Food trucks continue to roll into Salt Lake City’s food scene
By Kathy Stephenson
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Jun 24 2014 09:57AM
Food trucks along the Wasatch Front continue to roll along, with new offerings hitting the streets all the time.
No matter what you’re craving — Korean barbecue, Canadian poutine, Mexican-style fresh fruit or American grilled cheese — there’s something to satisfy a hunger for street food.
Chow Truck, Salt Lake City’s first food truck, arrived in 2010; since then, the field has grown. Today, 36 mobile food trucks are licensed to operate in Salt Lake City alone, said Jessica Thesing, the city’s economic development manager.
Maybe the best indicator of the popularity of food trucks is the Thursday Food Truck Rally at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Every Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., hundreds of people fill the street between 200 and 300 South to savor street-style foods.
It’s so popular, new food trucks that want to participate in the event sometimes find it difficult to get a spot.
Every week, 15 to 20 trucks apply for the seven available spaces, Thesing said. "We try to rotate them through, so that everyone gets a turn."
But the competition is so fierce that some trucks don’t even bother to apply, opting instead to have weekly spots at area farmers markets or businesses near the airport, the University of Utah or industrial parks where food options are scarce.
The city ordinance that was developed in 2011 to govern mobile food vendors would allow for the creation of another "food court" somewhere else in the city, Thesing said. "But no one has come forward to do that yet."
The best way to find these trucks is by following them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Here are seven food carts that have rolled into Salt Lake City recently that are worth finding:
Cupbop • After working for an advertising company, Jung Hun Song started this food truck that specializes in Korean barbecue served in a to-go cup. Offerings include beef, spicy pork, chicken or a meat combo served over rice and vegetables. There’s also noodles and mandu, Korean-style potstickers. The meat marinades and sauces are family recipes, said Jung, whose energetic attitude when taking orders — he calls himself the "sexy hot boss" — is part of Cupbop’s charm.
Prices • $7.50 to $8.50
Follow • facebook.com/CupbopKoreanBBQ or Twitter: @cupboptruck.
Georgia Boy • As the name suggests, this cart serves Southern comfort food and is run by a former Park City chef. The signature dish is pork belly corndogs, which sell out often. Other main dishes include lamb sliders and fried chicken — served alone, in a sandwich or sometimes with waffles. The rest of the menu includes regular and sweet potato fries, pickles, sweet tea and moon pies for dessert.
Prices • $7-$8; drinks and desserts $1.50-$2
Follow • facebook.com/GeorgiaBoyFood or Twitter: @GeorgiaBoyFood
Gravy Train Poutinerie • Poutine — the ultimate French-Canadian indulgence — is served in all its variations here: the traditional french fries, topped with a brown gravy and cheese curds; the all-American with tater tots, sausage gravy and a fried egg; and the Philly topped with steak, grilled peppers, caramelized onions and cheddar. With all the offerings, the hot fries and gravy melt the cheese, turning all the ingredients into one gooey melange that can only be eaten with a fork.
Prices • $7-$8
Follow • facebook.com/gravytrainpoutinerie or Twitter @GravyTrainSLC
Grub Truck Food Company • Tacos aren’t just from Mexico anymore. This truck offers a global menu of Greek, Korean and vegetarian tacos as well as drunken noodles. The owners are always getting creative with the daily specials. We’ve seen mango sticky tacos, Asian breakfast tacos, apricot-Sriracha chicken salad and kimchi cheesesteak sandwiches.
Prices • $5-$8
Follow • facebook.com/pages/Grub-Truck-Food-Company or Twitter: @GrubTruckSLC
A Guy & His Wife Grilled Cheese • Owners Troy Atkinson and Kim Taylor celebrate cheesy goodness, from the basic "Plain Jane" grilled cheese to the massive "Big Cheese," a quarter-pound hamburger patty between two grilled cheese sandwiches. There’s also a taco, BLT and island teriyaki (chicken and pineapple) grilled cheese.
Prices • $4-$8
Follow • facebook.com/pages/A-guy-his-wife-grilled-cheese-truck or Twitter: @cheesetruckslc
Memos Fruits • Mexican fruit stands are everywhere in Los Angeles, but when Nemorio Flores Garcia moved to Salt Lake City he couldn’t find a single one. So he opened Memos Fruit on Redwood Road. It sells fresh-cut tropical produce — coconut, pineapple, watermelon, mango, cantaloupe, cucumbers and jicama — in small and large bags. Customers can choose one fruit or get a mix. To make it traditional, get it sprinkled with tajin, a chile, lime and salt seasoning. Or, for those who want more heat, there are several hot sauces. Memos’ menu also includes the piña loca, a hollowed-out pineapple filled with fruit; and the Tostitos loco, a bag of corn chips topped with jicama, cucumbers, pig skins and your choice of seasonings and sauces.
Prices • $6-$10, cash only
Where • 1039 S. Redwood Road, Salt Lake City; open every day from noon to 7:30 p.m.
Poutine Your Mouth • When they’re not working their day jobs in technology sales or explosives research, Salt Lake City residents Jennifer Buckallew and Ted Warner are serving gourmet poutine at festivals and fairs across the country and in Utah. Since opening in February, they’ve been to California’s famed Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle music festivals, San Francisco’s Oyster Festival and Utah’s Pride. This week they were headed to Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury, Mich. Once they set up shop, they offer traditional and specialty poutine — think bacon and maple drizzle with a sunny-side-up egg or loaded baked potato. Buckallew said the savory sauce that’s served with all the poutine is vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.
Prices • $7-$9
Follow • facebook.com/PoutineYourMouth