Last week, Crain’s New York highlighted the difficulties New York food trucks are facing in light of confusing regulations, pushback from traditional eateries, and an onslaught of parking tickets. Food trucks are a familiar choice for diners in New York (as well as in cities like DC, Chicago, San Francisco, LA, Denver, Miami etc.), where the first trucks started attracting hungry customers in 2007. Food trucks are different from the ubiquitous push carts that also operate in the city, some of which are good…many others that aren’t. Midtown Lunch provides a great history of the push carts vendors here.
Most, if not all, food truck operators are skilled professionals committed to providing a high-quality food experience for their customers. They tend to be run by savvy and dedicated entrepreneurs, who saw an opening in the market and jumped on it. They also give you a darn good meal. You can track your favorites on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, and the NYC Food Truck Association has links to the close to 30 food trucks that belong to it. (Crain’s reported that there are about 30 other food trucks that are not part of the association and, because some owners operate multiple trucks, there are close to 70 in the city.)
This past weekend, we stopped at Gorilla Cheese NYC for a classic grilled cheese. I haven’t had a grilled cheese in a long time and it was heaven. Gruyère cheese on multi-grain bread with a few slices of tomato. My bf had classic American grilled cheese on wheat. They were crispy and buttery on the outside and warm and gooey on the inside. And when you pulled the sandwich apart, the cheese-y strings collapsed in the middle, just like they were supposed to. If you want something a little more fancy, they offer brie and pulled pork and caramelized onions and prosciutto and all sorts of things. They have a variety of sauces like sweet Thai chili and Vidalia onion (which we had), and you can get tater tots, sweet potato fries, tomato soup or mac and cheese on the side. Delicious.
If you want to help the NYC Food Truck Association push back against the city’s clampdown on food trucks, sign the petition here. I’m all for ensuring food safety and cleanliness, but that’s not what this is about. Check out the press page if you want additional reading. And be sure to stop by Gorilla Cheese NYC if you are hungry for some classic Americana.