Fab Food Trucks: the intersection of delicious food and local wheels | Food

Brigid Driscoll | May 28, 2022

It’s late spring in northern Michigan and everything is alive, including the local food trucks. They have woken up after a winter holiday and are ready to offer delicious solutions to the eternal question “What’s for dinner?”

Like lemonade and beach days, food trucks have something quintessentially summery, and Northern Express has put together a few options worth checking out. Bring along friends, booze, and a picnic bench in the sun; there is something to eat for everyone.

County Antrim
Good ingredients + good mood: food and sweets for stray cats
“In the summer, I cook most of my food outdoors on the grill,” says Alley Gualco of Alley Cat’s Eats and Sweets. The food truck was born from the culmination of Gualco’s own experience in the hospitality industry. She had a desire to build something that focused on creating healthy food for sale and a healthy culture for her employees. Gualco works with her mom, Kristen Joppich, and together they have gained a following for their local delicacies. You’ll never get bored with the menu – the mother-daughter duo is constantly changing things up. From burgers to coleslaws and lemon bars to bread pudding, you’ll want to try it all. For lunch, dinner and more, find them at Short’s Pull Barn in Elk Rapids Thursday through Sunday.

Dinner on the Shore: DAM Food Truck and King Wubbz
Also worth visiting in Elk Rapids is the DAM food truck. Parked at the Elk Rapids marina, this truck is a handy option for boaters. They have a great selection of coffee drinks and breakfast options like burritos, hash browns and french toast to start your day from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. There are also rolls, French fries and other light lunch and early dinner options served from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. (We recommend trying their Smoked Pork Rice Bowl.) They’ll be joined at the wharf this summer by King Wubbz, who has a killer taco menu, including vegetarian options, among other options for lunch and dinner.

Benzie County
Where are they now? Wings and Tings
Once upon a time, you could find several food trucks at Area 31 in Beulah. Although this place has undergone changes, we have tracked down a new location for one of the tasty trucks. Interlochen-based Wingz & Thingz opened this season with two sister trucks, Tacoz and Nachoz, as well as Noodlez and Rice. (The menu lives up to the name.) Owner Ron Goki is a veteran and culinary school-trained chef who wants to provide people with plenty of choices next to each other. Find the trio parked at 17436 Honor Hwy between 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM.

Approved by Joseph Heller: Ketch 22
Just across the Benzie border in Arcadia is Ketch 22, which serves sandwiches and a few cold and fried snacks. The scenic drive to the truck base on 17073 Northwood Highway justifies the extra distance. Try cottage cheese curds, after a meal take a walk through the Arcadia Marsh nature reserve. Open from noon to 9 pm from Wednesday to Sunday.

Emmet County
Way back: Backyard to Charlevoix and Petoskey
Both Back Lot Charlevoix and Back Lot Petoskey offer many food truck options in the Emmett County area. These beer gardens feature indoor and outdoor seating and fully stocked bars to keep summer nights full of good cheer. Charlevoix’s troupe includes Cheese and Company, Fresh Coast, Reel Deal, Grill Chasers and Island Griller. Get all cheeses (e.g. cottage cheese, grilled cheese, fries) from Cheese and Co., a selection of sliders from Fresh Coast, fish and chips from Reel Deal, and fried wraps and skewers from Grill Chasers.

Reel Deal and Cheese Co. also found in Back Lot Petoskey along with Happy’s Taco Shop, Phoxy’s Phillies & Grindage, Mim’s Mobile Grill and Full Moon Pizza. Happy’s is known for making playful Tex-Mex spins (cheeseburger tacos, anyone?), which always results in a tasty treat. Satisfy your cravings for authentic Philadelphia cheese steak at Phoxy’s; fresh mediterranean at Mim’s; and charred, wood-burning full moon perfection. Both Back Lots are open from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm Sunday to Thursday and from 11:30 am to 10:00 pm on Friday and Saturday.

Grand Traverse County
Clean Eating: The Green Gauntlet
“People are already out on the streets, so I thought it would be an easy way to do several things at once,” says Mark Dunning of Green Mitt Car Wash, located on US-31, just a short walk from Pirate’s Cove. He plans to organize a regular rotation of food trucks at the car wash on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from May to October. There will be one truck per day from noon to 6:00 pm. Spring is kicking off with Mac Shack, a truck serving burgers, fries, tacos, and other lunchtime favorites. Later this season, Wicked Boss will join the schedule, featuring Jamaican food, lobster rolls, breakfast wraps and coffee. The third truck in the line is Sabores y Colores, a Mexican eatery on wheels. Dunning is looking for other trucks interested in parking one day a week at Green Mitt during the season, so send your gourmet friends over to him. “In the first year, we don’t charge trucks to be here or electricity to see how things go,” Dunning says. “I think it will work great – it’s just an opportunity to make it consistent.”

Mother Vein: Small Fleet
It would be remiss not to mention The Little Fleet, one of the hottest restaurants in Traverse City and a trendsetter in the food truck trade, in this lineup. The bar and food truck will once again host fan favorites Glendale Ave, Traverse City Pizza Company, Cordwood BBQ and Good on Wheels, the latter of which has several new items on the menu. In addition to Bao buns and bubble tea, Good on Wheels added chicken skewers with chili and lemongrass, green papaya salad and dumplings. Glendale Ave. added the Impossible Burger to its stellar burger options, as well as Fire Fries, beer-battered fries with honey mustard, jalapenos and green onions. And although they no longer work as a truck in this place, Taco Happy in the kitchen of the Little Fleet is always a good option.

Leelanau County
2-in-1 in Northport: The Bite and The Big Hot Woody
Northport is gaining momentum with two options that appeal to the public. Open lunchtime (12:00 to 14:00) Monday to Friday, The Bite is perfect for those looking for a hearty classic lunch. Menu options include 8-inch sandwiches served hot, beef hot dog, french fries and onion rings. Find them at 12271 E Woolsey Lake Rd. Big Hot Woody is also offering their wood-fired crispy pizza again every Thursday and Friday from 4pm to 8pm and Saturdays from 12pm to 8pm at the Mitten Brewing Company.

Across the border: Taqueria Las Lagunas
Locals flock to this taco truck for authentic Mexican food. They serve classic asada carne, pork and/or chicken tacos in freshly made tortillas, and whitefish tacos that fans dream of all year round. Find them parked outside Barrels and Barrels in Suttons Bay Friday through Sunday from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm.

New Wheels on the Block: Polish Farm Truck
Husband and wife Tom and Kathleen Koch raise chickens, pigs, goats, ducks and guinea fowls and grow food on 14 acres in Cedar. This year, they’ll be cooking fresh farm produce using classic Polish recipes and serving them from a truck parked outside the Center for Polish Art, a boutique owned by farmers in the center of Sidar. Pierogi, cabbage rolls, sausages and more will be warmly welcomed by locals and tourists alike as the truck fills an important gap for the community as one of the few Polish eateries in the area. Find them starting on Memorial Day weekend and every Thursday through Monday from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

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