The food truck roundup that typically accompanies Second Saturdays Art Walk in Wynwood will not happen this month, according to its organizer. Shortly after noon today, the manager of Sakaya Kitchen — whose owner, Richard Hales, organizes the roundup — sent the following message to the food truck community via email: “Unfortunately the Wynwood event is not going to happen this month on the lot; the City will not give the permission … See you hopefully next month.”
Love ‘em or lament ‘em, the food trucks are going to be back in full force at Art Walk Saturday night. The organizer of the food truck roundup, which sets up in a lot west of N.W. Second Avenue, between 22nd Street and 23rd Street, just sent out an email to all the trucks eligible for the event proclaiming, “WE HAVE A PERMIT AND THE EVENT IS OFFICIALLY ON! START TWEETING AND GET THE WORD OUT!”
The food truck roundup that accompanies Art Walk in Wynwood on the second Saturday of every month has been cancelled amid a storm of accusations between the food trucks operators and Brad Knoefler, the neighborhood activist who spearheaded the creation of Grand Central Park in downtown.
Art Walk itself will go on as usual (see our exhibition guide).
Much has been made (including by me) about the rise of the Miami food truck. For a while now, it seems you can spot at least one of the city’s ever-growing number of mobile kitchens parked off of the side of the road anywhere you go, and many have celebrated this roving addition to the local culinary scene.
But another, somewhat dramatic narrative has been riding shotgun with the success story from the beginning. Not long after everyone found about the Biscayne Triangle Truck Roundup (BTTR), a gathering of almost the entire fleet of local trucks off of 109th and Biscayne, complaints from within the adjoining neighborhood forced the event to relocate (to Johnson & Wales, last I heard).
Then there was the public split – melodramatically played out on Twitter – between the trucks and their would-be organizing body, the Gourmet Food Truck Association, which reportedly had an accused child-molester as a volunteer.
Now there is a dust-up between Wynwood property owner David Lombardi and Jack Garabedian, owner of Jefe’s Original food truck. Lombardi and several Wynwood gallery owners have a problem with Jefe’s and other food trucks lining the streets during Miami’s Second Saturday Art Walk. “Some businesses have complained that the trucks block the sidewalk, crowd their entrances, and leave a mess at the end of the night,” according to the Herald.
Last night, the first Culinarium food truck round-up convened at the corner of N.E. 2nd Avenue and 17th Street downtown. Boasting many stalwarts of Miami’s food truck scene (Jefe’s, Dim Ssam a Gogo, Fish Box, Latin Burger, CheeseMe, Ms. Cheezious), Culinarium distinguished itself from BTTR and other mobile-kitchen meetups around town with two full bars and live music in Villa 221′s wedding-worthy backyard. Attendance was sparse early on and the lines short compared to BTTR, where I waited 45 minutes at a single truck. But the rainishness probably kept some folks away and, with the event scheduled to run until midnight, the crowd might have picked up as the night wore on. I’m not sure if Culinarium will become a weekly event (it’s apparently up in the air), but I suspect its combo of booze, grub, and style would eventually draw Miami’s bao-bun addicts downtown on a regular basis (at least this one).
Here are some photos from the event.
Many have taken notice of Miami’s booming food truck industry as the city’s culinary fleet seems to grow every week. And from the outside looking in, the movable feast has shown conspicuous harmony, with food trucks regularly convening at different spots around Miami like a herd of grazing heifers. But now something seems to have upset the herd. Over the last few days, one food truck after another has announced on Twitter — the industry’s lifeblood — that it has cut ties with the Gourmet Food Truck Association (GFTA), which until very recently billed itself as “a voice for all food trucks in Miami”. I don’t have the details on the mutiny, but I do have a truckload of tweets that suggests the GFTA somehow pissed off just about every mobile kitchen in Miami. Presumably as a result of the mass defection, the association has decided to give up the keys for good:
Here is a chronological list of #GFTA tweets consisting mainly of Miami’s food trucks kicking the association to the curb one by one. (Talk about road rage.) The last one is not from a food truck, but it serves up a damn funny line nonetheless.
At around 10:30 this morning, more than 100 cyclists took off from the Brickell Metro-Rail Station for a three-hour, 12-mile ride from one Miami food truck to another. Sampling delicious food and then immediately burning off the calories therein is, of course, a brilliant idea, the perfect balance of exercise and scarfing. Hats off to Emerge Miami for making it happen.
Here are some photos of the ride.
First stop: Latin Burger, off of SW 27th Avenue.
Last night, for the fifth week in a row, a fleet of food trucks parked off of Biscayne Boulevard and 109th Street to serve their victuals to hundreds of hungry Miamians. From 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., the fifteen trucks — actually, 14 trucks and one motorcycle — served everything from tacos to crepes to bbq to grilled cheeses to … currywurst (naturally, the motorcycle had to rev things up). Organized by the Gourmet Food Truck Association*, the truck rally happens every Tuesday and is well worth a try. The vibe is chill and, barring a few exceptions ($11.50 grilled cheese!), the food is pretty cheap. The only drawback is the exceedingly slow service at some of the trucks. I waited 45 minutes for my pork taquitos from Jefe’s. But here’s the thing: they were so good, I waited another 30 minutes for Jefe’s fish tacos later in the evening (also really good). Similar wait time at the Cheese Me truck, which broke my carnivorous heart by running out of short rib sliders (and every other kind of slider) before I could order. But one bite of a gooey cheddar-cheese-on-Texas-Toast sandwich dipped in tomato soup made me a forgiving man. With 13 other trucks left unsampled — and hopefully more to join (GastroPod? Dim Ssäm à gogo?) — I will be back next week. Until then, here are some pictures from the rally.