Over the last five years or so food trucks have become exceptionally hip and popular. Years ago I stumbled upon the then-burgeoning food truck scene in Portland, Oregon and was duly charmed by the myriad of cultural and sub cultural oddities on display from Polish pierogies to grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Within a few years food trucks from the straightforward to the utterly whimsical began filling the streets of nearly every urban center, along with a few suburban and rural destinations. Consumers were enthusiastic, hipsters were ecstatic, and brick and mortar restaurateurs were a bit jealous, understandably.
But as the events of the few days have transpired and left much of the New York metro area (along with New Jersey) without power and relief, the existence of operational food trucks are not such a hip novelty anymore…they are a necessity. In the area below midtown Manhattan, food trucks are supplying hot meals, drinks, and (in some cases) free mobile phone charging stations to the desperate huddling masses who may be unable to find food and power elsewhere.
The restaurants (those that are operational) in Manhattan (as well as parts of Brooklyn and New Jersey) are overrun with hungry diners right now and they simply cannot feed a city unable to feed itself. Food trucks, while not capable of feeding the millions of beleaguered New Yorkers, are doing a hell of a job filling in the gaps with waffles and cheese steaks. They are like the first responders for those in need of comfort food.