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