Whenever I encounter a caravan of food trucks in the city, like the one I saw across the street from a major museum not too long ago, I usually take a quick look at the menus, spend a few minutes to see just how exotic the dishes are, and then leave. The proper way to prepare food is inside a stationary kitchen! Roadside, mobile eateries are fine when I travel in Southeast Asia, where street food itself is a tourist attraction. But when I am in the States, there is really no food I crave to such an extent that I feel a need to purchase it from a crammed travelling vehicle.
A drink truck, on the other hand, seems a more plausible business, with lower risk involved, especially where sanitation is concerned. Strangely, I have not seen a drink truck, although trucks selling the infamous, calorie-laden boba tea have received quite a bit attention in the media, along with other gourmet food trucks. I have no desire to seek out these boba or bubble tea trucks either, but I wonder why the concept of a tea truck serving teas with known health and relaxation benefits has not been adopted by more tea business operators and enthusiasts.
A few months ago, the Turkish food blog Istanbul Eats reported on Mehmet Abi’s çay kamyon, or “tea truck” in Turkish. Customers can actually sit inside the truck (whose space resembles an open cargo container’s) and have a cup of tea. It is not difficult to imagine a similar set-up – except with a much more elaborate, themed décor – for a tea truck traveling from city to city in the States.
Groupon has introduced me to local businesses and helped me familiarize myself with the neighborhood whenever I relocate to a new city. I was surprised to see recent Groupons featuring food trucks. Customers are asked to go through the extra trouble of visiting the businesses’ websites for weekly schedules and locations. One wonders how much longer the food truck craze will last.