In case you hadn’t heard, the food truck trend was officially put on deathwatch some time ago. Crain’s started it. Eater and Salon concurred. And hell, we released a cryptic timeline not too long ago ourselves, chronicling the mobile eatery’s steady, inevitable demise. But until we’re officially unable to fulfill an on-the-go jones for bulgogi-stuffed tacos or Kool-Aid-marinated pickles (we’re looking at you, Wafels and Dinges!), there are still plenty of plucky purveyors worthy of our patronage. And each has what it takes to become a sustainable, brick-and-mortar business (if they haven’t gone that route already) that will carry their culinary concept through, even if trucks eventually go the way of the Dodo.
Solber Pupusas: One of the crowning glories of the Red Hook ball fields, this husband and wife owned, Vendy-winning truck specializes in traditional, Salvadorian pupusas — thick, griddled corn tortillas — stuffed with cheese, beans, meat, or our favorite, loroco (an edible flower), and garnished with pickled cabbage, tomato sauce, sour cream and jalapenos.
Tacos El Bronco: It takes a lot to stand out with tacos in Sunset Park, but El Bronco’s pair of trucks reliably draw crowds (they also have a bustling restaurant) for their fresh tortillas piled high with flavorful chorizo, lengua, cecina or barbacoa, and draped with cilantro, three different salsas, and sweet bulbs of whole, grilled green onions.
Phil’s Steaks: There are plenty of vendors peddling cheese steaks nowadays, but the offerings at this Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club-parked jawn (Philly slang for truck) are a credit to the City of Brotherly Love; comprised of 100% loin-tail beef tucked into Amoroso rolls, served wit’ or wit’out fried onions and a blanket of orange Whiz.
Mausam Curry n’ Bites: After opening a couple of successful brick-and-mortars in New Jersey, Mausam set out to make a splash in NYC with a fleet of trucks and carts (you’ll usually find the Curry n’ Bites Mobile in DUMBO). Choose from a number of authentic curries, like smoky paneer tikka masala or fiery chicken vindaloo, as well as a selection of grab-and-go Indian street snacks, such as veggie samosas, kati rolls, or aloo chaat.
Rosie’s Hot Dog Truck: Anyone who dismisses food truck vendors as fly-by-night trendsters hasn’t encountered Rosie, and her beloved Bushwick weenie wagon. Holding court on Morgan Avenue for over 25 years, the grandmotherly Romanian expat serves American comfort classics, like sautéed onion-topped hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, and (for the early risers only), fresh-off-the-griddle banana pancakes.
Souvlaki GR: A fixture at places like Park Slope’s Food Truck Rally, this two-time Vendy award winner offers a “little taste of Mykonos” in the heart of NYC. Needless to say, the charcoal-grilled, lamb-stuffed pitas are a must-order, accompanied by a perfectly crispy pile of feta and oregano-dusted fries.
Carpe Donut: Ice cream is the most obvious dessert to order from a truck, but it’s hard to resist the evocative, apple orchard-esque aroma enveloping Carroll Gardens favorite, Carpe Donut. Made with local cider and dusted with cinnamon sugar, their signature sweets are the embodiment of autumn. Except now that it’s summer, you can still get that ice cream—sandwiched between the buttery halves of a fragrant, freshly baked donut.