Jumping off the recent post about Los Angeles’ food truck scene, a Longtime reader says the best food truck scene in America belongs to Philadelphia.
“I’m pretty sure its the oldest continuing food truck community as well, but there are a ton of them parked around Penn’s campus, which is a very urban campus…awesome food, great variety, dirt cheap,” he emailed.
One of this year’s newcomers is Matthew Feldman’s Lucky Old Souls burger truck (luckyoldsouls.com; Twitter: @LOSBurgerTruck), which sources grass-fed beef from nearby Lancaster County and tops the L.O.S. burger ($9) with house-cured bacon, smoked Cheddar, pickled tomatoes and sautéed onions. Look for the dense maple black pepper milkshake ($6.25) made from a local favorite, Bassetts Ice Cream.
Another participant is Pitruco Pizza, (pitrucopizza.com; Twitter: @pitrucopizza), a mobile trailer home to a brick-lined wood-fired oven that is run by three childhood friends from northwest Philadelphia. The 900-degree heat provides just a touch of char on 11-inch pies like the radicchio ($9), which includes wild mushrooms and mozzarella and is finished with Parmesan and balsamic vinegar.
Even the Iron Chef winner Jose Garces, head of a small empire of critically acclaimed restaurants centered in Philadelphia, has jumped into the fray with his Guapos Tacos (guapostacos.com; Twitter: @guapostacos) truck, whose exterior is patterned with thousands of bottle caps. Unconventional options include duck barbacoa ($8), the tender meat topped with kimchi and peanuts.
For dessert, search out the Sweetbox (iheartsweetphilly.com; Twitter: @SweetBoxTruck) truck, wrapped in a boldly colored custom design courtesy of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. The owner Gretchen Fantini’s cupcakes are modest in size but hefty in flavor, especially her favorite, a moist yet crumbly chocolate covered with a thick swipe of chocolate ganache ($3).
Everybody wins with the combination of gourmet food trucks and Square (because who carries cash anymore?). If you have any food truck stories of your own locale feel free to pass them along.