Will Food Trucks Adversely Affect Miami's Restaurant Biz? Let's Hope So

Categories: The Critic
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In recent weeks hundreds, or perhaps thousands of people have been tweeting about and lining up at food truck courts to grab a dinner comprised of varied street foods. How will the success of these mobile food courts affect Miami's brick-and-mortar establishments?

As far as fine dining restaurants go, it won't: Those looking for French cuisine aren't going to flip a coin to decide between Caza Crepes and Palme d'Or. And the truck rendezvous won't be running over small ethnic restaurants either. For one thing, the only ethnic foods being peddled by truckers are Mexican and Asian. Central and South American foods are hardly presented, nor is pizza, sushi, and a whole host of cuisines that define most neighborhood ethnic eateries.

The only restaurants that might get nicked by the surging food truck business are those moderately-priced venues that fail to offer value -- which covers the vast majority of our moderately-priced venues. These rip-off joints have already been affected adversely by the rise in affordable Asian noodle bars and such. Let's hope the food truck movement provides the nail-in-the-coffin as payback -- these restaurateurs have been overcharging the public in an obscene manner for too long.

Seriously. Mediocre food at inflated prices needn't be accepted anymore. We've got alternatives now. The average "mid-range" Miami restaurant these days charges around $11 for some crummy starter and $9 for a tepid tiramisu. Taking just that $20 - meaning not including what patrons overpay for main course, beverages, tax, tip, etc.-- a food court attendee can have a crispy duck sandwich ($7) and generous side of gingered brussels sprouts ($4) from professional chef Richard Hale (Dim Ssam a go go), add a fried snapper sandwich from The Fish Box ($5), and then partake of a Meyer lemon tart or Krispy Kreme bread pudding or any one of the fresh quality desserts from the Sugar Rush truck ($3 each). You could eat all that and have a dollar left over -- and as a bonus, you won't have to listen to a poorly trained waiter drone on about how the tiramisu was baked by the owners mother and is a specialty of the house.

Miami restaurant-goers have been victimized for too long. With the rise in affordable Asian eateries and the food truck courts, we just don't have to take it anymore.

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8 comments
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hezelcrowns
hezelcrowns

i really like food truck. they serve a very delicious at the same time healthy foods. cool!

Michelle Lau Reynoso
Michelle Lau Reynoso

I agree that not all food trucks are "great". Proof is here in So Cal. Some are equivalent to 3 star hotels, while some trucks are mediocre at best. Being said that, you will see who ends up lasting til the end of the year, and which trucks go belly up (no pun) because their food and quailty is not up to par. There's already been some casualties in the LA and OC market, and there's been some trucks who have exceeded the food community's expectations.

Mandy Baca
Mandy Baca

Take inspiration from Asian food courts. Indian food could be accessible. So much fun could be had with the trucks. :)

Mandy Baca
Mandy Baca

People need to begin thinking outside the box! How about organic salads or healthy sandwiches (not ones oozing in oil and sauce)? Sushi? Something other than burgers and fries and tacos. I love those things, but not truck after truck after truck. I personally love the movement. It's very progressive for Miami. Hope it lasts!

David
David

Lee, can you find a way to bring the drinks prices down now?

Sori
Sori

Sorry, i partly disagree. Cheeseme mobile food truck charges $12 for a grilled cheese/pork sandwich. I've had it. It's not all that great for $12 bucks!. They are expensive serving mediocre food if you ask me. I've eaten from all these food trucks you've just mentioned & they are expensive for the amount of food you get. That duck sandwich at Dim Ssam a go go is pretty small for $7. And the fried cupcakes at Sugar rush are pretty dry. Not worth the $5 they charge. Don't get me wrong, I love the food truck thing but some of the prices they charge are a little much for fancy named dishes w/ small portions & im not even sitting down in an air conditioned room being waited on. To me, it's a draw.

Lee
Lee

Cheeseme is the worst deal in the court -- which I'm mentioning in next week's New Times review of the food truck gatherings. As for Sugar Rush, the tartufo is just $3, the bread pudding $3.50. Some trucks are obviously offering up better deals than others, but there are definitely bargains to be found.

ChadC
ChadC

Couldn't agree more. Short term, it's an ideal scenario because you are right, Miami-restaurant goers have been victimized for far too long. With that said, the viability of our food truck scene will ultimately depend on their profitability. I hope these guys are making money with these ventures because passion can only take you so far. Either way, I'm all in and enjoying the mobile food along with the hundreds, if not thousands of other truck fans. Got to support the local scene and our small biz/entrepreneurial restauranteurs and truckies.

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