Food on Wheels

Last Night: Food Truck Round-Up in Fort Lauderdale Swarmed by Diners

The latest food truck round-up took place last night in Fort Lauderdale's Esplanade Park, and if there was one common complaint it was that the turnout was actually too good. Hundreds of people queued up to try gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches,

inhale short rib-smothered tater tots, and tweak off of half a dozen

cupcake pops.

By 6 p.m. the lines of eager diners snaked from Himmarshee

Street all the way to the New River. Many people gave up waiting or never got up to the trucks before many of them ran out of food. The upside for Himmarshee restaurants: spillover 

crowds that packed almost every restaurant.

According to Fish Box food truck owner David

Garcia, the only complaint that he hears about the round-ups is about the lines. Garcia says that his truck usually attends

about two to three truck rallies each week. Like other truck owners, he

was surprised at the huge turn out at Esplanade Park.  "Yesterday's

rally was phenomenal. It was a little bit crazy with so many people,"

Garcia chuckled." We had lines of 40 to 50 people, but we always

try to get the food out as quickly as we possibly can."


Florida rocker and a truck round-up newbie, Steve Kleisath, waited in

line for over an hour at a popular burger truck. Kleisath was midway through the line when the truck owner

told the crowd that they were sold out of many of their popular items

and suggested that those who were not already at the front of the line

try their luck at another truck. Kleisath decided to try one

of the restaurants on Himmarshee instead.

At first glance, it

may seem like local restaurant owners would be opposed to the rally, but

surprisingly, Himmarshee restaurants were the big winners of the night.

Bourbon on 2nd restaurant manager Jack Winter said," The rally helped

business tremendously. We benefitted greatly, especially because I heard

that a lot of the truck venors ran out of food fairly early."


truck round-ups have a knack for creating instant, mobile communities.

Yesterday, the area was teeming with people whom you wouldn't normally

find at the same event together- the well-heeled, (anti-hipster)

hipsters, college kids enjoying the last few weeks of summer break, and



industry experts cite the slow economy as one of the reasons why the

food truck trend has taken off across the country. On average you can go

to a rally and spend between $10- $15 for a meal and a (non-alcoholic)

drink, not including dessert.
With a new food truck

round-up popping up randomly every week, the question now is whether South Florida residents

will continue to attend when having to contend with long lines, sweltering

heat, and limited parking.

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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Misha Grosvenor