We went to The Gathering, Baltimore's monthly food truck rally, last week for the second time. My main motivation in going was to try some chocolate covered bacon (aka Heaven?) from The Gypsy Queen Cafe. While I was standing in line I was imagining the raving review I was going to write about my slice of Heaven and the Crab Cone that I had previously been skeptical of. I was going to have Joe take suggestive photos of me sucking the tip of the cone dry and everything because it was going to be that good. I rehearsed my order in my head God knows how many times because I didn't want a stutter or a slur or a volume issue to delay my face stuffing by even one second.
When I finally reached the line and ordered and got my total, I died a little inside. Something like $28 to feed just Joe and I, not including drinks. But they had the goods and I needed a fix so I didn't hesitate to hand over my debit card. Then Baldy McGypsyDude tells me in his best asshole voice "Uh. We're cash only tonight". What the fuck? Who uses cash anymore?? Ok, I realize that like 1% of the population does visit the bank still, so I had confirmed with the merchandise tent lady BEFORE getting in line to make sure they were taking cards, on the off chance that the Holders of the Bacon were catering to the 1%. Who knew Frizzy McGypsyBitch would lie to a customer, or that Team McGypsyDicks would not communicate this fact amongst each other and/or then put up a goddam sign on their truck to spare folks like me from standing in a long line just for the biggest let down of their Friday?
I ended up not getting anything because of their colossal douchiness. I'm disappointed though. And I'll probably give them another shot at some point, because aside from this Cash Only crap, they're doing a lot of things right. So with their inspiration, here's how I plan to run a successful food truck.
1. Have an awesome name. When Joe and I went to our first Gathering a few months ago we got these bombin Turkish tacos from... some truck. I don't know if the name wasn't memorable or if the truck wasn't labeled correctly, but they could take a lesson from the clever-named, more identifiable trucks, like Gypsy Queen, Iced Gems, and Souper Freak.
Something falafel, something gyro-ish, and something chicken from the something truck
2. Be recognizable. A quick google search led me to the name of the taco truck - Cazbar! Not a bad name, not sure why I didn't remember it. But I did remember its big bright redness and knew it immediately when I saw it on the search. Good save, Cazbar! Also at the top of this list, along with the Gypsy Queen, is Flippin' Pizza.
3. Provide variety. If you wanna roll with the big trucks, you can't just have chocolate and vanilla soft serve, or cheese and pepperoni pizza (sorry whatever ice cream truck was there and Flippin Pizza). Gypsy Queen wins hands down on this one with their menu of tacos, burgers, seafood things and desserts. Or if you're going to focus on one type of food (such as cupcakes or soup or grilled cheese), then figure out a way to make it different than the boring shit I'm going to make in my own kitchen. Perfect example: GrrChe offers a grilled cheese sandwich with mac&cheese and pulled pork. Yeah. (However, GrrChe clearly skipped rule #1).
Burger cupcake from Iced Gems!
I'm high on cupcake!
I told him "Look hungry" and this is what he gives me?