BALTIMORE, MD – It is always midway through November, right with Thanksgiving around the corner, that I start to get a bit homesick for those ever-familiar New York City streets.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Baltimore.
But home is home. What can I say?
That is why all the recent food truck sightings around Hopkins have made me beyond happy.
Food trucks are a New York staple (alright, Los Angeles too).
It is more of a full-fledged phenomenon, really. Walk any corner in Midtown and you will run into one—whether it is selling cupcakes, Korean BBQ, vegan cuisine or even grilled cheese (Gorilla Cheese, it exists).
However, the food truck and the table pads for dining room tables phenomenon seems to have been shifting south a bit, heading straight into Charm City.
Now more than ever, food trucks have integrated themselves into Baltimore street culture.
And food here has never been better.
Just this month, the Harold and Kumar Munchies Truck Tour came to Hopkins. They brought with them the infamousKooper’s Chowhound Burger Wagon to North Charles Street.
The burgers were, of course, amazing — as was the line that roped around Charles Commons.
But beyond just one-time events, Homewood campus has become a destination for quite a few well-known food truck names.
On Mondays, the Gypsy Queen Café stops by St. Paul Street and 33d Street by Barnes & Noble.
It offers an eclectic mix of cuisine, to put it mildly, from Middle Eastern falafels to kimchi to Greek salads to classic Baltimore-style crab cakes.
Also, mac & cheese…in a waffle cone.
I kid you not.
It is simultaneously the most terrible and the most wonderful thing I have eaten all year.
So on the days Levering sushi just is not cutting it, believe me, I know where I will be.
These food trucks have also got you covered on desserts.
Iced Gems Baking, for example, frequently pulls up around Hopkins.
Sure, they have their standard flavors, but they also offer amazing options like S’mores, Chocolate Lava and Raspberry Lemonade.
As food truck prices go, they are not too expensive, and if you are in a sweet fix, you will not find anything better.
The list of food trucks honestly goes on and on: Curbside Café that stops in Hampden, Creperie Breizh in Charles Village, Ms. Shirley’s by the Rotunda, Souper Freaks by Barnes & Noble and more.
It seems that overnight, Baltimore has caught on to the food truck craze.
But is it just a craze?
The boom in “gourmet” food trucks started around 2008, when restaurateurs were looking for ways to cut down on costs after the financial crisis.
The great innovation? Abandon the classic restaurant concept and instead put the entire operation on wheels.
Despite whatever image we have of trucks, most of these businesses actually take great pride in the quality of their ingredients and their recipes — strikingly so.
They definitely do not fit the 20th century conception of street food (or, in other words, pretzel carts and hot dog stands).
Most food trucks, I think, can be called legitimate food.
But what they do share with last generation’s street food is their ability to formatively shape city culture.
Food trucks, in their own little, quirky way, give city life a bit of adventure.
When someone stumbles across a food truck, there is a sense of discovery; it is an unexpected moment among what is, unfortunately, life’s fairly routine days.
But there is also a sense of accessibility.
While some traditional restaurants might come off as both upscale and exclusive, there is something so inherently friendly about a food truck. It does not cater to one person or another.
Rather food trucks are for everyone.
Find the entire article by Vicky Plestis <here>