@GRMAGAZINE: Keep On Truckin'

(Grand Rapids, MI) — The September 2012 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine has hit the streets, and along with it our monthly article focused on local food trucks. SheFed ruminates on this new West Michigan trend, what works, what doesn't, and where it's likely to lead...

Since writing the article for Grand Rapids Magazine earlier this summer, Jeremy and I have made a few more forays back to Silver Spork and What the Truck for breakfast and lunch. The Egg Sammy by Silver Spork and the Korean Pork Burrito from What the Truck remain favorite breakfasts (high marks on taste and portability) for me as I stroll Fulton Street Farmers Market each Saturday morning.

A friend and I recently hit up What the Truck for lunchtime tacos. The line was long, but worth the wait. She chose the beef taco and I the pork. Our plan was to share, but decided mid-stream to keep dancing with the one we brought. The tacos were a bit messy. Nothing new as I find eating homemade tacos at the dining table daunting at best. My pork was lightly spiced, highlighted with sweet pineapple, stringent cilantro, and spicy Sriracha aioli. She declared her beef taco “Good. Not the best I’ve ever had, but really good.” Our side of potatoes, the same ones they serve at breakfast, are addictive with slightly crunchy skins and a spicy seasoning.

Today for lunch Jeremy and I find Silver Spork (despite their lack of a daily update on Facebook or Twitter) only to find their menu whittled down from more than six entrees to just two. They had a great lunch run and it was after 1 pm, which is a good sign in this economy I figure. We both opt for the chicken salad sandwich. I enjoy the toasted baguette, crisp on the outside, chewy inside; though Jeremy finds it to be “too much work.” (Sounds kinda spoiled, right?) We both agree the chicken salad is a bit lackluster. The addition of nuts, more celery, tarragon, or even dried berries would give it some zip. But Silver Spork gets high marks from me for using all the chicken meat, not just white breast meat as so many places do.

My hope is that the food truck movement continues here in GR and that we see more vendors bringing interesting and innovative food to the streets. While I’m told the overhead for a truck is considerably less than a brick and mortar establishment, the city’s restrictions can make operations more than slightly challenging. My own personal fantasy involves winning the lottery and opening a food truck that serves a variety of mac ‘n cheese and hand pies, but I guess that could be a bit of a niche market.

Recently I stumbled on this NPR article on new lingo associated with the food truck movement. Example: “ventrification” is the gentrification of vending trucks. Fabulously clever. Send us your ideas for what the next food truck in GR should be.

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