by Ian McNulty
New generation food trucks typically serve just a few specialized dishes, though lately they’ve have been enlisted to serve a number of other purposes too.
During its most recent racing season, for instance, the Fair Grounds Race Course continually used food trucks to market nights at the horse track to a younger generation, while earlier in April civic boosters in Jefferson Parish organized a food truck rally to promote a new image for the Fat City district, drawing a huge crowd in the process.
Next week, on May 7, vendors will gather once again to begin a new two-month series of food truck events designed to highlight different neighborhoods across town and some of the community organizations working within them. The series is called Rolling Through and the inaugural edition will feature at least eight trucks arrayed outside the Bayou Treme Center, a new community center in the former St. Rose de Lima church just off Esplanade Avenue and North Broad Street.
The series continues each Tuesday through June 25, with two editions planned with partner organizations in each of four locations.
Rolling Through is produced by My House NOLA, a culinary events company that has directed many other recent food truck events. My House founder Barrie Schwartz says she conceived Rolling Through as a way to expand partnerships forged with community groups during earlier events. At the same time, she says, the events capitalize on the mobile nature of food trucks and public interest in street food to encourage people to explore different neighborhoods.
“We hope people will come to one (event) in one neighborhood and then decide to follow us to the next neighbor the following week,” she says.
Rolling Through locations and partners include Broadmoor with the Broadmoor Improvement Association at the Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center; Central City with Good Work Network, which assists minority- and woman-owned start-up businesses, at a lot by its offices; the Bywater with the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) at a nearby site affiliated with the historic Plessy vs. Ferguson civil rights case; and at the Bayou Treme Center.
The events are free, with live music at each edition, food for sale from individual trucks and Samuel Adams beer, Old New Orleans Rum cocktails and soft drinks for sale at beverage booths. For next week’s kick-off edition, there will also be a screening of the Gene Kelly classic “Singing in the Rain” inside the Bayou Treme Center, beginning at 8 p.m.
Rolling Through events are from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The next edition will be May 14 at 2038 O.C. Haley Blvd. in Central City. Click here for more details.