite so appetizing. Imagine RV’s converted in to mobile gourmet restaurants with walk-up windows (take out only).  Now imagine a dozen or so of them all conveniently gathered in one location and picnic tables to boot!  Amazing, right?  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 truck’s menu consisted of about 15 different bacon selections- everything from a traditional BLT (of course done “their” way) to Bacon Wrapped Mac ‘n Cheese Ball (Mama’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).  Needless to say, I tried them all and nothing, NOTHING, could interrupt the intimate moments I shared that afternoon with my bacon mistress… except for the everything-cupcake truck.

Don’t judge me! I’m a growing boy who needs his nourishment and cupcakes have always made my heart tickle.  Now, they had every combination of cupcake you could imagine: vanilla, lemon, red velvet, blueberry, green tea and so on.  However, I would find the lover I’d just left at the previous food truck sneaking her way back into my heart.  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.  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.  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).  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.  It was real, it was in a parking lot, and I was there.

That day I left satiated and numb.  The experience was a food-lovers death wish.  I remember after eating, looking around at what I had just experienced for the first time and I was simply blown away.  How I was ever able to pick just a few things from the vast selection of deliciousness, I’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.  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 you’re a master of self-restraint, I’d anticipate spending about 10 Bucks sampling a few different items from a few different trucks.

Oh!  Be sure to leave your diets at home and bring a couple friends, that way you can all share what you order… though sharing might be more difficult than deciding what to eat in the first place!

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