My wife and I went with another couple to our first food truck rodeo in Durham yesterday. Turns out it was the biggest rodeo yet in the RTP area, with 44 trucks offering goodies ranging from American Meltdown's grilled cheese goodies to Valentino's meatballs. We had Only Burgers (veggie for Linda) and Hawaiian ices; the burgers were superb, the ices not so much (where are you when we need you Matsumoto?). Paid a visit to Fullsteam Brewery afterwards to enjoy their dog-friendly (even indoors!) atmosphere.
Food trucks are changing the business model for food away from home. Owners benefit from much lower capital costs up front and the ability to move the restaurant to where the demand is. Each truck specializes in a single food item or cuisine, simplifying preparation and building a reputation with customers. Lower overhead results in lower prices. Customers gain in a rodeo setting by being able to enjoy a variety of foods (our friends had Korean barbeque and a raw kale burrito).
Only two downsides that I could see from a customer standpoint. First, the lines at many of the vendors were quite long; we were originally hoping to do a variety of small plates but two lines were enough for one afternoon. Second, for those who want to create their own wine-food pairings -- too bad, the rodeo took place in Durham Central Park where adult beverages are not allowed. Next time we will bring a tarp or beach towel as well.
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