Some things we learnt on our reccy to the lands of food trucks and taco-bars...
1. Longevity = simplicity and quality, not novelty
We'd done our research and had a hit-list of THE most popular food trucks to seek out, only to discover that Korean BBQ tacos were soooo last month... Japanese ramen burgers were the new food-truck must-scoff!
The food-truck crowd is a fickle one, especially in New York where you've got a hot new mobile morsel at your fingertips every month. But there were several trucks with staying-power - they'd even franchised out a fleet. Their formula was a simple, quality offering that cut through the noise of 'me too's'.
2. A line doesn't necessarily mean it's good.
It actually just means that the service is really inefficient. I thought New Yorkians were all for fast, fast, fast, but in fact, they really love to get 'on line' and wait aaaaaaages for something that's actually not that amazing. But hey, while they're on line they've got heaps of time to check-in on four-square and tell everyone about the latest hot spot... you just gotta try it!
3. Everyone LOVES a taco!
You want a meal you can hold in one hand whilst you instagram with other? You want a taco! Mexican, Korean, Smokey BBQ, Israeli, Jamaican, Vietnamese... the list goes on. Whilst there is something to be said for the humble corn tortilla wrapped around about a spoonful of ingredients, a true taste sensation was few a far between.
Our best taco moments were definitely at street-side taco-trolleys in Mexico, perched on kid-sized plastic stools with the traffic whizzing past.
4. Passion will get you everywhere
We had the most incredible encounter with a metal-worker in Williamsburg, who invited us into his warehouse/workshop/hoarder's paradise for a personal tour of his life works. His passion was bordering on manic-obsession, but nonetheless he'd forged an incredible 40-year career as one of New York's most prolific metal-artists.
It was the most inspiring, yet humbling experience of the whole trip. If you happen to be in that part of town, head to Metal Dimensions, 166 Berry St, Williamsburg, and ask for Ari.
5. Mezcal is waaaay better than tequila
I realise I've ben drinking the Agave equivalent of cask-wine my whole life! Mezcal, it's wilder cousin from southern Mexico doesn't need worms or salt or lemon - it's so freakin' yummy, you'll sip it slowly like a good whiskey whilst having really grown-up conversations about life.
That is of course until you end up purchasing a 'home brew' batch from a beachside counter that burns on the way down and sends you and all your friends into a crazed, nudist stupor. But we won't go there.