Blog: The 2012 Prospect Park Food Truck Rally
In 2011, the LocalBozo.com crew headed to Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza for the Prospect Park Food Truck Rally- the first of its kind. This was our initial outing to stroll through this historic landmark, while sampling some of the best foods New York City mobile food trucks had to offer. And oh what a difference a year makes. The New York City Food Truck Association or NYCFTA continues working diligently to update outdated vending laws, while promoting these aspiring small businesses. On Sunday, over fifteen trucks arrived at the outdoor Brooklyn site for the 2012 Rally. The trucks were parked and the grills were fired. Our crew walked the grounds, trying some new editions while tipping our hats at many who continue to stand that food truck test of time.
We hit the rally during the early afternoon hours and right away noticed that something had changed. It was a highly pleasant change at that. Because of recent events where long lines had all but ruined said events, everyone and their mother is making a conscious effort to have a plan to provide customers with their food without insane waits or hiccups. When you hit a truck that is serving something you’ve been craving, you want it fast and that’s exactly the mentality going on here. Speaking of cravings, I have established a new found love of the Korean favorite side dish, Kimchi. This cabbage treat has that amazing combination of a fresh veggie crunch paired with some serious heat. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I approached the, “Kimchi Taco Truck.” Kimchi Taco creator, Phillip Lee sought to bring this delicacy to the masses in a highly accessible way. Lee had succeeded, as the truck had a solid crowd throughout the entire day. I feel a lot of this was due to the value of the deal being offered as customers could pay $7 for 3 tacos or $9 for 4. Perusing the menu, we opted for the “Grilled Korean BBQ Short Rib,” which includes Kimchi Taco’s signature marinade topped with red cabbage and pear kimchi slaw. Next up was the “Spicy Seared Pork,” loaded with Korean spiced pork tenderloin and marinated with a red pepper paste before being topped with pico de gallo and fresh kimchi. And to end on a healthy note, our third selection was the “Spicy Grilled Chicken,” marinated in roasted garlic and onions, cilantro, soy sauce, and sesame oil and served with pico de gallo, pickled daikon, and kimchi chipotle aioli. Each meat was highly unique and perfectly slow cooked. Going down the line of the three, flavors were never repeated and each was down right delicious in its own way. The truck’s Kimchi is a dangerous contender for some of the best I’ve had outside of my usual Korea town staples.
Guess what? I love hot dogs! It’s true and I’m not ashamed to scream it from the roof top. As I made my way to the back of the rally I spotted, “Snap Food Truck“, a literal oasis for hot dog fans. The truck is a recent edition to the rally, and the food truck scene in general. Their menu is very dog heavy, but features a selection of Hudson Valley grass fed organic beef burgers and an exciting hybrid creation known simply as “Avocado Fries” as well. These panko crusted, creamy snacks were very popular on Sunday and something I plan to try in the near future. My focus was on the hot dog, and when I noticed they made a “Chicago Dog” ($5) I didn’t hesitate for a moment to order one. “Snap’s” Chi-town dog features the traditional, “Drag it through the garden” toppings including: yellow mustard, sweet pickle relish, chopped onions, tomato wedges, dill pickle spears, sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt. I have been to Chicago and have sampled some of these homegrown dogs at their respective famed joints, but in all seriousness, “Snap’s” “Chicago” ranks up their with the best of them. The grill masters use only 100% brisket beef dogs, which tells you that quality is paramount for these guys. The snap of this natural casing dog released that smokey, savory flavor I look for in a tasty dog and their use of traditional ingredients went a long way. Many New Yorkers have yet to expose themselves to this style, and it’s a shame. No longer does your dog have to be naked with just a touch of mustard or ketchup. You can now devour one with a veritable salad on top!
These tasty new editions paired with short waits made our afternoon that much more enjoyable. The amount of growth and popularity of the trucks and the NYCFTA since 2011 just goes to show you that city dwellers love to experiment with what and where they eat. The only thing that could have made the day better is if they had a liquor license to sell cold beers! Hey, one can dream.
- Jay Rubin