5 Food Trucks to Know in Grand RapidsBy Jane Whitttington on August 23rd, 2016 /
Food truck owners and operators in Grand Rapids will have to wait until August 23 to find out if the City Commission will pass an ordinance allowing food trucks more freedom to operate in the city. A public hearing on July 26 allowed community members as well as food truck owners to discuss the ordinance.
Currently, food trucks are restricted to private property with exceptions for special events. The newly proposed ordinance will allow these businesses to operate in public parks and on the street. That would be good news not only for the owners and operators but also for the public who appreciate the opportunity to taste test a variety of foods not always available in other venues. ArtPrize is coming up in September; last year’s attendance was 441,280. Food truck owners hope to be up and running on city streets by the time this event rolls around.
In cities like New York City and Los Angeles, there are food trucks and vendors lining the streets, often three or four in a single block. Grand Rapids isn’t quite ready to match that number, but there are a goodly number of these eateries offering some delicious options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Patty Matters is the place to go for burgers. Sisters Mindy and Lauren D’Angelo travel throughout West Michigan to bring their unique take on the all-American burger to appreciative diners. They’ve been in business for less than a year, and they draw crowds whenever they set up at a new location. Besides making an appearance at local events, they will take their truck and its delicious contents to job sites and factories. They are also available for private events. Their menu includes burgers of all kinds including beef, pork, turkey, salmon and crab and a wide range of condiments and add-ons. Their website is www.pattymatters.com (it includes a schedule that customers can use to find out where Patty Matters can be found next), and they can also be found on Facebook.
Killer Hibachi is owned by Kyle Stahl and Joe Collin and operates throughout Central Michigan. According to manager Danny Leiby, they have been in the food truck business for just a little less than two years. Leiby says that their most popular item is teriyaki chicken. Their Facebook page lets you know where they will be setting up. It can be found at www.facebook.com/killerhibachi/
What the Truck is owned by Paul Lee. They can be found at the Fulton Street Farmers’ Market on Saturdays throughout the season and at Rosa Parks Circle downtown every Thursday. They also set up at local events like Movies in the Park and festivals. Their BBQ pork taco is a favorite, but their extensive menu has something for everyone. Their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/whatthetruckgr/ gives information on their location, hours and menus.
A Moveable Feast is owned by Brennan Summers, who also serves as President of the Grand Rapids Food Truck Association. His food truck has been serving up deliciousness for three years. Like many others, they also do catering and work private events. Their fish tacos are a particular favorite. Another specialty is their homemade bacon jam which highlights their grilled cheese sandwich. Their tempting website is at www.amoveablefeasttruck.com
EatGr is a local Facebook group with close to 20,000 members. They share recommendations for local (never chain) restaurants deserving of special attention. The administrator, Chris Freeman, is a fan of the food truck and has a fairly comprehensive listing on the website of the many options available. EatGr can be found at both www.eatgr.com and www.facebook.com/eatgr On the website, it is possible to use the search function to find food trucks in the area.
Owning and operating a food truck isn’t an easy proposition. Different cities have different ordinances, and it can be difficult to sort it all out. But these local entrepreneurs deserve patronage, not only for their wonderful food but also for offering a local option for communities throughout the region.