Royal Palm Beach has good and bad news with its Last Friday Food Truck Invasion.
The good news: it's a perfect venue for many reasons.
The bad news: it's only once a month. But at least you have time to plan for the next one.
Food trucks got a relatively late start in Palm Beach County, and for several years, most of the trucks came up from Miami-Dade and Broward, and faced sparse attendance from the public and opposition from both county and city leaders and brick-and-mortar restaurant owners. But things are changing: the 561 area code is seen on more trucks, the variety of food offered is expanding and with the coming of tourist season and cooler weather, food truck events will increase in number.
The city of Royal Palm Beach is doing the event right, and here's why you should attend the next one (Sept. 26, 5-9 p.m. at Commons Park, 11600 Poinciana Blvd., Royal Palm Beach):
- There are 20 to 30 trucks, offering everything from whole pizzas and ceviche to low-and-slow BBQ pork and vegan burgers.
- Many of the truck operators now call this a living, offering private catering as well as doing the food truck events.
- The Great Lawn is big: the truck noise isn't an issue, kids and dogs can run around and there's space for chairs and blankets.
- If the kids get tired of the lawn, there are two playgrounds nearby, plus a water plaza in front of the community center.
- Bring walking shoes, bikes and a volleyball: you can use the paths and the soft-sand volleyball court for free.
- Parking is plentiful and free.
It's Labor Day weekend. If you go to this event in September, or any other food truck event, show some love for the labor of the locals and buy their food. Sure, you can bring your own eats in a cooler to enjoy as you listen to the music, and there's nothing wrong with doing that to save money. But food trucking is hard, hot work, and it's done for passion first, not money. So pick a truck, walk up to the window, say hello, find out what's good today, order and enjoy.
For other Food Truck Invasion events in South Florida, check out their web page.
For events from Gourmet Truck Expo, check out the schedule on their new web page.