In 2010, Chow Truck became Salt Lake City’s first mobile food truck, serving tacos and sliders with an Asian twist.
Since then, a dozen of these traveling restaurants have rolled into Utah, specializing in everything from sushi and pizza to hamburgers to crêpes.
Food Truck Thursdays at the Gallivan Center
Several Utah food truck operators park along Salt Lake City’s Gallivan Center Plaza at lunchtime to sell their gourmet fare. Offerings usually include Asian-style tacos and sliders, sushi and rice bowls, pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches, crepes and cupcakes.
When » Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where » Gallivan Avenue — 300 South between State Street and Main Street
Unlike taco carts and hot dog stands that are anchored in one location, food trucks move around the city, parking at video stores, call centers, banks, college campuses, concert venues, festivals and fairs. The only way hungry diners know where to find them is by following them on Facebook, Twitter or a website.
Intrigued by the growing number of road food offerings, The Salt Lake Tribune staff hit the streets to get all the details.
Bento Truck • Japanese
Owner/vibe • Katsu Yamazaki, the former sushi chef at Kyoto and Takashi restaurants, and his wife, Tokiko, offer traditional bento boxes made fresh-to-order. Each meal comes with steamed white rice, sides, and a choice of teriyaki chicken, barbecue beef, shrimp or vegetable tempura or five-piece gyoza (potstickers) filled with pork or vegetables.
What to try • The teriyaki chicken is the safe favorite, but aficionados follow this truck for the daily special, made with fresh, in-season ingredients. On a recent visit, it was a perfectly cooked portion of miso-glazed salmon with a side of creamy potato salad. If you have children — or are just a kid at heart — order a bottle of Ramune for $2. This soda has a unique-shaped glass bottle with a marble inside that rattles around when you drink it.
Prices • Bento boxes $6-$8; sides $2-$3.50
Follow • www.BentoTruck.com
Better Burger Truck • Hamburgers, fries
Owner/vibe • Stephen Helfenbein operates Better Burger Truck June through October and is a ski instructor at Alta during the winter. His hamburgers boast all-local ingredients — the buns are from Stoneground Bakery in Salt Lake City, and he uses grass-fed beef from southeastern Utah.
What to try • The signature burger, the Better Burger, includes pickles and tomatoes with cheese for an extra cost. While that may seem sparse on the condiments, it really lets the taste of the beef come through. And they’re fries are sweet potato fries.
Prices • $6.50-$7.50 for the burgers, $2.50 for fries
Como Lomo • Peruvian
Owner/Vibe • Don’t let the little guinea pig chef on the side of this truck fool you: Como Lomo doesn’t offer the traditional Peruvian snack, just authentic samplings of hip cuisine from this South American country. The couple who owns the truck, Vic Cardenas and Rocio Sandoval, offer dishes specifically from Lima, where Rocio grew up.
What to try • The lomo (beef) or pollo (chicken) saltado (braised) is the truck’s specialty. Piles of perfectly seasoned meat can be ordered on either a ciabatta bun for a sandwich or over a bed of rice. It’s then piled with shoestring French fries, sautéed vegetables and a healthy coat of mint sauce, and the flavors combine for an extraordinary meal.
Prices • $5-$10
Cruzin’ Sushi • Sushi, tempura and rice bowls
Owner/vibe • This mobile sushi bar is owned and operated by Josh and Ana Hoskins. The couple met in culinary school and lived in Hawaii, where they trained in the art of sushi making. Their menu includes 15 specialty rolls — but customers can also create their own. Shrimp and vegetable tempura and rice bowls round out the menu.
What to try • If you’re feeling flush, order the Vegas roll: salmon, crab, avocado and cream cheese dipped in tempura and deep-fried ($9.50). Or there’s the teriyaki salmon bowl with brown rice ($8.50). For those on a budget, the teka maki roll with tuna is just $5.50.
Prices • $10 and under
Follow • Twitter: @cruzinsushi
Lewis Bros. Fine Fast Food • Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, fries and kimchi
Owner/vibe • The Lewis Brothers — Charlie, a drummer, and Oliver, a carpenter — always wanted to start a food business, but the cost was prohibitive. While on tour with Utah’s Band of Annuals, Charlie noticed the distinct vibe around food trucks in Seattle, Austin and New York. When the time was right in Salt Lake City, they found their food-truck calling with an eclectic mix of good eats.Next Page >
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