Great Food Wins! – Lesson one from US Trip
The thing that stood out the most on our trip to the US was that great food wins!!!!
Great Food Wins!
There’s a massive range of experiences I that I saw, tasted or felt on my recent trip to the USA about food, food trucks and their associated set-ups and systems.
I’ve been trying to write about these and in the end just thought I’d start getting them out sooner rather than later (certainly before the green day music plays in the closing credits).
The thing that stood out the most was that great food wins!!!!
The food industry has always been a place for great innovation, but in recent years along side the growth of the food industry globally it feel like there has been an explosion in the broader industry in quality, innovation, uniqueness, the use of seasonal and local produce, fusion, creativity and an excellence in simplicity.
There is a desire to stand out from the crowd and if anything the past few years have taught us, is having wheels is not enough. Truck, bike, cart, hole in the wal, café, restaurant; it has to be to about your food. Sure marketing, location, signage, social media can all help but the quality, the brilliance and the experience created by your food is what will get people coming back for more and hopefully telling your friends about it.
If we look at Adelaide over the past 3 years, sure we have seen some great food trucks come on the scene (of course you’d assume I’d say that) but damn what about the growth in the amazing new restaurants in the city (ie Peel St, Africolo, Orana etc), the over 40 small bars and large array of new coffee shops. All of these new establishments are kicking goals because of their quality and the nuance of their customer experience.
Quality and uniqueness stood out over and over again on our trip the US for both mobile and fixed businesses.
In some cases these were businesses with very simple food concepts, one of these examples were the BBQ businesses we visited, in most cases these place have three different smoked meat items on the menu, a few different sides (mac and cheese, coleslaw and beans). We can all debate subjectively whether we like slaps of smoked meat (personally we love it) but places like Killens, Mighty Quinn, LaBarbeque all do what they do simply and brilliantly well.
The video below shows are few shots of some of the food we ate, some of our highlights included: the awesome fusion of Sushi Burrito’s from Jogasaki Sushi Burrito in LA; the amazingly fresh and tasty ingredients at Cava in DC; the fusion goodness of the Korrila truck (now two fixed business); the burger, especially the breakfast one’s from Brunch Box (two food carts and now a fixed business); the burgers and shakes from the expanding empire of the Shack Shake; the best Mexican I’ve ever had from Fonda La Catrina in Seattle suburb of Georgetown (it was so good we went back twice); the El Salavorian toasted cheese sandwiches from The Toasted at the Houston Street Food Park; the ballsy Chili from PickaChili in Austin; the unique taste and flavor of a Monte Cristo from Hey You Gonna Eat or What? in Austin; the amazingly tasty and awesome local ingredients from Caravan Crepes in Seattle; the Hawaiian/Asian fusion goodness from Buddha Bruddah food truck in Seattle; and of course the BBQ, sides and local beers from the Mighty Quinn in downtown New York, Killen’s in Houston and the LeBarbeque food truck in Austin.
A big part of reasoning for starting Fork was the opportunity to bring together the new small businesses that were given the opportunity to try out their great new food concepts.
Enjoy the food
Please note these words are random collection of letters, spaces and punctuation from an individual who works on a humble food truck event in his spare time and as such has no association to the individual of the same name with a day job.