Eat, Pray, Sell Gourmet

Substitute “Portland,” “Seattle,” or multiple other cities in the graf below:

Carrot buns, lemon macaroons, golden veal cutlets and tamarind ice cream spiked with balsamic vinegar are taking New York by storm, as street carts trade working-class fare for delicacies.

One thing that really irks me about the food truck thing is that it’s only become a “trend” now that food trucks are “gourmet” and run by middle class  people. I grew up in Los Angeles going to taco trucks all the damn time, and since living in New York have eaten multiple falafels, pretzels, and ice cream sandwiches from food trucks.

And it’s even more irksome when you read about people like Oleg Voss, “a 28-year-old culinary school graduate and one-time investment banker.” He had to give up his lucrative job in Vienna to open his veal cutlet cart, because of “the brutal economic recession.” That is brutal!

It seems like “I opened a niche gourmet food business” is the new “I found myself.” Who needs an ashram when you can sell artisanal delicacies to people who enjoy the added flavor of self-righteous foodiness? Oh and isn’t it funny, hahaha, when people who have been working on the street for their entire lives don’t take kindly to being pushed out of business by a trend? Take, for example, two former marketing executives who have now opened a gourmet ice cream truck:

“Three Mister Softee guys came and threatened to burn our truck,” said Di Mille, referring to the half-century old franchisor of trucks serving up soft ice cream.

Yeah I don’t know why they would have an issue with two former marketing executives with “friends in the New York police force” taking away their business. After half a century.

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  • Lea Hernandez

    New category: Shut Up, Gentrification. Variety’s great. Self-righteous gentrification at the expense of the people who held the line burns my chicken.


  • Snacktime

    I can’t say I’m outside the loop on this–I don’t think anyone is (or at least anyone who reads this blog). I used to get tacos at Matomoros, a great family run storefront in my neighborhood. But since they closed a few years ago, I do go to the taco trucks–one run by hipsters and one run by a family. I’m not sure what is to be done but hopefully if we keep talking about it and pushing back, we can develop some resistance.


  • Josh A

    We have a lot of cheese steak trucks in Philadelphia, with lots of them focused around the colleges. Pete’s Little Lunchbox on Drexel used to be run by a Greek family (son and mom). Their parking got bought out by a Korean family, that already owns trucks on Temple and UPENN, about 5 years ago. The Korean family trashed the old little truck and brought in a bright and shiny new one. Breakfest sandwiches were still good so I didn’t change my habits and still bought from that truck since it was on my way to morning classes.

    it still class war/ gentrification if they aren’t white?


  • Snacktime

    We provide commentary, not individual fortunes.

  • As one who hails from Food Cartopia (read Portland) I do love me a food cart, but have always enjoyed the rolling ‘roach coaches’ as I felt like I cheated death each time I had lunch and made it to the next day. That being said…y’all will love this story about what happens when pie meets a psychology experiment.

    http://wweek.com/editorial/3643/14449/