What’s a nomnom?

It’s 2011 and I’m just now writing my first blog post.  I know a little tardy for the party, right?

So why start blogging now? Is there anything left to say in this vast internet universe hasn’t been said already?  It’s not like I’m a Bravo Housewife who needs to peddle my next song, sell some hand bags, plug my over autotuned pop song, or plead my case for causing a riot at a babies christening.

I’ve been going through a crazy unsettling time  due primarily to health issues that have changed my life, unfortunately for the worse.  I’m not going to dwell on it too much but as I get more comfortable with this blogging thing I will begin to share and hopefully get support and ideas from readers.

What can I discuss on a regular basis that will keep you all interested?  I have a few ideas so hang in there with me as I get started and get sorted.  I decided to write my first blog….wait for it…about food trucks.    Why Food Trucks?  Everyone has to eat.

Food Trucks:

My partner and I live in Valencia, CA (awesometown) and when I heard there was going to be a food truck festival on Sunday I knew we had to go check it out.  Last summer we watched the reality show “The Great Food Truck Race” http://eater.com/archives/2011/05/04/the-great-food-truck-race-season-2-lineup-revealed.php and one of our favorite teams on the show was “the nomnom truck.”  They were scheduled to be a the festival so we headed out to check them out. http://nomnomtruck.com/

Owners Jennifer Green and Misa Chien

Food trucks have been around for a long time.  Don’t we all have fond (or not so fond) memories of the “roach coach” pulling up to the work place at lunch time and grabbing a burger or ham sandwich for lunch?  When my partner and I first moved to LA 10 years ago there were plenty of food trucks but very little diversity.  They were mostly Mexican vendors selling street food (some great and others not so good).  Sure, the food hit the spot when we didn’t feel like waiting for a meal at our favorite sit down restaurant but the food choices were pretty limited and the trucks sometimes were hard to find.

That quickly changed about two years ago  when a gourmet food truck craze started in LA with buzz created by Koqi kogibbq.com  Now there are close to 200 gourmet trucks roaming the streets of LA many with innovative names like “Slap Yo Mamma, Grill Em All, Ragin Cajun, Great Balls on Tires, Gastro Bus”  If you follow your favorite trucks on twitter you can easily find where you can get your daily fix of  soul food, tapas, crepes  lobster rolls, sprinkles cupcakes, korean bbq tacos and even organic handmade ice cream sandwiches.    http://golosangeles.about.com/od/losangelesrestaurants/tp/Los_Angeles_Food_Trucks.htm.

Living in Valencia, which is about 30 miles north of LA, we are off the beaten path for the G trucks. Since the great city of Valencia sponsored a food truck festival over the weekend we had to go check them out.  We were most anxious to try the Nom Nom truck since we were such big fans of them on “The Great Truck Race.”  For $6 per sandwich we both decided on the foot long pork banh mi sandwich that I have to say was definitely gourmet worthy.  The baguette was perfectly toasted, the meat was juicy and flavorful, and the toppings were crisp and fresh (sliced cucumber, carrots, pickled daikon, cilantro, and jalapenos).  I should have held off on the jalapenos – they were good but very hot and overwhelmed the flavor of the remaining toppings.

nomnomnomnom!!! It was great!

The owners of the nomnom truck have learned a few things about giving good service.  There were only 3 sandwich items available on the menu, no side dishes and no drinks.  Customers were able to select which toppings they wanted on the chicken, pork, or tofu sandwich

We were there in the early afternoon and only waited in line for about 15 minutes during what was probably the busiest time of the day.  The next day I saw on their twitter feed that they shut down about two hours early because they ran out of food.  No doubt it was a successful day at the festival for them and a fun day for their customers. There were about 30 trucks at the festival and most of them had plenty of customers.

There is a lot of food truck buzz right now in the foodie world.  For entrepreneurs who are interested in breaking into the restaurant business the entry costs are quite a bit lower. For customers, the gourmet trucks provide an alternative to the brick and mortar sit down experience and offers a wider variety of choices.

Unfortunately, most larger cities are passing regulations that are making it difficult for the trucks to operate.I think it’s because the sit down restaurants are wary of the competition and are lobbying city council reps to  increase the red tape.  Please, if you love your food trucks and your council rep is hassling them with more red tape, give your rep a call and voice your support for the trucks.  I know the truckers would appreciate it.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of eating a gourmet meal street side, find a food truck festival or follow your favorite on twitter and check them out when they are nearby. Who knows you may find yourself nomming down some great food!

I wanted to add several links to food truck bloggers.  Unfortunately, I only found one in Portland that is really active.

http://www.foodcartsportland.com/

To foodies who live in or want to visit NYC you may also want to check out the following blog:  Feitel occasionally talks about food trucks and local street fairs in his blog.

http://feitelogram.wordpress.com/

There you have it.  My first blog.  I know that as time goes on I’ll get much better at this and find my voice.  But it’s exciting to get started on this journey and I intend to bring on some  interesting topics going forward .

One more thing, I want to add as the a regular feature to the blog is the question of the day.  Hopefully this will provoke some thought, at times some controversy, and get some interesting discussions going.

A lot of people are thinking about how well things were “back in the day.”

Question of the day:

Were things really better back in the day? / will the USA become a third world country in the next 10 years?

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