With summer right around the corner, more and more people are heading outdoors for their meals. The food truck industry will be garnering more attention with new events springing up around the country and the continued coverage it receives from the mainstream media. Many of those people who have missed this growing trend over the last couple of years will hear more about it which may spark their interest enough to get them to visit a local mobile eatery.
Because of these points, we felt that an article sharing some common mistakes made by individuals who visit these roaming mobile kitchens would be very apropos, not only for these new visitors, but even the experienced foodie.
1. I Prefer the …
Do not take this the wrong way, your server at a food truck is very likely also your chef, and can be a valuable resource into finding out what this truck’s followers favorites are, or what is new on their menu. Taking your servers advice when ordering can turn into a problem because in many cases, the server will give you advice based on their favorite menu items.
This can be useful for those who are not familiar with a particular cuisine, however, it may not be exactly what you are in the mood for at this particular time. Stick with your instincts, if you are craving something light, find a truck which serves wraps or salads. If you are in the mood for some tasty comfort food look for a truck specializing in grilled cheese sandwiches or mac n cheese. So if you are craving steak and the customer service representative puts on a whole song-and-dance routine about how much they love the fish, kindly nod but still order an item that has steak in it. If this is a good food truck, their steak options should be as good as their fish.
2. What in the World?
The most important role your server does play in your dining experience is in explaining words on the menu that you do not understand. You should feel absolutely no shame in asking “what is quinoa? And am I pronouncing it right?” Clarify what a dish is before you order it or you may be ordering something that you didn’t really want to eat.
Although it may seem rude to tell your server that the carne asada taco was over-salted or that the bison burger was under cooked, it is far more galling for a restaurant to read an anonymous review on Twitter or Yelp that complains of these things without a chance for them to correct or address what went wrong.
By speaking up, you’re alerting the food truck to issues that need to be addressed and actually helping them improve their presentation or product. As an added bonus, if they’re generous, they’ll make up for things by re-making your meal, so you can truly enjoy it, or even throw in another menu item so show their appreciation in your suggestion.
4. Salt of the Earth
If you have found a truly gourmet food truck, the seasoning, like everything else, is carefully scrutinized by the chef before it reaches your table. Trust, then, that the food is seasoned correctly when you first take a bite. If, a few bites later, it still isn’t doing it for you, by all means, ask for salt.
5. No Tomatoes, Please.
It is completely understandable that some people are allergic to mushrooms or zucchini or mushroom-shaped zucchini. That’s fair. However if there’s a dish on the menu that has, as a component, something that you don’t like or that you’re allergic to, you are much better off choosing a different dish than asking them to remove that component. That component is there for a reason: it was meant to balance out the other elements in the dish and if you throw that balance off, you have a very good chance to take a superb dish and turn it into one that is mediocre or even poor.
If any of these issues appears to be something you have fallen into in the past, please feel free to use this advice to better your enjoyment of the mobile food industry, and the gourmet fare that you will have the chance to taste over the upcoming years. Learning how to maximize your time at a food truck will only help keep the industry growing as quickly as it has been.
For those of you with additional suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.