Central BBQ food truck

Central BBQ Food Truck

The intersection of wheels and meals is not a new idea. In fact, American pioneers relied on what was arguably the first food truck, aka the chuck wagon! What is modern about today’s mobile picnic is the full range of quality foods being served through the window of a truck!

Across the country, there are innumerable food trucks in every category, and the convenience they offer is undeniable. Go on a picnic without having to pack a basket, or let the picnic come to you by inviting one of your favorite food trucks to cater an event.

So Fresh Juice

Keep an eye out for this one: So Fresh Juice, Fresh Juices, Smoothies and more. sofreshjuicebar.com

Parker's Water Ice

Parker’s Water Ice is a frozen dessert that is kosher, fat free, cholesterol free and dairy free! Made with water, fruit juice and fruit flavors blended together and frozen. Also serving their one-of-a-kind “Gelati,” ice cream layered with water ice, parkerswaterice.com

Here are a few of the places we have spotted local food trucks recently:

Food Truck Friday at Dixon

A Food Truck Friday picnic at the Dixon

Dixon Gallery and Gardens: Food Truck Fridays

Check out Food Truck Friday at the Dixon through September. Lunch is served every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Admission to the gardens is free during food truck hours, and shaded outdoor seating is available. Enjoy the garden view!

This month’s Food Truck Fridays will feature:

Visit the Dixon online for the entire summer schedule: dixon.org.

Stikem food truck

Stikem food truck: facebook.com/stickemfood

Lunchtime with Stickem food truck

Lunchtime with Stickem food truck.

Memphis Botanic Garden: Food Truck Garden Party Series

Join the Memphis Botanic Garden (MBG) for this unique series of events in 2014. This garden party includes dinner al fresco, live music, cash bar and, of course, a line-up of local food trucks. The evening lasts from 5-8 p.m. MBG members, $5, and non-members, $10.

The next two Food Truck Garden Parties are on June 10 and July 8. This series runs through October. For the entire schedule and information about purchasing tickets, link to the MBG: memphisbotanicgarden.com.

Shelby Farms: Food Truck Rodeo

Picnic by Patriot Lake in Shelby Farms Park. On Sundays at 11 a.m., Memphis Food Truckers set up their businesses until about 2 p.m. for visitors to enjoy local fare in an outdoor setting. (Subject to weather conditions.) shelbyfarmspark.org

Memphis Food Truckers

Food Truckers lined up at Shelby Farms Park by Patriot Lake.

Overton Park

Many of the events in Overton Park are accompanied by food trucks, and several trucks and carts have a regular presence in the park. There is always something fun going on in this 342-acre park in the heart of Memphis. Stop by on a pretty day, or review the Overton Park calendar for festivals, concerts, walks/runs and more: overtonpark.org.

Fuel Cafe_Chalk Fest

It was a nice day to picnic in the park! The Fuel Café food truck parked at the Memphis Brooks Museum in Overton Park for an annual spring chalk festival. fuelcafememphis.com

The Fuel Cafe

The Fuel Café has a permanent location in Midtown at 1761 Madison.

The Fuel Cafe

The Fuel Café, downtown at the Memphis Farmers Market selling all-natural breakfast burritos, tacos and grilled cheese sandwiches!

Not just any grilled cheese ... a Gourmet Grilled Cheese by The Fuel Cafe.

Not just any grilled cheese … a Gourmet Grilled Cheese by The Fuel Café.

Music Festivals

Enjoy Yolo frozen yogurt plus toppings at these music events: Traveling to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN June 9 to 12? If so, look for a taste of home with the Yolo Food Truck, who will be there, too! Also this month, Yolo will be at the Levitt Shell to join in the musical fun at this venue on June 13 and 16.

Yolo

Yolo on Wheels

Square Meal on Wheels

In addition to his fabulous food truck, “A Square Meal on Wheels,” Chef Derrick Clark has a permanent café location at 6745 Lenox Center Court. asquaremealonwheels.com

Square Meal on Wheels

Chef Derrick is serving a wonderful menu of items from his Square Meal on Wheels food truck, such as his Catfish sandwich …

Square Meal on Wheels_Lobster Roll

… and the Lobster Roll, also by Square Meal on Wheels. The Square Meal on Wheels food truck is known for Lobster Rolls and Fish Tacos.

Local Food Trucks in the News

As of spring 2014, food trucks are readily welcome in all of Memphis’ city parks. There has been a food truck ordinance that allowed food trucks to operate in city parks with permission, but formerly there was no one to call and no form to complete if a food truck wanted a permit to operate in some of Memphis’ public parks.

Members of the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team, representatives from Mayor Wharton’s office, the city permits office and the parks department all got together with members of the Memphis Food Truck Association to streamline the process. Now, there is a more dependable system in place.

Taylor Berger, founder of the Memphis Food Truck Association, says that broadening the scope of local food truck businesses should bring new vitality to some neglected parks and improve safety in neighborhoods by adding eyes to the streets and getting folks out of their homes. Plus, Taylor adds, in some neighborhoods where the restaurants have closed, food trucks can help enliven and strengthen the area. Read more, here: New Regulation Permits Food Trucks in Parks by Taylor Berger.

The Truck Stop

Next on the Food Truck menu for Taylor is a Truck Stop restaurant to be located at Cooper and Central in Midtown. The plan is to create a structure entirely of cargo vessels and turn it into the site for a constantly shifting selection from the city’s best food trucks, complemented by a full bar and small plates from the Truck Stop kitchen. Join the conversation about the Midtown Truck Stop: www.facebook.com/TruckStopMem.

Chicken Philly Ultimate Queso Fries_the Truck Stop

The Truck Stop participated in this spring’s six-week Tennessee Brewery Untapped project by serving food every lunch and dinner, Thursday to Sunday. Above: Chicken Philly Ultimate Queso Fries by the Truck Stop.

Preparing the salmon for a Salmon Avocado Salad._The Truck Stop

Getting ready for lunchtime with the Truck Stop: Preparing salmon for a Cured Salmon Avocado Salad.

The latest on Memphis’ future Truck Stop restaurant: Taylor and his business partner in this venture, attorney Michael Tauer, won approval from the Memphis and Shelby County Board of Adjustment for their hybrid food truck/restaurant concept in January, but they are still awaiting additional permits before they can begin construction of the main building. Read more in a post by Bianca Phillips for the Memphis Flyer: Temporary Use Permit for Truck Stop Hits Snag.

Tennessee Brewery Untapped project.

The Fuel Café (parked, back right) also participated in the Tennessee Brewery Untapped project.

Be on the lookout for your neighborhood food truck!