Andy's Restaurant Scorecard: Food Trucks - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Restaurant Scorecard: Food Trucks

Food trucks are wheelin' and dealin' in Shelby County. Food trucks are wheelin' and dealin' in Shelby County.
The mobile restaurants range from hot dog carts in the low-thousands to five-figure, full-kitchen extended vehicles the size of delivery vans. The mobile restaurants range from hot dog carts in the low-thousands to five-figure, full-kitchen extended vehicles the size of delivery vans.

(WMC TV) - Meals. On wheels.

Food trucks are wheelin' and dealin' in Shelby County. Burger and fries? Yeah, but it's not the only combination.

"A combination of lamb and beef," said Kimili Wade, describing the perfectly authentic gyro in her hand, the one she bought from MarksGrill Food Truck at the Memphis Food Truckers Food Truck Rodeo in Downtown Court Square. "You can get a variety of things to eat (at food trucks). Memphis is hopefully catching up with the rest of the world."

Two years ago, Tennessee amended its restaurant health code to accommodate food trucks and carts. Since the regulation change, the Memphis-Shelby County Department of Health has permitted 108 mobile restaurants.

"They're all permitted," said the health department's restaurant inspection supervisor Otho Sawyer. "They have to have hot water pressure. They have to have three sinks (for dish sanitation), a hand-washing sink. They have to have a (mobile) commissary where they store their food.

"We look at cooking temperatures, holding temperatures, hygienic practices, washing hands."

The fare variety is diverse -- from the vegetarian/vegan options of Fuel's Food Truck to the lobster roll Derrick Clark rolls out of A Square Meal On Wheels.

"You would be surprised at what food trucks can put out," Clark boasted.

"It just speaks to the creativity of our chefs out here and the ability to get open without having to raise so much money to open a restaurant," said Taylor Berger, president of Memphis Food Truckers.

The mobile restaurants range from hot dog carts in the low-thousands to five-figure, full-kitchen extended vehicles the size of delivery vans.

"We still have quite a few pending (for permits)," Sawyer said. "Compliance has been excellent. We haven't had any problems with them. The biggest thing is locating the food trucks to do the inspections because they are all over the place."

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