Gourmet Food Trucks offer meals on wheels. Street food vendors are popping up on street corners and parking lots around Chicago.
Foodies swarm to locations around my Windy City to capture a myriad of delicious flavors offered by local chefs. When I was a kid, we waited for the ice-cream man, but now we search for the food trucks on Twitter!
A food-truck operation can get off the ground for under $150,000, while many restaurants spend more than $1 million on real estate and equipment to open their doors. Whenever these gourmet food trucks come to a stop, foodies swarm by finding their location on Twitter. Instead of roaming the streets of Chicago looking for Food Trucks, look for events where multiple Food Trucks gather for special events.
I can always enjoy a personal “Vino con Vista” and “Taste of Chicago” at a Food Truck event. No tickets, no lines; just empanadas, tacos, cupcakes, meatballs, gourmet deli sandwiches and potato pancakes. Some trucks even offer treats for your favorite pets.
These are some of my favorite Chicago Food Trucks:
1. I have to say, I loved the little flaky, buttery pockets of love served by the “Empanada Truck” named 5411 Empanadas. I convinced others to try the traditional Argentine pastry pockets filled with beef and/or BBQ chicken that were the best $1.99 that I have ever spent. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32nfVwWKGys
2. I love the red-velvet cupcakes and the concept of the socially-responsible bakery run by Sweet Miss Giving’s. The bakery has expanded its reach beyond its stand at the French Market. Specialty items include German chocolate brownies, oatmeal cookies and red velvet cupcakes. In line with the bakery’s social mission, the bakery employs between 10 and 20 formerly homeless people as interns as part of a transitional job-training program. More than half of the profits benerated benefit the Chicago House, a non-profit organization that helps formerly homeless men, women and children who are impacted by HIV/AIDS. Follow @SMGFoodTruck on Twitter for updates on the truck’s location and hours.
3. I am a big fan of tamales so I love the sleek Tamale Spaceship in the silver van that offers traditional Mexican fare with a side of avant-garde art. Five different flavors of tamales served daily are named after Mexico’s “stridentist” futuristic art movement. Start off with The Space Guacamole and make your way into the “Rajas Con Queso Tamale” (with poblanos and cheese and tomato sauce) or “No One’s Tamale De Pollo” in a green peanut mole sauce. For those who want something to sip streetside, order a bottle of Coke or Mexican coffee.
4. Taquero Fusion has a Chicago skyline-decorated food truck that offers four types of tacos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDVWNkf2Cj8. The soft tacos come in a homemade tortilla filled with steak, chicken marinated in Puerto Rican-style seasoning, tilapia or vegetables. Choose a pineapple cucumber, chiptole or other salsa with your order. Yellow rice, jalapeno-infused rice and a chorizo-pinto bean mix are also offered. Season your taco with a variety of hot sauces and for dessert order a brownie and a bottle of Mexican Coke, made with real cane sugar.
5. The Meatyballs Truck served outstanding pulled pork meatballs. Who doesn’t love a mini roll of meat lovingly caressed in a flavorful bun? I’m Italian, so I have a genetic pre-disposition to these meaty treats! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIWER1jvjL0
6. Bergstein’s NY Deli Truck had some tasty BBQ beef and Chicken salad sliders, as well as tasty potato pancakes.
7. The Forever Yogurt Truck lets you choose up to three incredible toppings with their tasty frozen yogurt options.
What is your favorite Food Truck in Chicago?
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com. Become a Fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for #foodie #wine and #travel blog updates.