The Food Truck Phenomenon
By Jen Rock
I call it the “food truck phenomenon” and most of Southern California might agree. Foodies and families alike have fallen in love with gourmet food trucks. From South Bay to the west end of the San Fernando Valley, these mobile restaurants have taken over curbsides just about everywhere they can. Some communities are more receptive to this food trend than others. Granada Hills, which is a small pocket located in the west San Fernando Valley, has extended its community hand to local food trucks.
Every Wednesday and Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., the gourmet food trucks line up along Chatsworth Street to feed gourmet street food to the masses. It all started with Mary Turner, who runs a street cleaning business in the area. In July of last year, Turner and her husband lost their jobs and went on unemployment. It was during that summer that they saw the food truck frenzy as an opportunity to make money. They started their own street cleaning business and went to the Chamber of Commerce in Granada Hills. They proposed that the chamber allow food trucks to operate along Chatsworth, as long as each truck paid a street cleaning fee of $30. Turner and her husband’s business, D & M Cleaning Services, would then clean up the streets after the food trucks left. “When the trucks come in, everybody comes out. The parents, the kids, the animals, it’s really a fun time. It’s a great to see all the neighbors and people in the community come out and enjoy a meal,” says Turner.
Since September 2011, it has been a street event every Wednesday and Friday. Foodies rejoice in all that these food trucks have to offer because there are options for almost any palate. Filipino, sushi, barbeque, American, German, French, Mexican and even Hawaiian cuisine are just some of the choices residents have along Chatsworth Street. “A lot of families live in the area and foodies alike. The town is really good to the trucks. Anytime where you put a bunch of trucks together hopefully a lot of people come out and this is a great example of that,” says Dave Miller, owner of Trailer Park Truck. Trailer Park Truck serves up some tasty American cuisine with burgers, mac and cheese, bacon melts, and chicken salad to name a few. Pineapple Express serves up some tasty Hawaiian medleys and experienced business in Granada Hills for the first time on Friday. “We’ve been checking this spot out for a while. Our commissary is not too far from here and it seems to draw up a lot of crowds,” says Jeffery Mora, owner of Pineapple Express.
Of course some of the cons that come with food truck events are the complaints from brick and mortar businesses in the area. Some business owners on Chatsworth Street have said that the trucks take up all the parking for customers, create dangerous situations for pedestrians crossing the street, and cause extra congestion and trash. However, it looks like the food truck phenomenon is here to stay for now. Check out Roaminghunger.com to find a food truck near you. There’s bound to be one to satisfy your palate.