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Awake at the Whisk: The Urban Hunt for Food Trucks

Thursday, September 2, 2010


The Urban Hunt for Food Trucks

Molly Moon's Seattle Food Truck at IFBC

Somewhere in our caveman instincts, we humans long for the hunt. We want to forage for wild berries, catch a fish on a pole, or plant a seed in the dirt that turns into a tomato. Today, we urbanites might handle things differently than our caveman ancestors, but we’re still honing those instincts, hunting. Nowhere is the urban hunt more apparent than the chase for the ultimate food truck.

Across the nation, the hunt for food trucks takes place in cities from Seattle to New York. City dwellers who long to feel alive, that rush of adrenaline upon tracking their target, have taken to hunting down food trucks. Always on the move, the prey is elusive. The urbanite must rely on legends shared by community elders to surmise the best spot for the hunt. If one hunter located a large beast of a truck stuffed with delicious, life-sustaining morsels, he might pass along word of this lucky hunting ground. A young urbanite, eager to feed himself and his brood might heed the elder’s advice, only to appear at the spot and find it empty, no food truck to be seen. Was the food truck real? Or simply urban legend?

Fellow food blogger on the hunt.
This is the joy and the adventure of dining from food trucks. In many cities, urban hunters must rely on word-of-mouth and Twitter to locate these constantly moving targets. One wrong move, one missed Tweet, and you’ve missed your catch.

Lucky for me, at the recent International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC), the hunt was easy. The conference organizers took down the proverbial wildebeest for us, laying the raw meat like a feast before us. They invited several of Seattle’s finest food trucks to park right outside our conference doors: for free. We didn’t even require a wooden club to obtain our meal: just a smile and a thank you.

Luscious urban fare oozed from every orifice of our prey. We dashed madly from one truck to the next, shooting pictures, licking fingers, greedily pushing hunks of flesh onto our tongues, and tearing through meat with our teeth. But instead of snarls, there were laughter and delight. Juicy fish tacos from El Camion, chewy soft pizza from Rolling Fire Pizza, crisply sugared dough from Anita’s crepes, and thickly rich ice cream from Molly Moon’s.

The elation we felt surely resembles the utter fascination the cavemen experienced when they first discovered fire. The culinary world burst open in a splatter of spicy, smooth, and decadent. Who knew such indulgences could come on red and white checked cardboard rather than china served at a white cloth covered table?

Now, if only Sacramento would get in on the hunt. In the meantime, I suppose our only hope is to forage for berries.

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Amber, nice post! Those food trucks were fabulous! And we had them all to ourselves. These are not the roach coaches of urban lore. These folks have taken food truck to a great level. It was all delicious.

Hilarious! And so true. The first time I ate at Skillet, it took weeks of tracking, then we had to pounce when it came close enough!

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