New Orleans being what it is, I thought for certain it would be brimming over with Local Flavor.
Googling ‘food trucks’ and ‘food trailers’ gave me a few hot leads but after driving around for a couple hours, I began to feel like I was chasing a ghost.
I followed some clues and eventually located the ‘Boucherie‘ purple truck parked behind their restaurant.
Turns out they are a brick and mortar now, having moved out of the purple truck two and a half years ago. The head chef told me the truck was really just for show and that they rarely take it out anymore though they’d hoped to change that. Part of their motivation may have been in response to the Food Channel having recently stopped by in the hopes of doing a story on a truck with a route.
Seems the Food Channel didn’t have much more luck than I did in New Orleans.
Not seeing a truck, I went inside to ask and found yet another former food truck gone brick & mortar.
Normally, this would be a good thing – A sign of success moving from truck to building. In the case of New Orleans as it turns out though, like so many other cities around the U.S., the reasons are ordinance based. I am told that the original ‘taco truck guy’ in New Orleans had several trucks but the city continually gave him $500 fines everywhere he tried to park them. Lee Mouton of Boo Koo BBQ explained, “They were trying to run him out of town….This city is so archaic. They have hundreds of licenses they say they’re going to hand out and yet, where are they?”
Nonetheless, despite the aggravations with city ordinances, Boo Koo BBQ managed to make the transition fairly well and orders continually streamed in from the bar as we were chatting it up.
All day long though I did hear the same sentiment from people time and time again:
If you want food trucks, go to Baton Rouge…
And so with just a few hours left in the day and an impending flood threatening to overflow the banks of the mighty Mississippi that night, I headed west along I-10 to Baton Rouge….