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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, December 7

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Random Mon Aug 16 2010

Sound Off: Dream Up Your Fav Food Truck

foodtruck.jpgIt shouldn't come as much of a surprise that food trucks in Chicago - or lack thereof - has exploded into, well, kind of a big deal. With a City Council vote looming, a slew of Chi-town chefs are (fingers crossed) set to unleash an armada of rolling restaurants. As BlackBook blogged earlier this summer: "[C]hefs from Alinea, Big Star, Urban Belly, Frontera Grill, Perennial, Graham Elliot, and Naha are raring to rev their engines".

So that got us thinking: What food trucks do you want to see cruising through the Loop, clogging up our already congested downtown avenues? If time, money and perhaps liquor laws were no object, which of your favorite Chicago haunts do you believe is most deserving its own ICV (Industrial Catering Vehicle)? From the cheapest chili dog to the most resplendent restaurant - the sky's the limit! Use the picture above for inspiration and the comment section below to voice your opinion.

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Lola / August 16, 2010 11:08 PM

I would love to see an Athenian Room food truck. A pita full of crispy, juicy gyro meat with cool taziki would really perk up my lunch hour.

Cece / August 16, 2010 11:12 PM

Whatever happened to the old-fashion ice cream truck? It would be a-mazing to see a DESSERT food truck in the loop. Maybe a hybrid Sweet Mandy B's and Margie's Candy that served cupcakes AND chocolate ice cream sodas. Yes Please :-)

robyn / August 17, 2010 12:06 AM

What Cece said. What Cece beautifully said.

donna / August 17, 2010 12:20 AM

I used to be in favor of food trucks. I mean, every damn city has them, why shouldn't Chicago? Huh?
Then I realized that they're just going to be a big, noisy, mobbed nuisance in already packed areas like the loop, wicker park, and the viagra triangle, taking up public space and using public services such as trash pick up without paying many of the taxes or other operating costs that bricks and mortar places do. I'd MUCH rather see it made easier for restaurants to open in the wealth of empty storefront space we have in the city. Real restaurants are often on the forefront of revitalizing under-developed neighborhoods(think marche in the west loop or lula cafe in logan square). And just take a look at those chefs up there, surely they have the investment capital behind them to open another real restaurant or two in a neighborhood that could use a boost. These food trucks are just going to cram their noisy diesel generator powered, mobile kitchens into already vibrant districts that don't need any help and honestly, don't have the space. Surely there can be a better solution to help entrepreneurial restaurateurs start(or expand) a business in Chicago. The french market at the metra station is a good model(hello saigon sisters... love you!) Can we take that idea and do it elsewhere in the city, and better?

ugh. sorry to rant.
i know it's a big trend and chicago seems left out, but i just don't think we really want trucks, we want real restaurants.
that said, this town sure could use more good donuts.

What / August 17, 2010 9:30 AM

@Cece: Because anyone can operate a dessert truck right now according to city law. That's why there ARE ice cream trucks and cupcake trucks -- no one can cook live on a food truck. If Sweet Mandy B's wanted a food truck tomorrow, they'd have a better shot than anyone else currently trying because they sell packaged and prepared goods. That's the point.

Art / August 17, 2010 10:03 AM

I think every good restaurant should have a mobile element to their business. I'm most excited about seeing startups hit the streets though. I know that there are lots of good ideas out there just waiting for the go ahead.

Matthew / August 19, 2010 1:13 PM

@Donna: No, we want food trucks.

Danielle Klinenberg / August 20, 2010 11:47 AM

I'd like to see a superfresh vegilicious truck, i.e. with juices, salads, and soups in the winter.

Should support local farms and perhaps local foods in schools.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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