Haulover Food Truck Roundup Tonight: A Day in the Life of Bite Gastrotruck
The food truck phenomenon has been raging for a few years. The outlaw fringe element seems to excite the imagination. In some parts of the city, food truck roundups bring communities together. Bal Harbour, Surfside, and North Miami Beach have embraced the idea by hosting parties at Haulover Park every Tuesday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at the kite-flying area at 10800 Collins Ave. There's a DJ, plenty of dancing, volleyball nets, and huge blow-up slides. It's BYOB because there are no liquor vendors.
In the spirit of the recent movie Chef, I took a look at this phenomenon from inside the food truck. This is the story of Bite Gastrotruck. Chef/owner Ron Kerr was cooking for a private client in the Hamptons, so he counted on his kitchen staff to run the show. Here's a behind-the-curtain point of view.
Noon - I stop by the bakery Croissantilicious in Pompano Beach for buns, which are made fresh. They are challah -- soft, buttery, and golden brown.
1 p.m. - I stop by the butcher to pick up freshly ground beef for burgers.
1:30 p.m. - Prepping begins and the truck is stocked. I'm assuming it will be very busy tonight because 150 pounds of potatoes for fries are loaded. There's chipotle aioli and truffle aioli, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and red onions. The caramelized onions are cooked. In all, there are 60 pounds of beef, ten dozen freshly baked challah buns, and coolers with all beverages stocked. The ice chests are full of nine gallons of Blue Bell Vanilla, fresh strawberries, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and other shake accoutrements. Approximating the amount of supplies to bring is necessary -- too little and service stops early, making it a busted night; too much and money is wasted on supplies gone bad.
3:30 p.m. - Propane tanks for cooking are topped off and it's off to the venue. Arriving early can be key. Just as in real estate, it's all about location, location, location. Getting the right spot at the event can make or break a night.
4:30 p.m. - The crew sets up for service.
Photo by Holly Wachowicz
5:20 p.m. - The madness begins when the first order comes in.
5:40 p.m. - On this night, Bite is training a new guy on the flattop, not the easiest environment for a rookie. The burgers come flying off the flattop, and the finishing touches are put on the burgers before they go out the window.