On August 23, City Council met to discuss a proposed ordinance that, if passed, would allow mobile food vending in Asheville’s central business district under certain regulations. The ordinance was approved by a vote of 4-3. Read the roundup of the meeting by news reporter David Forbes here.
Since the vote was so close, a second vote is required to pass the ordinance. That vote will take place at the next City Council meeting meeting this Tuesday, Sept. 13, in Council Chambers in City Hall. People interested in attending the meeting should be aware that the issue of food trucks is low on the agenda, and will follow four public hearings on other, unrelated topics. Though the meeting begins at 5 p.m., the food-truck vote will likely take place later that night.
It’s entirely possible that the matter will be delayed yet again, but there is a chance that, some time in the near future, we’ll see food trucks in downtown Asheville.
Meanwhile, Xpress has gathered a list of our favorite food trucks, as well as the links to find the locations and times at which you are likely to find them. Keep in mind that, due to unforeseen circumstances (like inclement weather or busted generators) and the fact that these restaurants are wheeled, details are subject to change.
Gypsy Queen Cuisine features creative Lebanese food prepared by Suzy Philips, aka the Gypsy Queen. Phillips supplements the local ingredients she sources with goods she ships in from overseas — hard-to-find ingredients like sumac. Sumac is a tart spice, common in Middle Eastern Cuisine — Phillips makes a sumac vinaigrette with it that dresses her cooling fattoush salad. Among the dishes on her menu is the falafel that’s helped make Phillips locally famous, a fantastic kafta panini and chicken shawarma. Gypsy Queen Cuisine can now be found daily in various locations around Asheville. Check her new website for hours and locations.
The Pink Taco Truck is run by Marni Graves, a local architect who formerly lived in Arizona and Mexico. She says the regions have influenced her palate, which she describes as Southwestern with a Native American twist. Her Navajo-style tacos feature Indian fry bread shaped into big-as-your-head edible bowls that she fills with adobo chicken, green-chili pork, barbecued beef or vegetarian fillings. She also makes a roasted-poblano queso, handmade tamales and breakfast tacos starting early in the morning. Find the Pink Taco Truck most mornings at 143 Charlotte St. (until about 2 p.m.), some evenings at the Bywater and on weekends at The Paris of the South Flea Market. Always be sure to check the truck’s Facebook page, which is updated frequently and the best source for current information.
Here’s a pretty funny cartoon from Brent Brown about the Pink Taco Truck explaining just what’s up with its name.
The Lowdown Food Truck is operated by Nate Kelly and his wife Cinthia and probably boasts the best pimento cheese in town, which is saying a lot in a Southern city with culinary talent to spare. The barbecue sandwich with pickled okra and slaw is pretty amazing, too, and the local blueberry iced tea is certifiably addictive. You can find the Lowdown (active on Twitter @thelowdowntruck) Mondays through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 at the Citgo on Broadway, across from Hillside Street.
The Venezuelan Food Truck now camps out by the Get Down in West Asheville (1066 Haywood Rd.), having been booted from their Patton Avenue spot. Sheila and Genaro (aka Rino) Cassano serve a number of arepas and empanadas. Though they offer meaty fare like arepa burgers (beef patties served on simple corn-dough buns for $4) and hot dogs, everything can be had vegetarian at this truck. “We have the option for the burger, the hot dog and the empanada to be made with vegetarian meat,” says Sheila. Try the blueberry or the kiwi-pineapple shake, made with soy milk, for $3. Check their Facebook page for details, but (at least for now) the truck operates from 8 p.m. until 2 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.
Looking for some healthy vegan and gluten-free fare? You may like Veggie Love. The truck, Vidalia, just recently earned its wheels, so to speak, opening in a new spot at 347 Depot Street in the River Arts District, Sundays and Mondays from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Veggie Love can also be found at the Wednesday market at the French Broad Food Co-op in downtown Asheville. Check out the truck’s Facebook Page here or visit the Veggie Love blog which features a “find us” tab that leads to a page with an embedded location tool that shows where the truck is located when it’s open for business.
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