Are you hungry and looking for a quick bite? Would you like a little something unusual? Do you remember the days (perhaps when you were in college) when you could stop by an assortment of mobile eateries teaming with quick, succulent ethnic cuisine? Well, guess what: those trucks are back, and vastly improved and re-imagined. And the Eat Street app can guide you to the best of them.
Itís the number one rule of business: adapt or die. And during the last ten years of our economic downturn, (I wonít use the dreaded "R" word), we have seen some of our favorite businesses and industries wither on the vine or vanish all together. And I think that no other type of business has suffered more than restaurants.
We all know the old business myth, stating that 9 out of 10 restaurants fail the first year. (Well itís actually more like 6 out of 10, but thatís another article.) Letís see a show of hands for how many of you have lost one, if not more than one, of your favorite local restaurants to the dreaded R-word. Now Iím just going to go ahead and assume that itís a fair few of you.
However, during a brief stint living out in Los Angeles, this reviewer noticed a movement. A movement that could almost be called a revolution. And no, this revolution was not televised; in fact, it rolled right up to you in colorfully painted trucks boasting a gamut of ethnic and fusion cuisine. These folks called themselves food trucks, and whether you were at you favorite sporting or music event, your job or even the beach, they were everywhere. Growing up back East, I knew these guys as "roach coaches" -- not the most appetizing appellation, to be sure, but they were inexpensive, convenient and you never needed a reservation.
Nowadays, with new construction, business or residential, drying up the way that it has been, a surplus of these mobile restaurants were all dressed up with no place to go. And with chefs from high-end restaurants being laid off en masse, it seemed like there was a recipe for success. And boy, was it! Fleets of these trucks have invaded many major metropolises, with each truck boasting its own personality, customized with its own outlandish colors, graphics and niche cuisines, from specialty burgers to Asian style wings or even deep-fried cupcakes. Donít judge me!
If you have had the pleasure of experiencing one of these mobile delights, as Iím sure many of you have, then you have also discovered how pesky it can be to track your favorite one down. Many of these trucks use social media to update their customers as to their particular whereabouts, but for those you not fluent in Facebook or Twitter, thereís hope.
Hope's name, in this case, is Eat St., a new app available for free at your respective online app store. It links you to the best street food in your city. This delicious simple little app has done most of the work for us, compiling an ever-expanding central database of food trucks in your area.
You can search for your favorite truck by proximity, popularity or cuisine type, as well as the vendor hours of operation, GPS directions, menu and specials. Thereís even an ďadd a cartĒ feature that allows any subscriber to add their favorite truck to the appís database, and the more people "Like" a specific truck, the more that it increases their popularity.
The app even includes a Twitter feature native to the app, where you can see what others are saying about the cart, or track your own updates. While the biggest databases exist in major cities such as L.A., New York, Miami or San Francisco, other cities have joined the popular trend, and the database is growing every day. Go to your favorite app store and download your copy today!
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