Six Purveyors Rethinking the Food Truck Model
Street food in Seattle has largely meant four-wheeled, mobile operations. A creative new crop of cooks is changing that.
Street food in Seattle is by and large the purview of roving trucks. The scenario is quite different from Portland, where stationary carts and trailers hold court. There are exceptions, of course—Pinky's Kitchen and Tuscan Stone Pizza stay put in Wallingford and Bellevue, respectively, and there are all those hot dog vendors—but overall our curbside cooks are a nomadic bunch of trucks.
Or are they? Recently a spate of street food purveyors have steered away from the four-wheeled, mobile model. Either they're sticking to one spot or shilling grub via some rather creative setups. Below are six such examples.
The concept isn't exactly auspicious—it's sushi served in a gas station parking lot—but go with it; this Ballard mainstay consistently gets thumbs up from diners. Find chef and owner Tsering Lama at the Shell at 6759 NW 15th Ave; flanking his trailer is a covered tent and tables (tables, really!), offering respite from inky evenings.
Owners Vanessa Resler and Will Lemke eschew four wheels in favor of two: Their ice pops—a hit during this summer's farmers market season—are dispensed via tricked-out bicycle. Standard popsicles these are not. The rotating flavors include Thai iced tea, blackberry pie a la mode, Rainier cherry, and strawberry rhubarb pie. No wonder Macklemore is a fan.
Another pedal-powered operation, Bikelava serves baklava, that flaky Greek delicacy, at events and markets around the city. Look for it at Gage Academy of Art's Drawing Jam on December 1.
A recent visit to Portland inspired nightlife impresario Marcus Charles to open this sleek outfit, a trailer permanently positioned behind Belltown bar The JuJu. Burgers lead the menu, but there's also chili, nachos, fries, and wings, all available until the wee hours of the morning.
I Love My GFF
One of the healthiest outfits out there thanks to an entirely gluten-free menu crafted around bowls of quinoa, with chicken, veggies galore, and "tangy" sauces at your disposal. The meals come out of a cart that ironically is not unlike the ones used by those decidely unhealthy hot dog vendors.
From his multi-colored cart, Greg Bye fires puffy-crust pizza topped with a varying assortment of inspired ingredients: goat cheese, Salumi sausage, melted leeks, roasted pear. Sizes come both large and small.