Food Truck Thursdays change Tallahassee nights

Thursday nights haven't been the same in capital city since 2011. Tallahassee food trucks have taken over with a wide variety of food from local vendors, chefs and musicians. 

A typical Thursday night while traveling down North Monroe Street may seem hectic to some, but to others it's something that is looked forward to each and every week.

Food trucks have been traced back to the early 1900s in Los Angeles from citizens being on the prowl looking for unique eats during strange hours of the night. 

The Tallahassee Food Truck Association conducts weekly meetings for officers and members. Any food truck member can attend the meeting. However, to join the team, one must submit an application. In addition, a monthly rent must be paid to participants who are selling on Thursdays. 

“Once the application is accepted and reviewed, annual dues are to be paid on time,” said Beverly Rich, vice president, chef and co-owner of Valhall Grill food truck.

Rich said dues are allocated to the maintenance of the website and other costs.

“My Thursday nights have become routine,” said Tiffany West, a junior at Florida State University. “After a long day of classes I go to Lake Ella to unwind and have delicious food awaiting me at my fingertips.” 

Contrary to what some may believe, TFTA does not seek out potential food trucks to be present. Companies make the initial contact and from there magic is made.

“Being stationed at Lake Ella was quite convenient for the trucks,” said Leona Bullard, a resident of Tallahassee. "There is so much foot traffic there so it only seemed right for them to move there as opposed to being next to Burger King on Tharpe Street." 

Every Thursday is different as far as what trucks are present. Eighteen trucks in total are a part of the team. Flavors range from Puerto Rican mojo pulled-pork quesadillas to all-American classics such as brick oven pizza, not to mention the two dessert trucks with an array of flavors that will satisfy that sweet tooth. 

TFTA created an app called “Tallahassee Streetfood,” which customers can download on their smartphone devices. The app allows food truck patrons to know where to meet their favorite truck during the day and night. Food Truck Thursdays also offer locally based bands that entertain all those hungry stomachs while they're in line socializing and jamming to the beats of the drums.  

“The purpose of TFTA is to foster and promote growth in the food truck industry,” Rich said.