Having a bite outside is a hallmark of summer in New England, and what’s better than strolling up to a restaurant on wheels? Food truck dining is quickly becoming de rigueur in culinary culture because it’s not only fun, it’s also a creative way to dine on quality food that’s quick and informal.
Food trucks are especially easy to track during this time of year. The often colorful and intricately-designed mobile kitchens can be found parked on busy streets in both cities and towns and on college campuses. You can also spot clusters of trucks congregating at community markets and events throughout the Pioneer Valley.
Getting to Food Truck Fridays at Abandoned Building Brewery in Easthampton is a great way to start a food truck weekend. It’s a terrific venue to sample a manageable variety of cuisine. Food Truck Fridays boasts local favorites Sun Kim Bop’s Korean BBQ short ribs and Mothership Gourmet’s Salt Cod And Potato Fritters served with watercress, and aioli for dipping.
To cap off the weekend, visit Holyoke’s Mercado on Main (Street). Mercado on Main hosts food trucks, crafts, and entertainment every third Sunday during the summer. Try Damn Yankees BBQ food truck; order the slow cooked beef brisket topped baked potato or if you’re feeling adventurous, the deep fried tater tots, or tot-chos. They’re loaded with maple bacon and melted cheese and topped with shredded lettuce then drizzled with cilantro lime sour cream.
For those who want to go big, The New England Food Truck Festival is billed as the largest one of its kind in the region. On June 30 and July 1, 40 of the finest food truck vendors from around New England will descend upon West Springfield’s Big E Fairgrounds. Just $8 at the gate gets you into food truck mecca. Popcorn, french fries, cheeseburgers, and every good thing you can imagine will be for the asking at this annual event for food truck foodies.
If you’re more interested in street food made by experienced chefs using restaurant-grade ingredients, there are a few upscale food trucks that cater to more refined tastes.
Alex Kemper’s and Katrina Pierson’s Little Truc brings a little bit of Southeast Asia to Easthampton. The flavors of Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, and the Philippines are artfully prepared in familiar dishes like their Beef Rendang Tacos and their seasonal delight, charred sweet corn with sriracha butter.
And there’s nothing mundane about the menu at the Bistro Bus. Originating in Holyoke, the Bistro Bus also serves up a touch of Asian fusion cuisine. Choose from sesame noodles with julienne veggies or Asian fusion tacos with Thai slaw. Or take a chance on the grilled cheese with BBQ pulled pork and caramelized onions.
So if you’re hankering for great nosh by the side of the road, you don’t have to look far. With a little planning and a sense of adventure, chances are you’ll find a food truck (or two) that will satisfy your yen for a delicious, quick, and casual summer meal.