There was a bit of a nip in the air yesterday, Thursday, Sept. 21, but that did not deter a good number of students and their families from attending the annual Wellington Elementary School's Annual Picnic in the Underwood Playground.
And along with the ice cream and assorted drinks, there was a special attraction at the event off Cottage Street: a honest-to-goodness Boston food truck!
(UPDATE: The editor was told that the co-owner of the truck is reportedly a Wellington mom which explains a great deal. [Sept. 21, 8:45 p.m.])
Food trucks – those mobile eateries that thrill the fashionable foodie types and have the brick-and-mortar restaurant owners tearing their hair out – is the latest fad that has captured the hearts and stomachs of urban-dwelling youngsters looking to eat innovative meals standing up.
This week, Forbes magazine used the number of food trucks located in an area as one criteria for rating a location as "hip" in its list of top 20 "hipster" neighborhoods in the US.
While the first impression is that the business took a wrong turn heading for the trendy Fenway, The Dining Car actually was doing a bang-up business catering this suburban event as young-ish parents (many who were likely also hip just a few years ago) lined up to purchase what is typical food truck fare: Honey Truffle Goat Cheese Sandwich (house-made marinated goat cheese spread, honey truffled walnuts, and tender greens dressed with sherry vinaigrette on crisp French bread "A vegetarian, healthy option") and a Grilled Chicken Sandwich (chicken breast, avocado, sliced cucumber and wasabi aioli on a crusty baguette) both for $8.
Add to the coolness factor, orders were taken on an iPad and you could receive your order with a message via smartphone.
Could last night's successful venture into the "leafy" burg better known for Mitt Romney and Linda's Donuts be a sign of things to come on the foodie front? Are food trucks destined to be parked along Leonard Street dishing out coffee-flavored Maki-Maki-kabobs and handmade Baked Po'Boys on artisan gluten-free rolls to a hungry population?
So far, no. According to Health Department Director Stefan A. Russakow, the town has issued four mobile food licenses, three going to canteen trucks which service construction and work sites. The other license is for Silk Road BBQ, which is technically mobile as it is brought to its Concord Avenue site in a truck.
Russakow said a truck seeking a license from the town would undergo a more thorough inspection as food trucks have sinks, plumbling, refrigeration and cooking areas that would require the same examination as a eatery.
The town does allow one-day catering permits – cost: $25 – for trucks including one for an event at Habitat.
"We will talk to any owner or group that would like to bring a food truck to town to explain what is expected," said Russakow.