I started reading about food trucks in some magazine years ago. Memphis didn’t have any at the time, so I didn’t eat at one until I went to Austin to visit Jessica for the Austin Half Marathon. I had the most creative dishes at a very inexpensive cost. And I loved eating outside on the picnic tables set up next to the trucks. Memphis finally got food trucks the year before I left, but I never got a chance to try them.
The food truck of the past was the fair food or festival fare that was greasy and yummy but very unhealthy. It was the kind of food that I’d enjoy at the fair but not as regular fare. The food trucks of today are a far cry from their forefathers. On Culinaryschools.com, there is an article about the history of food trucks tracing them from the old chuck wagons used by the early settlers in Texas to the street carts located in big cities. The recession apparently contributed to the proliferation of food trucks because chefs that were laid off work needed a less costly way to sell their culinary specialties. Now, food trucks are all over the place, and Baton Rouge is no exception.
Wednesday night, I decided to run out to Calandro’s Supermarket to get some rotisserie chicken for dinner. When I arrived, I was surprised to see several food trucks parked in the lot next door. The Taco food truck, the BBQ truck and Fleur de Licious was there with the cupcake truck and a gelato cart. I walked over and got a delicious meal of Fire-roasted chicken and Pesto Green Beans from Fleur de Licious. I asked the chef where he served lunch or where I could find his schedule. He gave it to me verbally right there while he was cooking my dinner.
Baton Rouge has a Food Truck Roundup every Wednesday night in some part of the city. The men that I joined at the picnic table told me that there is a roundup at this mid-city location the third Wednesday of every month. They were regulars and told me where to get more information and described their favorite dishes from their favorite trucks. You can find the food truck roundup schedule at this site. You’ll notice that Fleur de Licious is not even on this site, but it does have a Facebook page here. The Baton Rouge Food Truck Roundup also has a Facebook page. I’m still struggling to get lunch schedules from each truck, but I will keep trying. Apparently, they have a fairly set schedule serving work-sites around the city. When the chef on Fleur de Licious told me his schedule, I mentally made a note that on Fridays he is at the Bon Carre’ Business Center which is near my office.
So Friday, I snagged a couple of co-workers and we tried it out. It was a beautiful day outside, and we spotted the food truck right away. The chef remembered me, and I ordered the Jerk Burger this time on his recommendation. Jean Ann got the Carribbean Chicken Sandwich which was very similar to my Jerk Burger but with chicken. She also opted for the Creole Potatoes which are roasted potatoes with Creole Sauce. Katie ordered the cheeseburger. I got my meal plus drink for $9, and I left a couple dollars tip. While our meals were being prepared, we chatted with the workers that came up, and then we decided to head over to Independence Park to eat outside.
My Jerk Burger was fabulous. It was definitely a hand-made, high quality beef patty on a home-made bun. It was topped with jerk sauce, shredded cabbage and mango salsa. The french fries were home-made, chewy, spiced just right and really yummy. My lunch companions said they really liked their food, too, and we vowed that we’d do this again and maybe even find another food truck to try. Jean Ann said, “Wow, I feel like I’ve had a recess” before we got up from the picnic table, and I have to agree. It was so much nicer than sitting in air conditioning. I felt that way Wednesday night, too. I made some new friends, enjoyed the night air and had some really delicious food. It was much more relaxing than heading out to a noisy restaurant.
I’ve decided while the weather is nice out, I’m going to take advantage of these food truck roundups. If you are interested, come on over by the Calandro’s on the third Wednesday of the month. I’d love to share a picnic table with you. Next time, I’m going to try one of those cupcakes or some gelato. Ashok will get to come too. It’s in walking distance, so we’ll probably just walk over. If you are interested, let me know. I’ll meet you there!