Since legislation allowing food trucks was passed last spring, Memphis has been obsessed with meals on wheels. There's no better place to indulge your food truck jones than at the newly-formed Memphis Food Truck Association's weekly truck rodeos, the first of which was held on Sunday in the Broad Ave. Arts District.
I got there right after it started (around noon), and there were tons of people hanging out on Broad, mingling, taking pictures in the Amurica photo booth, checking out a handful of vendors and eating food from a handful of trucks parked along the street.
When I was there, there were about five actual trucks (Fuel Truck, Mark's Grill, Yolo, Tamale Trolley and Rock'n'Dough Pizza) and two vendors with tables (Broadway Pizza and Miss Birdsong's Sweets).
The lines at Yolo were the shortest, so I scored a huge Butterfinger gelato cone ($4) that I ate while standing under an awning, watching the madness.
Sunday's rodeo was the very first one, and, as in all new endeavours, there are a few kinks to work out in the future, namely the crazy long lines, most of which were 25 people deep by 12:30 p.m.
(According to the Association's Facebook page, a few trucks had to back out, leaving the others to handle the hungry masses. The association mentioned the problem and promised to do better next time.)
While we're on the subject of doing better, there are a few other things from Sunday's rodeo that I would fix. I love the Broad Ave. location, but since the trucks were parked on the street, facing the street (and not in one of the warehouse parking lots nearby), the long lines meant people were standing in the street, causing some traffic havoc. It would also be nice to see the rodeos move around a bit – maybe have one downtown or in a park, where there's a little more space and shade.
Currently there are about 40 trucks waiting on their permits, so here's hoping that the future rodeos will bring more food and more people out on Sunday afternoons.
For information about upcoming food truck rodeos, check out the Memphis Food Truck Association's Facebook page.