Tastemaking: Hot Wheels
Food trucks finally roll into Boston this month. Who's hungry?
Boston, arguably, can be a too-tolerant food city. We put up with a perennially late patio season and rarely complain about our short-lived summer vegetable crop. And yet when we see other cities adopting a culinary trend before us, we want in now. Take food trucks. Thanks to the urging of a few motivated city councilors (inspired by L.A. and New York), Mayor Menino created a streamlined application process â€” which means trucks will be rolling into town this month.
For now, theyâ€™ll be allowed to drive into certain pedestrian-heavy parts of the city (by the Childrenâ€™s Museum and along the Greenway, for example) and more-underserved parts of town, such as Cassidy Park at Cleveland Circle. Thatâ€™s where twentysomething brothers James and Michael DiSabatino of Roxyâ€™s Grilled Cheese Truck can be found serving up their addictive wild-mushroom-confit-and-Swiss sandwich.
Whatâ€™s so great about food trucks? For one thing, theyâ€™re where youâ€™ll find a new and ever-changing lineup of gustatory goodies. Staff Meal, a highly anticipated collaboration between former Rialto chefs Patrick Gilmartin and Adam Gendreau, is using its vehicle as an experimental kitchen: The truck will offer specialties like oxtail or headcheese sandwiches and marrow toasts with tabbouleh. (â€śWhen we worked in kitchens, our food never even remotely resembled street food,â€ť says Gilmartin.) Sam Jackson, owner of KO Catering and Pies, says his ride will actually be better outfitted than his South Boston storefront. Jacksonâ€™s truck features a char grill, while his kitchen has only a flat-top griddle â€” meaning when the truck sets up near Moakley Field this summer, youâ€™ll find â€śspicy shrimp on the barbieâ€ť and grilled fish sandwiches alongside chicken-schnitzel burgers.
For One World Cuisine (the restaurant group behind Diva Lounge and CafĂ© of India), the Dosa Mobile, one of Bostonâ€™s only trucks with solar panels, will serve as an incubator for fresh ideas. â€śWeâ€™re testing a new organic menu for our restaurant, Mela,â€ť says Sam Sokol, director of marketing. â€śThe truck will be the perfect platform to try those dishes out.â€ť
As for whatâ€™s next, Todd Saunders and Ron Sarni of Food Truck Nation (a leasing company thatâ€™s helping Garden at the Cellar chef Will Gilson get Eat, his grass-fed-beef-truck concept, off the ground) tell us theyâ€™re working with several â€śbig-name local chefsâ€ť who will be launching more mobile test kitchens this summer. Sarni says we can expect a couple of â€śupscale tacoâ€ť trucks, as well as more Asian offerings. He also suggests the future holds a new trend in sweets. â€śThink cupcakes on a stick,â€ť he says. Gentlemen, start your engines.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2011/05/tastemaking-hot-wheels/