Reporting Sara Pelissero
Imagine if you will an outdoor food court. But instead of the greasy, stale cheeseburgers and day-old sandwiches, it’s fresh, high-quality gourmet food made piping hot from a food truck.
Well, starting Wednesday, this so-called dream will become a reality. No more walking across St. Paul to get a variety of food vendors. Say goodbye to being limited to one food truck at one location and welcome to “Food Truck Court.”
Each Wednesday on Kellogg Boulevard between St. Peter and Wabasha, folks looking for good eats on the street will have a variety of food trucks to choose from. The 128 Mobile Café, Gastrotruck, Fork in the Road, Chef Shack and Simply Steve’s will all be shifting gears and driving over to share the same street through a partnership with the city of St. Paul.
Jill Wilson, owner of 128 Café, said the idea was to create a hub where local food and food trucks could be featured, while raising the awareness of these semi-new ventures. Food trucks celebrated their first year in the Twin Cities in 2010 and ever since have been a big topic of both foodies and wannabe foodies.
Wilson said they worked with St. Paul officials to reserve a spot along Kellogg where the food trucks could be stationed on Wednesdays through September.
“As a business owner, having planned events and knowing where you can be and having things scheduled and just the predictability lends itself to ease of business for me and for my customers,” Wilson said. “So they know at least on Wednesdays or one day a week, this is where you can find us.”
She said when she pitched the idea to the city it had a lot of support from the mayor’s office as a way to help highlight local business and offer a fun event in St. Paul.
“We’re all trying to make a go at this. It’s fun and people seem really enthused about it,” she said. “We just want to demonstrate best practices and work cooperatively.”
The food offered along Food Truck Court will be a great variety for patrons and may not be what people expect from mobile food.
“Just because it came out of a truck, it’s a full commercial kitchen, so we don’t need to be resigned to pronto pups and fried food,” Wilson said. “That certainly has its place, not knocking it, but you can also get healthy, delicious, chef-prepared quality food as well.”
Food Truck Court starts this Wednesday in St. Paul. For more information about these food trucks — and more around the Twin Cities — check out this list.