Food Truck Thursday a different way to dine out

Food Truck Thursdays packed crowd at Lake Ella Park.
Photo Submitted by ​Alyssa Camacho

The city of Tallahassee is full of new discoveries and hot spots. Every Thursday, the park at Lake Ella is occupied with the sounds of live music, kids playing and hungry guests at Food Truck Thursday.

Each week, the Food Truck Tallahassee Association hosts its Food Truck Thursday for local patrons to come, relax and enjoy various styles of cuisine. 

According to the company’s website, the FTA was created in 2011 with the intention of providing information to the public and fostering the growth of mobile food vendors in the Leon County area. The association consists of more than 15 vendors whose menus consist of a wide variety of foods such as The Cake Shop, El Criollo Grill, Fired Up Pizza Truck, Street Chefs, Rankin Tacos and more.

Just short of the weekend, the FTA encourages locals to come out and hear sounds of local artists and bands all while grabbing a delicious bite to eat.

Sarah Walker, a junior at Florida State University, can attest to the aesthetics of the lively Thursday nights.

“It’s a really lively environment …it’s fun to come out and hang out with friends and enjoy the festivities,” said Walker.

Local shop owner and FTT coordinator Wendy Hallic said that the purpose of FTT is to build the community and make it stronger. 

Walker and her boyfriend Mike Beasley say this may be their new favorite date night location.

“Beats going to a normal restaurant and just the traditional dinner date night. It’s much more exciting and the food is great,” Beasley said.

Hallic noted that there are various trucks that have been deemed “anchor trucks” by popular demand by reoccurring patrons.

“We have very creative food, some even international. It gives people a chance to try things they probably never had before,” Hallic said.

Trucks like Julio’s and El Criollo Grill are known for their authentic Puerto Rican and international dishes such as MoFongo, Boricua cheese dogs, Cuban sandwiches and more. Another is Street Chefs, a mobile restaurant where chef Rebecca Kelly-Manders puts a spin on comfort foods such as grilled cheese and meatloaf. Dinner with dessert is a must at FTT. The longtime local bakery The Cake Shop sets up shop every Thursday night to satisfy its customers’ sweet tooth.