The Full Scoop on Northern Delaware’s Ever-Emerging Food Truck Scene

Food trucks are what restaurants aspire to be! Seriously. Take a few dishes that are done amazingly well, prepare enough to sell over a short amount of time, have your customers seek you out and close the doors when the cooler is empty. In the case of northern Delaware’s burgeoning food truck scene, roll away and start again tomorrow. There is good food to be had served under the canopy of sun and stars, parked outside rather than struggling with the confines and headaches of a traditional restaurant. “There are some great restaurants in Delaware. With a food truck, we can do great food and have the freedom to be different,” says Wandering Chef’s Mike Blovad.

Kapow is serving Korean beef bowls, kimchi tacos and Peking­-style duck tacos. I Don’t Give a Fork is all about fork­less food, like the signature mac ‘n cheesesteak and the Drunk Plate with chicken tenders, fried pickles, pizza bites and fries. “We really won’t give you a fork, no matter how much you ask. Sorry folks,” says founder Leigh Ann Tona, 25. Wildwich is bringing a lamb meatball sub to the roaming masses that inspires Greek envy. And those pork dumplings from Wandering Chef are well worth waiting in line.

Food Truck Tacos

Each truck is playing their best card not only to glean a loyal following, but to further grow the groundswell of food truck gatherings. These encampments, like the conclave at Wilmington’s Flower Market, bring together the best rolling restaurants throughout New Castle County. Even small events draw fans of the trucks, like the recent Comic Book Day in Newark that had swarms lined up at Wandering Chef and Java Puppy. The mob scene that knotted the recent Night Market at the Delaware Center for Creative Arts crushed the encampment and the popularity of food trucks in the region was made clear; Delaware has a serious rolling food scene.

Throughout the spring, food truck gatherings have become more common and the circle of trucks is ever-­widening. Shedding the crusty image of roach coaches that once rolled up to construction sites and offered not much more than acrid coffee and lackluster sandwiches, the first state is getting into the game that is capturing food fanatics’ attention in the bigger cities. Not to be outdone by Philly’s pool of truck options, New Castle County is driving hard to carve a serious niche in mobile feasting.

Food Truck

Helping lead the charge is Rolling Revolution food truck association. The truck loyalists work toward returning a percentage of sales to the community, organizing gatherings and working cooperatively to enhance food truck regulations.

Greg Vogeley, newest on the scene with his rolling caffeine and signature food dispensary Brunch Box, says of the camaraderie, “I am happy to find a group of food truck enthusiasts that have formed a community to help and grow everyone’s businesses together.” Vogeley set his Hockessin Drip Cafe on the road after roaring success of the classic brick and mortar coffee shop, while Chef Wit Milburn of Kapow is parking his concept with a permanent eatery. “I am proud to say that my wife and I own Kapow Kitchen in Booth’s Corner Farmers Market [of Garnet Valley, Pa.], opening July 3. Kapow Kitchen will allow us to do even more catering, sell our sauces, apparel, my cookbook and be the hub for Kapow.” I Don’t Give a Fork’s Tona adds, “The new players on the scene have helped a lot in impacting the rolling revolution because we are able to band together and work together to make changes and educate folks about the food truck scene.”

However, their success has not been without a few hurdles. Says Kapow’s Chef Wit, “The biggest challenge was raising the funds. We had some success on our Go Fund Me fundraiser, but had to save and find other money to make it happen. Then we realized that the City of Wilmington didn’t allow food trucks to park on public streets and had to start hunting for some locations through private properties. Our biggest challenge now is still finding locations to park and for multiple trucks, since we have learned that we do better in packs.” The pack mentality seems to be working; the trucks usually roll away empty. “It’s a blast!” says Wandering Chef’s Mike Blovad. Says the Culinary Institute of America alum and industry veteran, “This is the most fun I have had. The interaction is great. I get to hand people food and then hear, ‘Man, this is great!’”

Food Truck Mac n Cheese

What’s next for the gourmet gypsy caravan? For some, feeding Firefly festival­goers at Dover Downs will be a big deal. Fork’s Tona says they are expecting 90,000 attendees at this year’s music event. “Last year, we sold 3,000 sandwiches. I’m looking forward to outdoing that. And maybe sleeping a bit and hopefully taking in a show,” the energized truck owner says. Dragging along a bigger staff than last year, Tona has been hustling to keep fans fed at each stop, so feeding the Firefly crowd should be as easy as driving a truck.

For locations and updates on some of the northern Delaware players, visit the following social media channels:

Java Puppy on Twitter

The Wandering Chef on Twitter and Instagram

● The Brunch Box on Twitter and Instagram

● Kapow! on Twitter and Instagram

● I Don’t Give a Fork on Twitter

Wildwich on Twitter and Instagram

Cajun­Sno on Twitter

Angelo’s Curbside Cafe on Twitter

Rolling Revolution on Twitter

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