CHICAGO (CBS) – The weather has been wintry and miserable this week, but temperate days are right around the corner, and some new food trucks will be rolling through the city should you feel moved to have lunch outside.
City’s Best reporter Ashley Henshaw suggests keeping your eye out for four new trucks that are set to hit the streets.
The Brown Bag Lunch Truck will offer barbecue fare with an Asian twist. Their menu includes three carnivorous options – smoked brisket, pulled pork, and smoky adobo chicken – all of which come with green mango slaw, white bread and a dip. One dip, called “tiger cry,” is made with lime juice, smoked tomato and an assortment of spices, while the other, the decidedly non-political “tea party,’ has a base of earl gray and green tea, and banana ketchup.”
The truck will also offer sides such as coconut mashed potatoes and collard greens with sweet soy and toasted sesame.
Another truck, Haute Sausage, will offer a choice of four upscale encased meats on gourmet buns. They are the Campfire Bison – a bison sausage with blackened corn, grilled onions and barbecue sauce; the Chicken Mumbai, a chicken sausage with masala and pickled mango chutney; the Lamb Marrakesh, a spicy lamb sausage with roasted eggplant and zucchini; and the Pabst Brat, an old-fashioned Wisconsin beer brat with sauerkraut and cheddar cheese.
A third truck, the Slide Ride, will offer hot gourmet slider sandwiches. The truck has is painted bright pink and evokes mid-20th century aesthetics, but City’s Best says the Slide Ride will offer slider options such as spicy pork bahn mi and black beans with tomatillo salsa, alongside glass bottles of Coca-Cola.
The fourth truck, Wagyu Wagon, hits the streets this summer with burgers and short ribs made from Japanese Wagyu beef. City’s Best says former Peninsula chef Aaron Crumbaugh is behind the idea, and he’s offering short ribs in pho or bahn mi form, an 8-ounce Wagyu burger, Wagyu fat French fries and even Wagyu fat-fried Brussels sprouts.
Food trucks are gaining popularity in Chicago and all over the country, but locally, they are still subject to some stringent restrictions.
Under current regulations, all food served from trucks must be pre-packaged offsite and kept in warm ovens. Preparing food inside trucks is banned by city ordinance, and an effort to change that has been on the backburner since the beginning of the year.
Matt Maroni, owner of the food truck and Edgewater brick-and-mortar restaurant Gaztro-Wagon, drafted an ordinance seeking to change the regulations on food trucks last year, and won the backing of Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd).
“For years the ‘taco truck’ has been depicted as a dirty, unsanitary vessel serving food from questionable origins,” Maroni says on his advocacy Web site, ChicagoFoodTrucks.com. “Today, this new mobile food truck movement has completely changed the consumers’ opinion by increasing the quality standards of the food, service and sanitation offered by these trucks.”