In the not so distant past, the idea of a food truck was largely associated with rumbling, exhaust spewing vehicles serving up quick but overly-greasy sandwiches and unexciting junk foods. Perhaps they were shrouded in bare-metal walls or had chipped paint that wasn't even clean where it still existed. These were places of functionality, not fashion; convenience over a delightful dining experience.
However, these notions have undergone major changes in recent years. Even though traditional trucks are still floating around, an increasingly common sight has been larger, cleaner trucks with impressive graphics and logos, more advanced diverse menus, and organized plans about where they position their truck utilizing social media to boost their popularity. Functionality and convenience have stayed, but increased quality and an element of fun have been brought into the food truck sector that has the popularity of food trucks escalating rapidly.
Any entrepreneur brave enough to try to break into the difficult New York restaurant market must either perfect traditional dishes or tweak old ideas to create something new and exciting. One way to craft new dishes is to combine different ethnicities and genres of foods to build a fresh, exciting menu.
This is the vision of Phillip Lee of Kimchi Taco in New York City. Although a New Yorker, Lee has family roots that extend to Korea, and a passion for the foods associated with the country. He started his food truck, and now a brick-and-mortar restaurant, as more than just a way to make a living. He also wants to elevate the popularity of Korean food in America and uses creative methods to do so. Lee serves Korean seasoned chicken, beef, and pork with kimchi, a Korean dish of fermented vegetables that comes in many different forms and is at the heart of Korean cuisine. Lee combines these and other Korean aspects with cheesesteak elements, nachos, and, of course, tacos, to offer an affordable, healthy, and delicious menu for on-the-go customers. The truck also uses various social media to stimulate business and develop a following of customers. Phillip Lee and Kimchi Taco are a perfect example of the new kind of food truck and food truck owners who are blazing a new trail in the restaurant world. Lee also happens to be a loyal customer of ours, and we had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about the Kimchi Taco truck. Check back within the next few days to see the interview!