HOBOKEN, N.J. –
Along the waterfront, with postcard views of Manhattan across the Hudson River, sweaty devotees of The Taco Truck line up to order lunch, scooting back to cooled-off jobs to eat their slow-braised sweet pork or long-grain rice and beans.
They were lucky. The bright orange beast on wheels doesn’t come around to their spot quite so often since a new brick-and-mortar sister restaurant opened just up the street.
“I like being outside, but you’ve got the AC at the store – oh yeah,” said Michele Ward, a health club fitness director.
Office workers here have been feasting on the truck’s Mexican street fare as food on the move has taken off around the country. Food trucks have grown so popular in some areas that a growing number of young operators like Jason Scott in Hoboken are becoming less, er, mobile.
“If your biggest dream is to keep a truck out on the road forever, I think that’s great, but I knew that we wanted to do this,” said Scott, who left behind a sales job for a fly fishing equipment company. “I knew that the truck was going to be the first step to getting a restaurant open.”
With no formal background in food, Scott partnered with Le Cordon Bleu-trained Chef Roberto Santibanez, former culinary director of New York City’s Rosa Mexicana restaurants, to build an authentic taqueria menu. The Taco Truck – the restaurant – opened July 9 with the same food, its metal logo out front a profile of their big rolling baby. Inside, floors resemble sidewalks and banquettes look like park benches.
In west Los Angeles, Chef Roy Choi – a phenom in mobile food – changed concepts altogether from his often-imitated Kogi Korean barbecue taco trucks when