“Attack of the Killer Potato” isn’t a horror film about a crazed spud on a murderous rampage. It’s a hamburger loaded with hash browns and barbecue sauce – available only at a mobile “food truck”, the hottest trend sweeping the U.S. restaurant industry.

DC Food Trucks

“Food truck owners march to the beat of their own drum,” said Dylan Watkins, owner of the Burger Monster food truck in Orange County, California. “What I really like about owning a food truck is that it gives you a lot of time and freedom to grow as an entrepreneur.”

“I love the culture and people,” explained Watkins, whose customers can also satisfy their palates with “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” – a roasted mushroom sandwich adorned with tomatoes, cheese, avocado spinach and garlic herb spread.

Watkins’ mobile restaurant is just one of an estimated 7,500 “food trucks” operating throughout the United States, industry experts say. But numbers are growing by the week as the U.S. food truck frenzy expands, changing the way Americans dine – and expanding their culinary horizons in the process.

Food trucks have evolved from rudimentary hot dog stands on city street corners to sophisticated mobile eateries that offer a variety of gourmet food items for the consumer on the go, such as a lemongrass chicken taco or a strawberry-lemonade cupcake.

The current incarnation of the American food truck dates to 2008 when a mobile eatery called Kogi started selling Korean barbecue tacos in Los Angeles, according to Richard R. Myrick, editor-in-chief of Mobile Cuisine Magazine and author of “Running a Food Truck For Dummies.” And, the craze has quickly spread to almost every major city and state in the United States.

“Food trucks are not just in major population centers,” said Myrick. “Some have to operate differently according to different municipality rules, but the concept is the same with preparing food on the truck.”

The Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, for instance, illustrates vividly how quickly the food truck phenomenon is spreading. One year ago when blogger Stephanie Hawkes started writing about the food trucks there on her site DFW Food Truck Foodie, there were nine trucks. Now, there are 65 with plans for 40 more by the end of the year.

“In Dallas, the trucks rove and they are in different locations each day throughout the city,” Hawkes said.

“It’s convenient. You can walk out of your office building or drive down the street and get a gourmet meal right on the corner for an inexpensive price, and you don’t have to get dressed up to eat there.”

Find the entire article by Jaclyn O’Laughlin at en.ria.ru <here>