JACKSONVILLE, FL – Their dining options range from exotic — sesame seared ahi tuna atop wasabi cabbage slaw — to familiar (sort of) — dijon buttermilk fried chicken and Swedish meatballs.
But you don’t find and enjoy these offerings in fancy restaurants; you chow down outside a brightly colored truck in a parking lot or curbside as part of Jacksonville’s thriving food-truck culture.
Yet trendy trucks, mobile hot-dog counters and fruit stands on wheels can’t serve in Neptune, Atlantic or Jacksonville beaches, since those cities ban them. And some restaurants don’t want them nearby either, according to the “truckies.”
“After setting up a few times and getting shut down, we realized that we weren’t allowed out there,” said Driftwood BBQ chef/owner Patrick O’Grady, who lives just across the Intracoastal Waterway from Atlantic Beach. “Then it was just finding businesses that would accept it and then not think of it as a roach coach coming to set up.”
The beaches should love food trucks, added Corner Taco truck chef/owner Chris Dickerson.
“We live in a free-market society and you can’t have excellence without competition,” the Jacksonville Beach resident said. “Just like any brick-and-mortar restaurant, we provide competition … It is just a natural fit for the beaches.”
There may be light at the end of Beach Boulevard as rules could be changing in Jacksonville Beach. City Manager George Forbes said support is building for a possible City Council vote in January to allow food trucks only on private property with no curbside parking.
Find the entire article by Dan Scanlan at jacksonville.com <here>