Indianapolis Food Trucks Cure Pandemics, Negotiate Worldwide Economic Stability (Part 3 of 3)

Concluding my recollections of what our local food trucks have done for me. My experiences with the following trucks weren’t exactly scarring, but arguably had margin for improvement. Some cases may have been singular events unlike the average customer’s experience; others may simply not be my cup of tea.

Scratchtruck — Our side of downtown offers very few oases for large, fast burgers. Make no mistake, I was grateful for the chance to try their 1/3-pound Scratch Burgers, topped with bacon marmalade, arugula and gorgonzola. It was worth the money and deserves some repeat business. My fries, which cooled off in no time flat, were less demanding of an encore.

West Coast Tacos — The granddaddy of all trucks, the one that started it all here in Indy. They were the first to specialize in imaginative tacos bereft of cheese, lettuce, or tomatoes. They’re absolutely not a Taco Bell homage. Unfortunately, when I tried three varieties in one meal, the meat on my chicken teriyaki taco tasted as though it had been sitting in a dry marinating pan for hours. As someone who once worked at McDonald’s during a time when they failed at venturing into the fajita market, I know a thing or two about dry marinating pans and the meat they ruin. If I’m wrong and that texture was intentional, then this isn’t my thing after all.

Molly’s Great Chicago Fire — Chicago-style hot dogs with tons of toppings. Great toppings and decent deli-style buns, but on a good day our downtown also has hot dog carts with same-size dogs for half the price. They’re the only truck I know with a breakfast menu (my all-time favorite food group), but I’ve never seen them around in the morning.

Der Pretzel Wagen — I support the concept of pretzels presented in various wondrous forms. My pretzel dogs were great, but when der Wagenmeister asked if I wanted any mustard, I had the audacity to ask for mustard…and ketchup. I could feel the temperature in the air between us drop fifteen degrees as he searched the truck for a packet with such a look. In my defense, I don’t insist on ketchup for every hot dog I eat. I almost never dump it on burgers or fries. Sometimes I’m just in a weird mood and don’t feel responsible for upholding everyone else’s high-falutin’ culinary standards. Besides, if I really wanted to gauche it up, I would’ve asked for Cheez Whiz, or maybe grape jelly.

Groovy Guys Gourmet Fries — Nacho fries, pizza fries, and other variations in the topped-fries genre. The top layer of my steak-‘n’-cheese fries was a small, delectable meal. Below the surface, all that remained were ordinary fries. I had hoped in vain for total meat saturation. They also offered deluxe fry dips such as hummus and sesame ginger sauce — something I should try next time, perhaps, but not as a main dish. I’ll need to pack a sandwich that day.

The following trucks have parked nearby but found ways for me to miss them anyway:

Some of This, Some of That — The first couple times they stopped by, their logo was so hard to read that I couldn’t discern their name well enough from my floor to google them for details. Eventually I caught the name and learned they’re another Cajun truck. I wouldn’t mind trying them, but they’ve mastered the art of hanging out only on days when I have no extra money. That bad timing is totally not their fault, unless they have spy sensors in my wallet and a cruel sense of humor.

Side Wok Dumplings — The first time I noticed them out front, a police car later double-parked near them with lights flashing and hung out for quite a while. The next time they appeared, the sign on their side had been removed. I haven’t seen them since. Their last tweet was five months ago. I’m betting somewhere out there is a great anecdote that connects those sketchy details.

Fat Sammies — An Italian food truck should be a saucy, intoxicating experience. I wish I knew. They pulled away just as I was walking toward them with cash on hand and appetite in stomach. This happened twice. The second time, it was 12:30 on a Friday. As of this writing their last tweet was four months ago. I sense something is amiss.

The list presented in this three-part miniseries is by no means complete. I’m aware of a few trucks that stake out territories outside downtown, and not just in the suburbs. I’ve found this is the biggest drawback to the food truck concept: if you know a specific truck you want to sample, or if you grow too attached to a great one, then you may have to hunt them down. Their collective, lively Twitter presence is a boon for keeping fans and foodies informed of their whereabouts, as are food-truck locator sites such as Roaming Hunger or TruxMap.

More often than not, you’ll have to be patient and wait for them to appear unto you as a pleasant surprise. I like to think the stronger and more popular among them are here to stay. Just the same, check ’em out when the opportunity arises, before a food truck glut begins culling more of the herd…or worse, before someone gives Unigov a reason to brainstorm harsh new rules and regulations to appease their brick-‘n’-mortar competition.

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Indianapolis Food Trucks Topple Tyrants, Establish Benign Well-Fed Regimes (Part 4 of 3) | Midlife Crisis Crossover

  2. Pingback: Indy Food Trucks Turn Every Summer Transcendental (Part 5 of 3) | Midlife Crisis Crossover!

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