From the basic chuck wagon fare of stews, beans and biscuits, we have come a long way and expect far more than the old cellophane wrapped sandwich of the 50s and 60s, along with stale coffee. Ethnic cuisines and made to order hot foods are now commonplace for harried on-the-run office workers, and we’re wiling to pay top dollar for the convenience.
In the 50s, mobile canteens serviced U.S. Army troops on bases and maneuvers, but they were little more than regulation chow. Americans have come to expect far more and creative vendors gladly answer the call. From early ice cream trucks to the hot dog vendors with their Vienna Beef umbrellas, thousands tumble out of offices, factories and stores, headed to that truck down the street where they know what they’ll find and don’t mind standing in line for it. Who needs stale vending machine foods or fast food burgers when we can get fresh falafel packed into pita bread, a plate of nachos or an authentic fish and chips wrapped in newsprint. What has evolved from the “roach coach” of the past to a venue that launched the career of many executive chefs, food trucks now even cater at special events, college campuses,conferences and weddings.