Rallying the Detroit Food Trucks

I was looking at an email blast last July promoting the 20th Anniversary of the Concert of Colors at the Max M. Fisher Music Center.

Rather than being drawn to the great artists like the Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue, Tito Puentes and George Clinton, I immediately looked at the Detroit-based food trucks that would be attending the concerts.

You can see how Maslow’s hierarchy works in the Popovich brain: Physiological needs (food, drink), stop there.

You also know that I love the past, and food trucks make me think of the great experiences I had when I was younger, in a distant century, far, far away.

Trucks like “the ice cream truck.” Ice cream just tasted better after running headlong to the curb and waving down the driver who looked like Steve Buscemi on a bad day.  Creamsicle, ice cream sandwiches – wow!

Or, seeing the food trucks outside of the auto plants (my grandfather called them “car shops”), serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Big men, gathered around the truck, to get coffee, donuts, sandwiches and the latest gossip before going on or off shift.

So the convergence of these needs, memories and Detroit-based pride created the idea: Henry Ford Hospital Food Truck Rally.

After a bit of thought and negotiation, our first rally happened on a cool, crisp fall day on the tennis courts on our hospital campus.

It’s not every day you can walk outside for lunch and enjoy some of Detroit’s finest, homemade food truck cuisine: spinach pierogi, braised beef short rib tacos, cookie monster ice cream and lightly fried dill pickle spears calledfrickles.”

While the above mentioned foods are certainly not on my published list of essential food groups for hospital employees, I may be willing to modify that previous pyramid to include the culinary delights of People’s Pierogi Collective, Treat Dreams, Concrete Cuisine and Jacques’ Tacos.

It’s not Heart Smart cuisine, but it was a “Free Friday” and life is really about moderation.

The local food truck rally is part of an effort I’m calling “Detroit Products, Detroit Pride” at Henry Ford Hospital. It’s designed to show our support for our city and local businesses by promoting local products.  How best to promote local than to eat local.

I did my part by sampling a spinach and artichoke pierogi from People’s Pierogi Collective, really great Polish fare.

Beyond the food truck rally, “Detroit Products, Detroit Pride” includes even more (healthy) food:

  • Every Tuesday through November, Peaches & Greens, a fresh produce truck based in Detroit, stops by the hospital campus.
  • In partnership with Eastern Market and Gleaners, the Fresh Food Share program brings local, fresh and reasonably priced produce to staff on a monthly basis. You can order online at www.freshfoodshare.org.
  • Eastern Market hosts a farmers market on the E&R patio during the spring and summer months. That will return in 2013.

This all proves that food is more than sustenance; it is just as much about place making and community.

Be sure to check out the above video from the food truck rally, where I talked with the food truck owners and several employees to get their take on the event.

I look forward to filling the hospital tennis court with even more food trucks and more employees when we host our next food truck rally!

For those who attended the food truck rally, tell me what you ordered and what you liked .  What trucks would you like to see?

One more thing: Do you know who is the “Jacque” of Jacques’ Tacos?

Post your comments below.

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5 thoughts on “Rallying the Detroit Food Trucks

  1. I tried the People’s Pierogis. They were tasty, but way overpriced. 3 little pierogis were $6. You can buy a dozen frozen ones for $2.50 at your local grocery store. Some local churches sell them for $1 a piece.

    I was going to buy an ice cream sandwich, but I refused to pay $5. The little cups of ice cream were $3. A Meijer small cone at their Purple Cow is only $.99 and you get more ice cream.

    Suggestion: We need trucks that offer beverages.

    Jacque of Jacques’ Tacos is , I believe, their dog that is pictured on the side of the truck.

  2. Thanks, Joyce, for your feedback! We appreciate it and will take it into consideration for the next food truck rally.

  3. My collegue was smart enough to go early at 1130 and brought back some samplers to share from Jacques’s Tacos. I tried the chips and salsa that was a mixture of corn and black beans and it was honestly the BEST EVER I’ve ever tried! So tasty and delicious! When it was my turn for lunch at 1230, there was such a long line up, it would be impossible to get anything plus I heard that they also ran out of many items, so I gave up but I sure would try them again in a heartbeat. Next time they need to be prepared to be feed the masses and bring the manpower to get through those lines quickly so everyone leaves with a smile 🙂

  4. People’s Pierogis, Concrete Cuisine and the Ice Cream Truck were all sampled. The line for the taco truck was too long… my favorite was the Concrete Cuisine “sweeties”…. AWESOME! The only suggestion I would have it to have some more trucks so that there are more options and the waits are not that long…many ppl missed out because their lunch periods ended before they could get through the lines. Love the rally and looking forward to the next!!

  5. I sampled the Sweet Potatoe Fries from “Concrete Cuisine” which were absolutely delicious. I had to share them with my co-workers because they were that good. I also was going to try the tacos from “Jacques Tacos but the line was too long so I walked over to the Ice Cream station and sampled the “Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream sandwhich. “OMG” what a treat, worth the $5.00 I paid for it. Needless to say I did not eat anything else the rest of the day. I think a fun food stand we should have would be something from “The Turkey Grill” if possible. They are located right in the neighborhood.

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