Food Truck Favorites From Coast to Coast

Published in Gourmet Live 08.08.12
In our latest collaboration with BlogHer, we're rolling out an insider's guide to where to find great sweets, BBQ, lobster rolls, vegan fare, and more meals on wheels
Food Truck Favorites From Coast to Coast

Branford, Connecticut: GMonkey

When it comes to vegan, organic, sustainable cuisine, the GMonkey food truck can't be beat. Favorites such as hand-cut sweet potato fries with hickory-smoked ketchup, mock chicken salad (made from sprouted nuts, seeds, and fresh herbs), and gluten-free chocolate brownies make this on-the-go option perfect for a quick, healthy, and delicious lunch. The owners incorporate their heart and ethics into the food and create a dining experience that's as much about the message as it is about the "mmmm!"

Cape Elizabeth, Maine: Bite into Maine

The Bite into Maine food truck is parked atop a grassy hill in Fort Williams Park, overlooking the breathtaking Portland Head Light, and the food is just as good as the view. Among several inventive twists on the venerable lobster roll, the signature Maine-style version is one of my favorites, featuring big chunks of sweet Maine lobster lightly tossed with mayonnaise and fresh chives and served in a buttered, griddle-toasted roll. More adventurous eaters can choose to top their sandwich with wasabi, chipotle, or curry powder.

Colorado Springs: The Springs Cupcake Truck

In need of a serious sweets fix? Track down the Springs Cupcake Truck—affectionately nicknamed "Coco"—for a tasty lineup that changes daily. Crowd favorites include the Maple Bacon, Mile-High Mocha, and Zippy Lemon; however, my all-time favorite is the Mint Chocolate Chip. Hours and locations vary, so stay tuned to the truck's Facebook page or blog for the latest updates, and make sure to swing by early in the day, because they sell out regularly.

Columbus, Ohio: Freedom a la Cart

Freedom a la Cart has an amazing chef who creates original sandwiches, empañadas, and soups, all from local and organic ingredients. My favorite is the Papa sandwich, starring lemony potatoes, white bean relish, and red pepper sauce, all topped off with a homemade garlicky aïoli. For me, the best part about enjoying Freedom a la Cart's creative combinations is that you are also supporting a locally based nonprofit organization that operates the truck, Doma International, which helps survivors of human trafficking, among other initiatives. The "cause cuisine" mission proves a meal on the go can be tasty and rewarding in more ways than one.

Honolulu: Momo Burger

It was love at first scent for the Momo Burger truck and me. While the signature Momo Burger (lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, American cheese, and special Momo sauce) is a popular pick, my favorite is the Teriyaki Burger, featuring homemade teriyaki glaze, aïoli made with négi (a type of Japanese onion), caramelized onions, and American cheese atop a doughy bun. Don't miss out on the selection of kicked-up sides, including spiced sweet potato fries, garlic fries, or my personal favorite, truffle oil fries.

Lansing, Michigan: The Purple Carrot Food Truck

The Purple Carrot is Lansing's first farm-to-table food truck, and the founders behind the curbside cuisine machine are passionate about sourcing ingredients from local farms and businesses. My favorite time to visit the truck is on Saturdays, when they serve brunch until 2 p.m. at my local farmers' market. I love their Tofu Benny (a vegan version of traditional eggs Benedict) and any of the fresh-fish sandwiches, as well as the cinnamon rolls and rhubarb scones. The signature Purple Carrot Cake Pops are a must-try!

Orlando, Florida: Big Wheel Provisions

Big Wheel Provisions is not only a food truck but also a catering and charcuterie company founded by local chef Tony Adams. Adams invites customers to "chase our wheels" by broadcasting the truck's latest stops on Twitter. The menu varies according to the day's freshest ingredients, but two of my all-time favorite items are the Manspeaker (a softshell crab BLT topped with Old Bay Ranch dressing) and the special cheesy, crispy-fried grit cakes.

Portland, Oregon: Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ

Food trucks are plentiful in Portland, yet despite the diverse selection, I find myself turning to Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ time and time again for the best chili pie in town. The signature dish layers crispy corn chips with baked beans, cabbage, secret sauce, and dairy-free cheese. Other vegan-friendly menu items include Thwings (smoked, corn batter–fried eggplant "wings"), the Smoker Sandwich (made with soy curls, tempeh, or "loaf"), Mac-Nocheese, and chipotle slaw.

Providence: Like No Udder

Like No Udder serves up vegan soft-serve ice cream along with specialty shakes, floats, slushies, and candy bars, plus endless ice cream toppings such as fresh fruit, cookie crumbles, flavored syrups, and coconut shreds. My favorite is the vanilla and chocolate frozen yogurt swirled together into a crispy gluten-free cone and topped with sprinkles. Check the truck's Web site or Twitter feed for the latest location updates, or enjoy a serendipitous sweet by spotting the big, purple cow–on-wheels rolling down the streets of Providence!

San Diego: Crepes Bonaparte

Looking to satisfy a French food craving without leaving the sunny streets of Southern California? Crepes Bonaparte is new to the San Diego food truck scene, having just launched this past June. But don't let the newcomer status deter you. This souped-up truck is outfitted with four griddles imported from France, which churn out light, fluffy crêpes stuffed with your choice of sweet or savory fillings. The California Sunrise is an unbeatable brunch favorite and features creamy guacamole, crispy bacon, sliced tomato, Cheddar, and a freshly cracked egg. Get your dessert on with The PCH: peanut butter, bananas, and creamy Nutella.

Subscribe to Gourmet