The Fare: An assortment of>"/>
The Truck: Food Truck Pod on 2nd/Pike; Rotating lineup can be found on the 2nd and Pike eats website.
The Fare: An assortment of food trucks.
The Stop: Seattle vs. Portland. Whose residents have cooler tattoos? Which city has more fixie bikes, cooler craft cocktails and facial hair? The competition in all categories for baddest city would be fierce, except for the food truck scene.
With just under 500 food carts/trucks to boast, Portland is one of the key cities to pioneer the mobile food movement in the United States. As for Seattle, we have a burgeoning food truck scene, but we are playing catch-up. Three key factors will help Seattle approach Portland's Foodlandia:
1) Continued loosening of city zoning regulations that will make it easier for food trucks to set up shop. Brick and mortar owners, food trucks are not going to cannibalize your business. They serve a different audience. Not to mention, more energetic businesses popping up in your neck of the woods will only help liven up the area and draw in more people.
2) Online services such as Seattle Food Trucks that serve as a repository for the latest on truck stops based on filtered criteria, including day of the week and neighborhood. Food trucks are increasingly using social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook to post their location(s) real time.
3) Opportunities for food trucks to band together -> Food truck pods.
One food truck pod in Portland strategically popped up in the downtown area, and the trend just grew from there. With Nong's Hainanese chicken rice to dumplings, the sheer volume of trucks makes this huge cluster of food carts a destination in itself.
So now is our chance, Seattle, to show our support and help us pick up our game in the food truck wars. The same people who organized the pods in Amazon-land are trying their hand at bringing together a food truck pod on the outskirts of a parking lot on 2nd & Pike. The pod debuted last Thursday with three trucks (Nomad Curbside, Lucky Devil Doughnut Co., and Monte Cristo) and a strong showing. So many people showed up to Monte Cristo, the mobile melts business sold out of all their closed faced sandwiches by 1pm. Nomad Curbside commanded a long line for their burgers, well after the usual 12pm-1pm peak lunch hour.
Seattle's 2nd and Pike pod consists of up to four trucks for lunch, and an evening lineup starting at 4pm, six days a week. If you are a Seattle patriot like me and want to build a food truck scene like the ones in Portland and Austin, here is our chance. Head to 2nd and Pike and pack this pod!