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www.TomsFoodieBlog.com Top 10 Gourmet Food Trucks of 2011

Top 10 Gourmet Food Trucks of 2011

A look back at the Gourmet Food Trucks that changed the food landscape

A look back at the Gourmet Food Trucks that changed the food landscape

2011 was the year that food trucks exploded on the scene across the country and mainstreaming a niche foodie cult. Orange County became ground zero for the proliferation new food trucks (good and bad), food truck lot turf wars, high-end chefs going mobile and the movement even produced a couple of celebrities as a result of the Great Food Truck Race television show. By the end of 2011, there were some casualties as some trucks failed, while other’s flourished. This top 10 list is based on my personal observations and multiple visits to each truck I listed. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my list. Thanks to all the food truck owners for making my lunch hour pleasant and for being the genesis of Tom’s Foodie Blog.

#1- Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon – This truck features rustic Southern Italian Cuisine, with a high-end flare. The truck is owned and operated by a  former Ritz-Carlton Chef, Joe Youkhan. He knows how to perfectly integrate high-end ingredients into food truck friendly fare. Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon epitomizes the true essence of the gourmet food truck movement and does it with a foodie friendly flare.

Must Try Dishes: Foie Gras Slider and any of his flat bread pizzas

#2 – SlapFish Truck Truck specializing in sustainable seafood dishes. Not only do Chef Andrew Gruel and Jethro Naude prepare fish dishes to perfection and they bring a creative twist to their dishes. Since their fish comes from sustainable fisheries and are not on endangered or watch lists, you can feel good about eating these dishes.

Must Try Dishes: Lobsticle, Major Crunchy, and “Because we have to” fish tacos

#3 – Chomp Chomp Nation – This truck features Singapore Street Hawker style dishes, customized to the American Palate. This truck uses O.G. Singapore recipes from an O.G. Singapore Native Shaun Ng, and operates along side with his business partner Robert Zuetell. Some of this dishes use up to 26 ingredients and are full of complex flavors. The truck’s dishes are truly amazing and the food is always fresh. This truck did a good job at picking a niche theme and basing their entire menu around it.

Must Try Dishes: Surf and Turf Combo, Singapore Sloppy Joe, Hibiscus Ice Tea, Chili Crab Cake

#4 – SeaBirds – This is a Vegan and all girl operated Food Truck. Seabirds offers exclusively plant-based, raw and vegan dishes. To anyone who doesn’t think they will like this type of food, guess again! I avoided this truck for almost 3 months until I tried it for the first time and then I was hooked! The food is amazingly fresh, vibrant and you feel good about eating these dishes.

Must Try Dishes: Deep Fried Avocado Tacos, Jack Fruit Tacos, Locals Burrito, Coconut Crusted Deep Fried Mango

#5 The Lime Truck – This truck specialized with fresh/local ingredients and high-end menu. This truck won the Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network and have expanded operations to three trucks. Although the original dream team is no longer together, the owner Daniele Shemtob still manages to keep the fresh food rolling out to the same high standards. I am hoping 2012 is the year that The Lime Truck starts resumes offering new and innovative items each week.

Must Try Dishes: Yum Yum Lamb Sandwich, Carnitas Fries, Ahi Tuna Poke Nachos

#6 – Dos Chinos – An amazing fusion concept truck that blends Vietnamese with Mexican Cuisine with a whole lota love. The owner, Hop Phan, grew up in Garden Grove and regularly would trade and mix and match Vietnamese Food with Mexican food to create innovative fusion dishes. When Hop grew up he opened up a food truck that capitalized on this fusion food concept.

Must Try Dishes: Stoner Burrito (on the secret menu), Hollywood Chicken, Garden Grove Taco, Surf and Turf Taco (on the secret menu)

#7 – Home Skillet – A newer truck on the scene that features a modern twist on Americana Comfort food and infuses occasional hints of Asian seasoning. The owner of the truck Chef Christie Morisoli is a classically trained chef who has worked at some of the top restaurants in San Francisco and O.C. This truck’s dishes have clean flavors and will make your Mama jealous

Must Try Dishes:  Mini Lamb Burger, Pomegranate  Riblets, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Fried Mac N Cheese Balls

#8 – The Lobsta Truck – Real Lobster or Crab on a bakery roll, that is pretty much it! This truck takes a North-Eastern Lobster shack and puts it on wheels. The Lobsta truck takes real crab  or lobster and shoves it into a fresh bakery roll. This truck offers very simple but amazing dishes, but it’s not cheap

Must Try Dishes: Lobster Roll (mayo based or Butter glazed), Crab Roll (mayo based or butter glazed), Clam Chowder Soup

#9 – Bacon Mania – This truck’s bacon based menu makes me smile because Bacon = Happiness. Baconmanias dishes all involve some aspect of bacon or pork. Extremely delicious food.

Must Try Dishes: Chili, Bacon Wrapped dates, Bacon wrapped Hotdog, speedy Gonzalez

#10 (tie) – Front Porch Pops – Gourmet and hand crafted popsicles from a push cart. Although this vendor is not a truck (actually a push cart), don’t judge Erin Witcomb’s Popsicle cart by its size. She produces some of the best gourmet items in the food truck scene. In the summer, there is a line forming for her yummy treats

Must Try Desserts: Monkey’s Gone to Heaven, Salted Caramel

#10 (tie) – Chunk N Chip : A desert truck that combines homemade ice cream with fresh-baked cookies to create custom ice cream sandwiches. Although this truck has a standard menu, you are encouraged to mix and match Ice Cream and cookies to make it your own.

Must Try Desserts: Snicker Doodle , Red Velvet

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.

6 comments

  1. Yep, def the new trend. Our little town even has two food trucks, one of them being Whole Foods. I figure Whole Foods has the cash to do all the market research and stay ahead of the competition. They know what they’re doing.

  2. Chomp Chomp Nation’s chili crab cake is one of favorite comfort food. I like that it’s been customized to for the American palate and still keep that distinct Asian flavor. A must try!

    • Hi Chris,
      Thanks for leaving a post and I agree they have some pretty amazing Sinaporian Dishes adjusted to the American Palate and Food Truck Experience
      Tom

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