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 called “frickles.”
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.