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Chattanooga Food Truck Scene Is Small, But Tasty And Worth the Drive (Part 1 of 2)

So a few weeks back, Jim had come across a blog talking about the small Chattanooga food truck scene.  Now I say small and I mean small.  At the time this blog was written, there were only 4 food trucks operating in Chattanooga.  I will repeat that.  4 food trucks operating in Chattanooga.  They were Taco Sherpa (@TacoSherpa), Monkey Town Donuts, Famous Naters (@FamousNaters), and Pure Soda Works (@PureSodaWorks).  Since this blog, there are a few additions: A Taste of Argentina (@TasteofArg_TN), Southern Burger Company (@SBurgerCo), and Link 41.  I want to give full props to “local milk” blog (@local_milk) for their super informative blog that ultimately created the idea for a trip to Chattanooga for the food trucks!!

The group of food trucks have come together to form the “Chattanooga Street Food Project“.

Currently in Chattanooga, the food trucks are not allowed to park on the streets.  They can only setup in private lots.  And they have some PRIME spots that they set up at on a weekly basis.

While Mondays-Wednesdays, they do hit some of the bigger corporate office parks, Thursdays through Sundays you can find all the trucks at pretty much the same spots.  On Thursdays during lunch, they will be at Warehouse Row tucked in between 2 of the warehouses.  The nice thing about this?  Parking is free for the first 2 hours!  Also, every time you order, you get a ticket.  If you fill out the ticket and drop it in the fishbowl, you are entered to win a gift certificate to use at the shops of Warehouse Row.  Very Clever!

On Fridays during lunch, the trucks can be found at Miller Plaza.  There is a sizeable covered gazebo that has roll up doors, lots of seating, and even televisions with the news on.  The trucks are just steps outside of the gazebo so even in inclement weather, you have plenty of cover.  Secondly, this is in the hub of downtown business.  So there were tons of people walking over from the buildings surrounding the park.  Thirdly, there were other vendors setup here as well selling items from flowers to moonshine cookies.  Friday nights in August they do a concert series at Miller Plaza that included all the food trucks as well.  I’m not sure if that continues through the year or is just a month of August thing.

Saturdays they can be found at the Riverwalk.  And on Sundays, you can find them at the Chattanooga Market which is a weekly farmer’s market with over 200 vendors.

There really isn’t a lot of city in Chattanooga so it’s easy to access the trucks whenever you crave one!  And you should crave one!  The trucks that we tried were doin’ it right!

We tried Monkey Town Donuts, Taco Sherpa, Taste of Argentina, and Pure Soda Works over the course of Thursday and Friday.  When Jim and I arrived around 1 PM at Warehouse Row on Thursday, several of the vendors had sold out or were sold out of at least 1 item.  We even skipped checking in at the hotel first to go straight to the trucks most of whom were closing before 2 because they were out of food.  Monkey Town Donuts was one of those that had completely sold out.  I was a little sad.  I was looking forward to a bucket of donuts which I figured was going to be better than a hotel “complimentary” breakfast.

We walked up to Taste of Argentina.  I have to admit that I was not sure what to expect as I had never had Argentinian food before.  I wasn’t sure if it would be similar to Mexican food or what.  When we walked up, we saw that they were basically out of a lot, but they did still have Beef Empanadas.  Now to be honest, I know what an empanada is, but I’ve never really had an authentic empanada.  My previous empanada adventure included living mas with my late night munchies.  The couple running Taste of Argentina were super nice.  They let us in on the parking adventures for them and even down to signage issues advertising the trucks at Warehouse row.  (Come On Chatt town!!)  The empanadas were only 2 for $5.  Incredible price!  And these empanadas packed some serious flavor!!!  We went back to get more, but they had already shut the window for the day.

We walked down to Taco Sherpa which is a Korean BBQ truck.  All they had left was the Galbi which is pork marinated in sweet and spicy soy.  So we ordered 3 tacos.  The pork was tender and super flavorful.  We were excited to learn that Taco Sherpa would have Bulgogi Beef on Friday.  But since most of the trucks were running out of food and it was nearing the 2 PM hour, they were starting to clean up and close up shop.  So we headed out excited to see them all again Friday for lunch!!!!

And I will continue with Friday’s Food Truck Adventures in Chattanooga in Part 2 which will post on Monday!

-FTJ Julie

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