I was fascinated seeing people lined up in front of a giant metal pig during my 2010 trip to Seattle, Wash. That pig is a food truck called Maximus/Minimus and in researching the trip I had seen Seattle Tweets mentioning where they’d be serving lunch. Although I didn’t taste one of their popular pulled pork sandwiches, I was on a mission to find food trucks wherever I traveled.
It seemed these roving culinary vehicles only belonged in big cities rather than my small Southwest Florida town, until Nancy’s Bar-B-Q began rolling through Sarasota. I followed Nancy’s on Facebook to see where she’d be and before I could pick up lunch from her truck she opened up a delicious restaurant in downtown Sarasota.
Is that what food trucks aspire to be when they grow up? A brick and mortar restaurant? I’m not sure what the answer is but I have heard rumblings permanent eateries about food trucks because they’’e not regulated the same. This topic could be its own post so let me share the exciting news that…
Charlotte County Has a Food Truck?
… Charlotte County, the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast community between Sarasota and Fort Myers, has a food truck called The Ravenous Rhino. Follow the food truck on Twitter.com/RavRhino, Facebook.com/rav.rhino or their website for lunch, early dinner bites and special events locations.
They’re not new-new and have set up at various weekend events for at least the past year. Operated by October Catering, the Ravenous Rhino seems to be relatively new in serving the general Charlotte County and Southwest Florida community.
I Found The Ravenous Rhino on Twitter
Since I’m a social media addict (soon to be officially certified in social media by Florida Gulf Coast University) I originally learned about them on Twitter about a year ago. I recently saw they’re rolling through Charlotte and Lee Counties announcing lunch locations and I was determined to catch them sooner than later.
Tracking Down Funky Modern American Food
The day they were parked across from my office I had a lunch function and missed them but was successful in catching them later in the week further down the road at the Charlotte Sun (newspaper) parking lot. I recognized some Sun staff waiting for their “funky modern American food,” the cuisine described by this Charlotte County food truck.
As you may recall, I’ve been eating clean lately (I’m down 12 pounds – yes, another post is coming) so I wasn’t sure what the best option would be for lunch. The menu changes frequently and some items include Panko Shrimp Thai Tacos (if I was being really good, this is what I should’ve had), Hogzilla Burger (stuffed with cheddar cheese and bacon and topped with cheddar and bacon), or Rhino Balls (pizza dough stuffed with any number of things, such as chicken, Swiss cheese and ham then deep fried.)
My chosen lunch was the Rhino Burger du Jour. As the name indicates, it changes daily. It may be a burger topped with a fried egg and bacon or maybe tater tots or maybe coleslaw. Mine was topped with sautéed mushrooms and Swiss. I figured I’d be getting in my veggies! I couldn’t resist the fresh-out-of-the-fryer french fries (I only ate about 8), grabbed coleslaw as another veggie side and washed it down with a Diet Coke.
The burger was quite tasty and a bit monstrous. I just ate the meat, cheese and mushrooms along with fries and slaw. If I would have eaten the bun with everything else I probably would have felt sick from food overload.
I’m not saying I’ll be trying everything on their menu but I know I’ll be a repeat customer.
Perhaps this is an idea for a new website but I couldn’t find one site providing access to the nation’s food truck population. I suppose performing a Google search will do the trick but I did find a few websites listing food trucks in specific destinations. Interestingly, the sites are run by a range of organizations ranging from local government to associations to private companies.
Are you a food truck fan? What’s your favorite food truck and where’s it located?