Food Truck vs Food Cart
By Warren Bujol
I Read An Article
I read an article not long ago that described an article that described the food truck scene; I quote, "I read an article not long ago that described the food truck scene; I quote, 'the food truck is the next step in the evolution of our eating habits.'.... Now, this is completely untrue, as the food truck has been the mainstay in larger cities for some time."
While the food truck's impact on our eating habits is completely true in regards to the food truck scene in Lake Charles, the author seems to have overlooked the regional context of the statement. Unfortunate, yes, but we all get a little excited sometimes. However, he continues to give a back story on the history of food trucks in a manner that implies the original author may actually believe that the Sloppy Taco truck was the very first food truck in existence. The thought is perplexing, but perhaps the second author was displaying a level of humor that I am unable to register? The 'elaborate joke' angle seems unlikely though, because he goes a step further to insinuate that even regionally; the Sloppy Taco truck was not created by two George Washingtons. To back his claims, he mentions Kristi Wooldridge, owner of Weiniedogs, and her mobile hot dog stand which had been in operation for five years before the Sloppy Taco (now located at Chicageaux's and on the Waitr app). I've had Weiniedogs myself on several occasions, and can confidently say that they make delicious food (I recommend the boudin egg rolls), but there are a few - understandably hard to recognize - differences between a food truck and a food cart.
I Read Another Article
I read another article (even more recently) on foodtruckempire.com titled FOOD TRUCKS VERSUS FOOD CARTS WITH SCOTT ROSS | FTE EPISODE 021, which will help me explain the differences that can be found between carts and trucks. The article explains:
Unique Characteristics of a Food Truck:
- More mobile. There’s an engine in them so you can take off at anytime.
- More prone to breakdowns than a cart. After all, there’s more that can break.
- Easier to park in downtown environments with limited space
- Base cost for a no frills food truck: $7,000 – $10,000
Unique Characteristics of Food Carts:
- There’s often more room to add cooking equipment on a cart.
- Better for stationary, longer-term parking locations such as pods; not the ideal option for stopping by for a couple hours and then leaving.
- Trailers will take a lot more space.
- You’ll need a reliable vehicle with some horsepower to tow the trailer.
- Base cost for a basic cart: $4,500
Tacos, One Quarter Mile At A Time
There are several other differences between the two food-serving platforms; like one has blinkers and usually requires gasoline and one is not a food truck. If Sloppy Taco and Weiniedogs were to agree to a drag race, I'd bet on taco. Now that we have cleared up a few things, let's get down to talking about the power of talking about things. The second author may have spent a little extra time talking about another article instead of the Sloppy Taco, but he did manage to accomplish a few things (or at least three):
1. He brought attention to the Sloppy Taco, which is the point of writing a Sloppy Taco article. Any publicity is good publicity, even if most of the article is talking about another article and how significant the efforts of the Sloppy Taco team weren't. I personally don't care much for condescending, but he did manage to put "The Sloppy Taco" in the title...that's good enough for me. All I care is that we can raise awareness of the amazing things we have here locally so that we might inspire others to help make this community more unique.
2. He accurately described how good those damn tacos are. The second author "doesn't write big background pieces", but after reading the article, I learned that he was a chef that started as a dishwasher, and it shows. He seems to have a firm understanding of quality food and has the ability to make the reader hungry.
3. He informed his readers that there are other articles about the Sloppy Taco; now they know they can learn more about the evolution of Lake Charles' eating habits by Googling the Sloppy Taco truck. I'm not sure exactly where he read the original article (he didn't really mention the source), but I know that Exposure Magazine has written two articles about the Sloppy Taco and I thought they were pretty good. You should check them out for yourself, but if you aren't into that kinda thing, you could always just go buy some Sloppy Tacos and come to your own conclusions.
I Write Big Background Pieces
I love what I do when it comes to reading subtle jabs at my inability to comprehend the history of the food truck and the difference between a truck and a cart. I write big background pieces because I'm not a writer, nor a chef. I'm just a dude talking about a dude that was talking about another dude talking about a food truck. I have very little food industry or writing experience, but I have eaten quite a bit of food and helped start a magazine. I don't write about what I am good at because this magazine is not about me. It's about my community. That being said, when I write about business, food, or food-business; I'm only giving you my perspective, but at least it's usually in an semi-organized manner. I apologize if I come off as not knowing what a food truck is.
In Our Conclusions
In his conclusion, the author mentioned the possibility of a hot dog contest between two of our local tubed-meats powerhouses, Botsky's and Weiniedogs. I'd say this was a highlight of the article. I sure as hell hope he can manage to put this competition together. If so, I'll host a simultaneous hotdog-eating contest for the title of Lake Charles Kobayashi. Stick around; I'm going to see if he can get this contest off the ground so I can get my contest off the ground.
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