The strong aroma of simmering burgers and crepes fills the air. The air in the Whole Foods parking lot is nearly equal parts smoke and oxygen. Surrounding the curb an array of food trucks, including Burgerlicious and B-Town Bistro, who greet enthusiastic customers at the past Food Truck Rally.
“I want to change how people view trucks,” said Sheila Francis, official Idaho Food Truck Rally coordinator. “They are not the ‘roach coach’ of the past. They are making really stellar food in unconventional settings.”
Food trucks allow theircustomers mobility, variety and the freedom to experiment and expand their menus. According to Shannel Stinner, a graduate from Boise State, these qualities of food trucks make it easy to nourish yourself no matter what activity you are up to.
“I can grab something that is fast and delicious and better than fast food and continue on my way whether I am at a fair, the Saturday Market or at work,” Stinner said.
Stinner says that she eats at food trucks a couple of times a month and enjoys how easy food trucks make it to support local business.
“People are taking their creativity, passion and merging that with local food producers to deliver a high quality, unique dining experience,” Said Stinner.
Over the last five years, food trucks have found their place in Boise cuisine. One of the defining stepping points for food trucks in Boise was the establishment of Food Truck Rallies.
In 2011, Jake Black, an employee of The Payette Brewing Co., copyrighted the phrase “food truck rally” in the state of Idaho. Black was formerly a resident of Portland, Oregon where food trucks are very popular. He felt that Boise was ready to embrace the vehicular restaurants.
One of the problems that stood in Black’s way were the sanctions against vending in Boise’s Business Section, the larger area of Boise’s downtown.
“I am really dissatisfied with the current situation for food trucks. The ban on street vending downtown is unfair in my opinion,” Francis Said. “We don’t protect one fast food from another and say they must open a certain distance from each other, we let the market decide so I feel it should be the same for food trucks. “
In order to create an affordable location for food trucks to sell their dishes, Black decided that he should create Food Truck Rallies.
The first food trucks to be part of the Food Truck Rallies were Archie’s Place, B29 Streatery, Boise Fry Company, Brown Shuga Soul Food, Calle 75 Street Tacos, Riceworks and A Cupcake Paradise.
“These vendors have really put their heart and soul into their food operations and have seen a lot of success.”Said Francis
Since then Calle 75 Street Tacos, A Cupcake Paradise and Riceworks have been able to open permanent locations. Food truck rallies have become a monthly occurrence, popping up all over various Boise and Meridian locations. Food trucks have a wide array of dish types and Francis recommends that students figure out what their personal favorite is by finding out the locations of food trucks on Facebook or attending the Food Truck Rallies.
The next Boise Food Truck Rally is happening Sept. 27 at 12 p.m. in High Desert Harley- Davidson parking lot.