In Reno, Nevada a new food truck tradition is about to kick off. Friday, April 6th a group of seven local food trucks will inaugurate Reno Food Truck Fridays at an old CitiCenter complex, complete with food, beer, live music and entertainment to be carried out the first Friday of every month until October.
This event is to be modeled after food truck events that have become increasingly popular in Portland, Oregon. The Reno City Council just recently passed new regulation governing the timing and location for mobile food vendors, raising awareness and garnering a great deal of media attention through the ongoing debate about food truck regulations.
Seven food trucks out of approximately 50 in Reno will be attending the inaugural Reno Food Truck Friday. Gourmelt is a grilled cheese truck known for nontraditional grilled cheese creations, such as ham, green apples and brie on cinnamon apple bread. Kenji’s Food Truck mixes Latino, Hawaiian and Asian influences, such as kalua pork or Korean-style beef tacos, quesadillas and lunch platters with two scoops of rice and one scoop of macaroni salad. The Island Ice Truck is similarly influenced by Hawaiian flavors, serving tropical-flavored ice cream sundaes with shaved ice in various flavors.
BoDawgs is actually a converted 14-foot trailer with a built in kitchen, serving a variety of hot dogs, zesty sauces and tons of toppings. BoDawgs also donates 10 percent of its gross profits to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada programs to feed elementary school children. St. Lawrence Pizza Co. has an even larger trailer, at 20 feet, is uses oka-fueled wood-fire oven to created out of the ordinary pizzas like a spicy margherita or a Southwest variation with al pastor pork, refried beans, queso fresco, onions and cilantro. Sauce Wagon is even larger, at 30 feet, and serves barbecue style meat. Because the trailer can be so difficult to park and maneuver, Food Truck Fridays present an opportunity for the truck to be just like all the others.
The ultimate goal of these events is to raise awareness for food trucks and increase the number of places they are welcome to vend in, and demonstrate to the city that mobile food can be a positive attribute. The CitiCenter location that was chosen offers courtyard seats, lights and plenty of street parking.
The owners of Gourmelt Grilled Cheese worked together with the city of Reno to find a suitable spot for Food Truck Fridays. James Schroeder, the city’s special events program manager said, “It was a natural fit. We are always excited about things and events that bring people back downtown.”
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