the truth about food trucks in indy

After spending $43 at a food truck festival, Choy and I began re-evaluating our food truck reality here in Indy.  Being from Los Angeles, where there are an abundance of food trucks, Choy considers himself a food truck connoisseur. And I’m mexican, so… hello. Birthright.

Let’s talk food truck theory here for a minute: food trucks should offer you delicious food at an affordable price. Given that the overhead costs are fewer, they should be able to afford selling their food at less expensive rates than a restaurant.

At the food truck festival, I paid $6 for a falafel pita, $5 for a pizza slice (hello $2 Cost Co slices), and $4 for a bottled water. Choy paid $6 for a turkey leg, $6 for red beans and rice, $3 for banana pudding, $5 for the zucchini sticks, $4 for cannoli, and $3 for a mango lassi (made from alphonso mangoes!).

The worst of it was the red beans and rice. They were mooshy and you couldn’t differentiate the flavor of the beans and rice. It would have been perfect for a teething child. The banana pudding was also a gyp – no bananas. Um… what? It’s called banana pudding. And here’s the kicker, we got these items from the same truck.

“In California,” as many of our conversations begin, “you can buy a Kogi burrito for $6 and it’s full of delicious marinated meat. You can buy a $5 foot long bahn mi (Vietnamese sandwich) from Nom Noms and its full of marinated pork.”

And I would say that’s probably the booji (yes, that’s spelled correctly. Urban Dictionary tells me so.) end of the spectrum. Go to a taco truck managed by my people and you’re paying $1 for the best tacos you’ve ever had. Guaranteed. At this point Choy begins reciting the entire menu of his favorite taco truck in Los Angeles (El Taquito) by memory.

We’d likely buy the turkey leg (it was actually the size of Choy’s head) and the mango lassi again. The cannoli and the zucchini sticks were a fair price, they just weren’t good.

And enough with the mac n’ cheese! I love mac n’ cheese as much as the next girl, but there were approximately 3,675 trucks dedicated to mac n’ cheese and the like. Enough, already. We know we’re in the midwest.

Let us not forget you are paying $5 a person to get into the festival just to spend more money buying food! And since the trucks aren’t allowed to sell beverages you pay $4 to the organizer for water. Highway robbery!!!

And it’s not that Choy and I are cheap. I mean, we’re cheap, but we’re also willing to pay for good food. That’s another thing about our food truck experience. There wasn’t a great variety, we have mac n’ cheese… and mac n’ cheese. There are BBQ trucks, a Korean truck that just throws everything into a taco, two Indian trucks, a few burger trucks, pizza trucks, a few “Italian” trucks and we saw the ONE falafel truck.  There were taco trucks, but I wouldn’t call them real Mexican trucks. Where are the Vietnamese trucks? The real Korean trucks? How about a Cuban truck?

I guess Choy and I will just stick to the cluster trucks that happen around the city. On one specific day, a few trucks get together and set up shop at a park or a brewery, etc. If your favorite trucks are there you can pay them a visit and possibly learn a new part of the city or a new brewery. A few weeks ago, Choy and I paid our first visit to the Triton Brewing Company because of a cluster truck where we were stalking Scout’s Treats. And they’re free! Jackpot.

We won’t mention the food trucks we tried and didn’t like by name. That would be mean, albeit helpful for those that would like to avoid wasting their money on overpriced, not good food. Sorry, you’ll have to learn on your own. We will say that Spice Box never lets us down. It’s our favorite.

It seems to us, and Choy put this perfectly, that the food truck scene here in Indy is more fad than food. Shame on you food trucks.

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  1. Pingback: give me more of this: oranje 2011 « it's electric

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