On the Streets

The joys of mobile munching

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

You’re hungry, but it’s warm outside and you don’t want to cook. You also don’t want to make reservations or commit to entering a fine-dining establishment for the sake of getting fed. Furthermore, you’d prefer to rule out visits to soulless fast food chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, or KFC.

In other words, you’re a prime candidate for visiting one of the area’s many mobile eateries.

As the Weekly launches a new Food Truck section this week—for reference, you’ll find the first one located on pg. 13—we’re paying close attention to the growing nationwide trend of sourcing meals from eateries with wheels.

While spring and summer are a great time for visiting the trucks—which can be found everywhere from outside breweries and clubs to community festivals, music gatherings, street corners, grocery stores and beyond—many stay open throughout the year.

In coming issues, those who are wondering where their meals are coming from that week can find out more in our special section—including hours, specials and where the trucks can be found on any given day.

For example, one of the first featured businesses, Cicchitti’s East Coast Pizza, likes to wander. In recent weeks they’ve offered slices of their famous pies and sandwiches to patrons in front of Northland Diesel, the Shell station in Deming, the Woodsmith’s lot near Bellingham High School, Mount Baker High School, Wilson Toyota, and more.

And, although StrEAT Food now has a secure locale inside the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, they’re still offering up their decidedly gourmet fare through the window of the big white truck that started it all. This means patrons who’ve come to depend on being able to source the best chicken artichoke sandwich this side of the Rio Grande can still do so from under the truck’s sheltered awning. With rotating weekly specials and a tendency to park outside your favorite brewpubs, they’re a good one to keep your eyes on.

Mallard Ice Cream owner Ben Scholtz is also getting in on the action. When the Railroad Avenue headquarters had to close last week for a few days for plumbing repairs, the “Duckling”—a mobile unit that opened back up for business this month in front of the Cordata Community Food Co-op—was able to continue to supply customers with cones and ice cream sandwiches in the interim.

Scholtz says since it reopened for the season, the Duckling has been serving new customers every day. In addition to serving Whatcom Community College students, Canadian shoppers and those who are doing business or shopping in the area, the truck is also operating as a way to collaborate and deepen Mallard’s relationship with the Co-op.

“As neighbors downtown, I feel like they have been a huge anchor and presence,” Scholtz says. “And I feel like they are one of the few businesses in town who have the combination of resources, mission and perspective to really impact and accelerate the progress of the local food system. Compared to downtown, Cordata is much more ‘Any Town, USA’ in terms of its business presence and feel, so it is nice to be out there with the Co-op doing something a little more representative of local Bellingham.”

You’ll also find details about Just Philly, Diego’s, Goat Mountain Pizza, and other food trucks in coming issues, and we’re hoping to hear from other purveyors who’d like to share what they have going on with our readers—who, by the way, are also invited to share the love by letting us know who we’ve overlooked, and why you continue to track them down, wherever they roam.

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