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C'est parfait!
June 4, 2012 11:22 AM   Subscribe

A food truck takes Paris. Lovely NYT video about 'Cantina California', an upscale food truck in France.
posted by xowie (40 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Actually, 'Cantine California', excusez-moi.
posted by xowie at 11:26 AM on June 4, 2012


I am so tired of trucks. Why would I ever want to eat anything standing up?
posted by Keith Talent at 11:38 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sigh, I wish that I lived somewhere where food trucks were legal.
posted by octothorpe at 11:53 AM on June 4, 2012


Meanwhile, the upscale food truck in California is called "Le Truc".
posted by telstar at 11:57 AM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


There are sooooo many upscale food trucks in California. Probably too many.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:58 AM on June 4, 2012


Why would I ever want to eat anything standing up?

That's my sentiment.
posted by Malice at 12:09 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love how some of the Parisians in the video have never had a taco and don't know "how to eat it."
posted by ericb at 12:20 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


> I am so tired of trucks. Why would I ever want to eat anything standing up?

You don't have to, you know. You can eat it sitting down as well. Like back at your desk, or in a nice park, or wherever. Just treat it like a takeout window you have to walk up to.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:21 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here in Boston we're in the midst of the food truck craze.
posted by ericb at 12:23 PM on June 4, 2012


And now there's ...

Moving Trend: Fashion Trucks Hit The Streets -- "From accessories to clothing, mobile trucks are feeding fashionistas' style cravings."
posted by ericb at 12:26 PM on June 4, 2012


There's some pretty crazy stuff going on in that article.

The French will never eat on the street. The French will never eat with their hands.

Street food itself isn’t new to France. At outdoor markets like this one, there is often a truck selling snacks like pizza, crepes or spicy Moroccan merguez sausages, cooked on griddles and stuffed into baguettes.

Those two things seem pretty contradictory and...

sometimes even fast-food joints, burgers are eaten with utensils, not hands

Even for the French this seems unlikely, I've never seen anyone in Quick or McDonalds here eat a burger with a knife and fork(and you won't be offered one either)

“We drive by the Louvre every day,” Mr. Feilders said. “And I imagine the kings and queens of France looking out the window, thinking, What the heck was that?”

The article seems to be playing up the mystique of Paris a bit too much, the kings and queens of France would be just as confused by the streets next the louvre lined with shops selling kitschy tourist crap.
posted by MrCynical at 12:26 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't imagine how a truck of any size makes it down some of the small streets. I know there are small delivery vans, but they don't seem like they'd be big enough for a food truck.
posted by narcoleptic at 12:31 PM on June 4, 2012


Please, people. They're called carts.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:43 PM on June 4, 2012


ericb: "I love how some of the Parisians in the video have never had a taco and don't know "how to eat it.""

Yeah and check out the hamburgers, people are eating them upside down, or with knife and fork, and an expression like they have never opened their mouths so wide in their life.
posted by stbalbach at 12:45 PM on June 4, 2012


I imagine the kings and queens of France looking out the window, thinking: Has anybody seen my body?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:49 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I imagine the kings and queens of France looking out the window and seeing the head of Maria Luisa of Savoy looking back in.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:58 PM on June 4, 2012


She was a head of her time.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:59 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I was in Paris two weeks ago, my traveling companion was most definitely asked whether he would like a fork with his pommes frites (don't even ask me why he ordered French fries in France; it remains a mystery to me) or if he intended to (said with a cringe) eat them with his hands, and got a serious wince from the waiter when he chose the latter.
posted by quiet coyote at 1:37 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I fear for Paris. Please, my French friends... don't let it happen to you. They're a plague in my city. Be warned.
posted by ReeMonster at 1:45 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


> There are sooooo many upscale food trucks in California. Probably too many.

Is this actually the case? Seriously, I'm in the northeast (granted, not a major metro area), and have never seen a food truck in my life. I'd kill for a sort of upscale fast food truck-thing...
posted by lobbyist at 1:58 PM on June 4, 2012


Yeah, so the quality of the ingredients and cooking of this food truck seen in this video appear to be far far superior to any upscale gourmet food truck I've come across in Los Angeles...
Food. They do it better in France. Even when it's Californian.

ps I lived in LA for 5 years and I always eat my taco/burrito with a fork. The tortilla thingy is more container than ingredient really
posted by Bwithh at 2:19 PM on June 4, 2012


I hate sandwiches. I have never figured out how to eat without tools, and I hate situations where I am forced to do so. And I am not French.
posted by mumimor at 3:05 PM on June 4, 2012


(don't even ask me why he ordered French fries in France; it remains a mystery to me)

Why?
posted by rtha at 3:15 PM on June 4, 2012


(don't even ask me why he ordered French fries in France; it remains a mystery to me)

Steak frites. QED.
posted by The Michael The at 3:16 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


And moules frites. Mmmmm.....
posted by rtha at 3:23 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


> I hate sandwiches. I have never figured out how to eat without tools, and I hate situations where I am forced to do so. And I am not French.

I order curry from the thai carts around here all the time. They even let you bring your own containers and they will fill it up for you.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:06 PM on June 4, 2012


> And moules frites. Mmmmm.....

Mmm, moules.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:18 PM on June 4, 2012


The tortilla is most definitely not just a container! It can make or break the entire taco.
posted by inparticularity at 4:22 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Let me put this out there: roach coach. Not judgmental, mind you. My best burritos were bought off a truck in a parking lot. But let's call this what it is: street vendor food with aspirations. A half-step above Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler and his questionable sausages.
posted by SPrintF at 5:58 PM on June 4, 2012


So the thrilling news here is that another country becomes a little more like the US. Because failing to export our culture in its most convenient and crudest aspects has always been such a problem. Woo hoo, breakthrough!
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:28 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just came to say that though there are food trucks around here (Seattle), we were recently wowed by the Portland food cart scene. And what was served was far, far above street vendor food. What a great way to let good cooks do their thing for all us food enthusiasts -- without the risk and overhead of a formal restaurant.
posted by bearwife at 6:51 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


> What a great way to let good cooks do their thing for all us food enthusiasts -- without the risk and overhead of a formal restaurant.

This.

Are you a crazy cook with a half decent idea and willingness to work in a slightly worse condition than a normal prep kitchen? Food cart. For around 30-40k you can get a cart, a few hundred a month gets you a space, and for more access to a commissary to prep most of your food in before storing it in the cart and serving it.

Compared to a quarter million in investment to get going with a full brick and mortar restaurant and monthly expenses going on thousands of dollars, this is why food carts are taking off. You can try doing crazy things at way less cost, and if they really work, you've already proven a successful market to get the investment backers for a real storefront.
posted by mrzarquon at 7:12 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


A truly Californian taco truck would serve fish tacos. Those French are missing out.
posted by foobaz at 7:14 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, Le Truc has the shittiest looking menu I've ever seen.
posted by Listener at 1:23 PM on June 5, 2012


... we were recently wowed by the Portland food cart scene.

Yeah, Portland, OR probably ranks as #1 in food trucks, food quality and number of vendors.
posted by ericb at 1:33 PM on June 5, 2012


Also, the Vlaamse Frites available throughout Brussels and Amsterdam are the best fries/chips in the world. Nothing like having a paper cone full of them after a night out drinking and dancing.
posted by ericb at 1:41 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Nothing like having a paper cone full of them after a night out drinking and dancing.

To confirm your earlier statement, we have a cart that does that here as well.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:21 PM on June 6, 2012


The Venn Diagram of Food Trucks.
posted by ericb at 10:44 AM on June 7, 2012


The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America's Best Restaurants on Wheels.
posted by ericb at 10:44 AM on June 7, 2012


Mobile Cuisine -- website about food trucks.
posted by ericb at 1:07 PM on June 12, 2012


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