Just two short years ago, the idea of eating from a food truck wasn’t quite mainstream yet.
Many believed it was a necessary convenience reserved for construction workers at job sites. As food trucks became more prevalent, opponents fought tooth and nail to impose rules and ordinances that would slow the expansion of the food-truck culture in New Orleans — but to no avail.
Fast forward to December 2014. As locals traverse from Uptown to Downtown, to backa-town, to Mid-City, through the French Quarter to the Marigny and on over to the Bywater, you can observe individual or gatherings of food trucks parked with long lines of hungry customers waiting for a new type of dining experience. They’re looking for something that will surprise and delight them — as food trucks have become known for putting very unique and flavorful twists on some of our favorite age-old dishes.
The traditional hot dog has been turned into a gourmet experience, with a wide array of exotic offerings, ranging from the traditional chili-dog to options that include crawfish étouffée, sautéed shrimp, fried chicken and even fried oysters from the Diva Dawg Food Truck. During Mardi Gras this year, the Food Drunk truck made a splash by introducing its king cake burger (a traditional burger the comes topped with a bun covered in king cake-colored icing and sprinkles). This masterful combination of sweet and savory resulted in thousands of burgers being sold during the last week of Mardi Gras. The well recognized red La Cocinita Food Truck was an early pioneer of the NOLA food-truck scene, and its consistent and delicious execution of the food-truck taco is another local favorite.
Foodie Call, The Fat Falafel, Empanada Intifada, Frencheeze Food Truck and NOLA Girl Food Truck & Catering — oh, how I love them all. New Orleans currently has too many food trucks to name, but, as a true enthusiast, my experience tells me that no matter which one you choose, there’s a high probability of a party in your mouth.
Barrie Schwartz, a transplant to New Orleans from Michigan, is the founder of My House NOLA. She has made her niche as a culinary curator specializing in food trucks. Schwartz is an ambassador for the food-truck movement and an organizer of many of the food-truck roundups. If you work downtown, be sure to catch her as she organizes food trucks on the corner of Common and Carondelet streets on the first Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the month through April 2015.
So if you’ve tried food trucks and you love them, or you’ve never had the pleasure of giving one a try, the never-ending dilemma is how to find a truck that’s always on the move. I know. The answer is social media. Follow your favorite trucks on Facebook, Twitter (especially Twitter) and Instagram. nolafoodtrucks.com, myhousenola.com