Three Unique Food Trucks that Stood Apart in 2018
2018 was a great year for unique food trucks.
Food trucks have become an essential extension of the restaurant scene in many major cities because they offer chefs a chance to experiment with flavors and fusions. Since the overhead is less, chefs can sell great food for less money, making experimentation more comfortable for guests.
While we prepare for and predict what 2019 might have in store for our palate’s, let’s take a look at three unique food trucks of 2018.
Unique Food Trucks of 2018
India Jones Chow Truck
Los Angeles, CA
So if I’m being fair, wordplay is always a good way to catch my attention. But the food and flavors still have to hit the mark. Thankfully, India Jones Chow Truck does both.
Based out of Los Angeles, CA, this truck run by Chef/Owner Sumant Pardal is rocking out curries and samosas like hot cakes! But, what makes India Jones special isn’t its traditional dishes, but a menu item called the “Frankie.”
The Frankie is like an Indian burrito. It uses a roti flatbread wrapped around your choice of protein, along with onions, tamarind chutney, and vegetables. This delightful bit of fusion allows hesitant customers who are new to Indian food to try it in a familiar format. It’s this comfort and accessibility that helps make fringe flavors more mainstream.
Along with the Frankie, India Jones serves items called Taco Chaat and Aloo Tiki Chaat. The first is made with blue corn tortillas, and the second with a potato pancake. They’re both topped with chickpeas, raita, and vegetables. These creative variations of Indian street food have helped to put a spotlight on India Jones.
Tying all of these flavors together are India Jones’s unique sauces and chutneys. Try the tamarind chutney on your lamb Frankie for a nice sweet/salty balance, or the spicy chutney on the Chaat Masala Fries. Or pair your Chicken Taco Chaat with tangy Mango Chutney for a flavor explosion.
@La’s – A Hmong Food Cart
Yes, yes, YES! With the growth of Vietnamese and Thai cuisine I’m so excited to see Hmong food start to pave its own way.
The Hmong are a group of people forced to flee their native Yellow River Region of Southern China. This was during the Qing Dynasty in the 18th century and due to armed conflict and regressive economic reforms. During that time of emigration, their cuisine was influenced by the different groups they came in contact with; Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar, for example.
This blending of cultures led to the aromatic, often spicy, but always delicious flavors of Hmong cuisine. At @La’s, La Vang-Herr showcases these flavors in her smart, concise, but customizable menu. The Phat wings are fried chicken wings first stuffed with two-types of ground meat then marinated in a soy and ginger rich Asian-fusion sauce. They’re finished with a batter and deep-fried golden brown.
Personally, I’d go for the homemade Hmong Sausage which uses locally sourced farm-raised pork and comes with a side of the mouthwatering (and tear producing) Lemongrass Pepper Dip. Fix all that greatness with a side of papaya and carrot salad made with a sweet tamarind sauce..
If you ever thought you couldn’t get fine dining style Italian food on a paper plate, Patrizi’s is here to prove you wrong.
Owned by brothers Nic and Matt Patrizi, this establishment proves that really all you need for amazing food is great ingredients, a talented team, and a love for what you do.
Out of their humble truck they produce delicate, beautiful dishes like Cacio e Pepe, Pasta Pomodoro, and Marfa Tomatoes.
With ingredients like Casu di Fita, a briny, crumbly cheese similar to feta, and seasonally harvested honey, it’s easy to see how this is not your traditional Italian fare.
Try Karah’s Diavolo with a coddled egg yolk which adds an unctuous layer to the spicy, acidic sauce. Pair with an order of the Ciabatta Bread and Beef Fat. Can’t go wrong there.
From LA to Portland and back to Austin, great food trucks are making waves. As culinarians, we’re lucky to live in a time where we have access to such wonderful food prepared by such talented people.