Jan Norris: Food and Florida

Food, Restaurants, Recipes and Pre-Disney Florida

Jan Norris: Food and Florida header image 1

EatBeat: Food Truck Expo in Boca Wednesday

May 9th, 2011 · 8 Comments

Very few few trucks operate in Palm Beach County – a pity, thinks Jochen Esser. The internet marketer loves the mobile food scene in Dade and Broward and so decided to bring them here. Here’s a version of my story on the event that appears in this month’s Coastal Star newspaper.

Food trucks come to Boca

The mobile food mania – read that: food trucks – have hit South Florida, but oddly, have missed making a mark in Palm Beach County.

Internet marketer Jochen Esser is out to change that. He’s sponsoring a Gourmet Food Truck Expo in Boca Raton at Boomers! on May 11, beginning at 6 p.m., just in time for dinner.

If you haven’t been following this trend, food trucks have come a long way since the days of “roach coaches” dispensing pre-made sandwiches and a bag of chips or hot dogs sitting in day-old water.

Today’s trucks sell everything from Kobe beef burgers to full-on freshly made pasta dishes and creative vegetarian salads or fresh seafood. The variety attracts everyone from the college crowd who follow the trucks from Twitter feeds, to seniors looking for an inexpensive meal out.

Miami already has a plethora of trucks that have weekly meet-ups in parking lots, most notably one at Johnson and Wales University on Tuesday nights. But so far, Palm Beach County has seen only a few trucks; most cities in the county have business regulations that ban them or restrict them from areas where they could draw diners from fixed restaurants.

So Esser decided to judge the interest here in periodic food truck meet-ups – those groups who get together via Twitter and Facebook networking.

“There’s a lot of buzz about it already,” Esser said. “The event is really not geared to just the young people or older people, but everyone who wants quality food at a reasonable price.”

He chose Boomers! for the site because there are few restaurants nearby. “I don’t want to compete with restaurants or hurt their business,” he said.

He expects around 22 trucks to show up, serving everything from gourmet pizzas (4 Alarm Pizza) served from a refitted fire truck, to Asian fare.

“Overall they have great prices – I’d say from $2 to $12 or maybe $14, depending on what you order,” he said.

Some trucks do one thing only – such as Dog Eat Dog’s gourmet hot dogs. Others have an assortment of dishes, either in small bites or full meals – entrees with sides.

A Romanian truck, called Shao Roma, features a vertical rotisserie, with freshly made pita sandwiches. Gourmet Mexican foods from Ze Carlos Jimenez will be served at The MexZican Gourmet. Guiseppe’s Italian Sausage, Chef on Wheels, DimSsam a GoGo and Divan Bakery and Café will bring international foods; Nacho Mama’s Grill has gigantic burritos. Look for crab cake sandwiches, salmon burgers, steak and Caesar wraps and more from Catered Bliss. Gourmet ice cream, ices, cupcakes and more are expected to be found at dessert trucks. The Slow Food Truck, and Blue Tree Cafe will offer heirloom and natural foods.

Curbside Gourmet, one of the few trucks that operates in West Palm Beach, will be there with dishes such as crab cakes, fish tacos and more.

If successful, Esser said he’d try to do more food truck events; another one is planned for late May in Deerfield Beach.

Find out more by following the web site, gourmettruckexpo.com; or look up Gourmet Truck Expo on Facebook and sign up to attend.

Boomers! is at 3100 Airport Road, Boca Raton; information about the truck expo is also on their web site at boomersparks.com

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News · What's Happening Here

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 phil // May 10, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Awesome! lets hold a meet at the S.Fl. fairground parking lot,they are geared for that sort of event.

  • 2 thomas musial // May 11, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    please send me notification of upcoming events

  • 3 Jan Norris // May 12, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Keep reading me, Thomas, and you can find out where they’ll be and when they’re scheduled. The next one in Boca is set for July, I believe.
    They’re ongoing in Miami on Tuesday nights at Johnson and Wales University.
    Friday night is the biggest gathering anywhere at Miami’s Mother of Christ Church, on Coral Way at 14141 SW 26th Ave. 6-10 p.m.

  • 4 Jan Norris // May 12, 2011 at 7:20 am

    You also can follow the individual trucks on Facebook and they tell their Friends where they’ll be any given day. The Miami trucks work 4 or 5 nights a week. So far, we only have a couple up here in Palm Beach County – they work only lunches, and occasionally will be open at night somewhere. Curbside Gourmet is our truck.

  • 5 Rosalie // May 12, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Hope you are going to comment on the Food Truck expo that was yesterday. We drove up about 6:30 from Fort Lauderdale. Got on the service road and after sitting about 20 minutes and not moving turned around the first place we could and left before we even got near it. It was madness and I figured there would be no food.

  • 6 Jan Norris // May 12, 2011 at 11:21 am

    There was tons of food, Rosalie! But yes, long lines of traffic, and parking jams, too. But I got an easy spot near the Boomers! entrance and went right in. Early arrivers got the easiest lines; only a few trucks ran out before the event ended at 10.
    It was their first effort and they simply weren’t expecting nearly the turn-out they had. But the foods I tried were great – Bao pork buns, ribs and brussels sprouts from the biggest truck there (with longest line all night); crab cakes from Curbside exceptional; the beef shortribs with polenta from another was quite good. The cupcake gal ran out after 2 hours, and the gourmet hot dog place did, too, but others had plenty of food till the end.

  • 7 Jan Norris // May 12, 2011 at 11:23 am

    They’re planning several more – and now that the trucks know they’ve got a hungry audience, many more will show up. They know they need to work on directing traffic, too. Construction on that road didn’t help.

  • 8 Toyota Lease Return Los Angeles // May 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I agree with you that it definitely sucks that there aren’t many food trucks in Palm Beach County. There’s a surplus of food trucks here in Los Angeles. Where I live, there’s almost one on every block. I don’t know where I’d get my midnight tacos from if it weren’t for the food truck near my house.

Leave a Comment