Because of their quirky names, mobile nature, and perceived trendiness, food trucks often fail to get the culinary recognition that they deserve. We think that’s a shame. On the real, we’re prepared to go toe-to-toe with anyone who wants to get snide about these culinary equalizers. Not only do they make some legit awesome food, they provide people with a gift for cooking a less-expensive way to test ideas and be their own bosses. So, last spring we were fully down to celebrate the best our country has to offer by picking the best food trucks in America, specifically the best one in every state.
In our enthusiasm, we may have overlooked how challenging it would be. The brain hears “Eat at all the food carts!” but fails to acknowledge that you then have to pick the best from among literally endless options. Damn. Like how do you enjoy a delicious arepa or grilled cheese and then turn your back on them? It’s heartbreaking.
Check out our picks for your state and neighboring ones. Tell us if we got it right. Chances are, if you name another hot spot, someone on our staff will send an “I told you so” Slack message, and why would you deny anyone the chance for a little co-worker smugging? Plus, we love finding new places to chow down, so drop in the names and locations of all your fave food trucks. Let’s work together to keep small, independent businesses with killer food flourishing.
Alabama: Shindigs (Birmingham)
Chefs Chad Schofield And Mac Russell launched this “spank your tastebuds” truck in 2011, after bonding during their time together at Culinard and Hot and Hot Fish Club. They quickly learned that people liked what they were doing, as steady streams of customers bought all of their inventory during a series of hectic lunch rushes. And what’s not to like? They pride themselves on serving “local food, fast,” offering a menu designed around farm-fresh, local produce, meats, and dairy. They also celebrate their Southern roots, but take a healthy approach (nothing on their menu is fried in duck fat).
The menu at Shindigs changes, as all menus tied to seasonal ingredients do. If you hit the truck for brunch, you might opt for savory pulled pork, with highlife grits, and Brussels sprouts, or a buttery croissant filled with fried chicken, Concecuh sausage, and pimento cheese could be more your jam. Our choice would be the éclair with white chocolate ganache, roasted pineapple, and pistachio crumble, but we roll decadent.
For lunch, diners enjoy Korean steam buns with crispy pork belly, cilantro, hoisin, a spicy sesame mist and a side of sweet potato tots. Just try resisting a Slovenian sausage with squash mashed potatoes, burnt stone fruit, caramelized onions, mustard jus, and a side of crispy onion rings.