Before I started eating at the food trucks, I hate to openly admit this, but I was a very generic eater. I liked all the major chains and thought eating their featured item was eating outside of the box. I know. I know. How lame was I. Then Jim introduced me to the food trucks. And before long, I was on a mission to eat at them as often as possible. We were at the Hermitage Food Truck Frenzy every Wednesday setting up our tailgate chairs, 2 person fold up picnic table, and sometimes a tent when the summer hit. We would hit the Nashville Farmer’s Market monthly “Night Markets.” And trying to hit as many different food truck events as possible so we could try as much as possible from as many trucks as possible.
What I’ve found is that when it comes to food, I’m a bit more snobby about my choices now. I go to restaurants now and I look for things I can’t find elsewhere like Bone Marrow. Things that a year ago, I would have gone “Oh My LORD. Bone Marrow! Are you kidding me? Who would order something so gross!?” Well, a year later, that person is me! And FYI: Bone Marrow is AWESOME!!!!
I find that when I eat the foods a year ago I would have thought were awesome, I now find them boring and bland.
Nashville Food Trucks, I could not thank you more!
You have opened my tastebuds and my mind to so many inventive and creative flavors. Sure, I may not have enjoyed all of them. But I definitely have enjoyed a lot more than I didn’t. A year ago things like Banh Mis, Baos, Muffalettas, Bacon Pate, Korean BBQ, Argentinian Empanadas, Vegetarian ANYTHING were not even in my vocabulary. A year ago, I would have never imagined something like a Macaroni & Cheese Burger or something like a hot dog topped with sausage, peppers, onions, and cheese whiz. I would have never imagined eating a Vegetarian Banh Mi and wishing I had an entire order of it…and not even realizing it wasn’t meat. A Stuffed Burger with cheese and topped with Aioli and truffle oil? My response a year ago would have been 1. What’s Aioli and 2. chocolate on a burger? Yes, that is how naive my food palatte was a year ago. I should clarify that yes I do now know what aioli is and yes I do know that “truffle” does not refer to chocolate but a fungus. And yes, my food vocabulary is all around much more knowledgable now. Almost to a “True Foodie” status!!!!
Now, I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been to a chain restaurant. Although, I still do mention to Jim that something sounds good and I might like to try it. He smartly mentions, “yeah, but why would we do that when we could spend half that and get something better at the trucks.”
I recently went to a dinner at a taproom (and if you follow me on Twitter you know which one I’m talking about). The concept was to have a guest “chef” cook each dish using the beer from the brewery in the recipes and also pairing it up with a beer. I was really excited. But I could not have been more disappointed. I hear the word “CHEF” and I think of the chefs I know on the food trucks like Sarah and Karl with Biscuit Love or Carlos and BJ with Riff’s Fine Street Food. And I got this expectation in my head of what the food was going to be like. What I got from the “chef” at this dinner was what I would consider generic hotel meeting buffet food. The best thing was the beer pairings. The only other thing I liked was what he called a “deconstructed caprese” which in no way incorporated beer outside of the pairing. Now I should admit that I have been fighting a cold so my taste buds are a bit affected. But Jim wasn’t really wowed either. The whole night we sat there and thought, “This would be amazing if Sarah and Karl had done this because they actually would have created flavors and would have inventiveness with the dishes.”
All that to say that the food trucks have changed my expectations of eating, what I expect from someone claiming to be a “chef”, and what I will put in my mouth.
They have inspired me to eat fresh, buy local, be creative, and not to be afraid of new foods.
This is why I love our Nashville Food Trucks. And this is why I work so hard at this blog. I can only hope that you will be as inspired by the amazing Street Eats that we have in this city. And realize just how blessed that our food trucks don’t have the legal issues that so many cities have like Chattanooga, Pasadena, Birmingham, Chicago. FYI: Chattanooga trucks aren’t allowed to park on the STREET! And Southern Pasadena has had a BAN on food trucks. It’s about to be lifted but not without major inconvenience to any food truck operator.
So when I say try something new, I really mean it. Don’t get in the line to wait an hour just to order something you can make at home. Get in the line to wait an hour for something you CAN’T! Your tastebuds will thank you.
That is my soap box for the day! And it is also my Thank You to the Food Trucks in Nashville! You inspire me to be a better eater!