About 10 years ago, as the U.S. economy floundered, food trucks featuring inexpensive comfort food proliferated across the country. Over the years, the food and the designs of the trucks have become more elaborate and it's not uncommon for well-trained chefs to serve up their offerings from one of the trucks. It's now also become more common to see hotels and event venues getting into the game, sometimes acquiring trucks or vintage Airstream trailers of their own, creating viable options for meetings in hospitality spaces.
Here are a few choices for groups:
Berkeley Heights, N.J.
Along with more than 18,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, Embassy Suites by Hilton in Berkeley Heights, N.J., offers the Grain & Cane "Gastro Truck" as a fun option for a mid-meeting break or for post-event dining. The mobility of the truck allows the hotel to have a smaller-scale menu and adapt to guests' changing tastes.
The Gastro Truck offers a variety of signature sandwiches, with highlights such as the Short Dip featuring braised short rib, smoked provolone, crispy shallots and horseradish spread; and the CCBLT, a twist on the BLT featuring a fresh crab cake and Old Bay mayo. The menu can also be completely customized to meet groups' varied needs.
Sandy Dog and El Jefe, pink and gold oceanfront Airstreams at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, overlook Nassau's idyllic Cable Beach and serve gourmet hot dogs, traditional Mexican sopes and margaritas.
Located at The William Vale's Vale Park, a 15,000-square-foot public green space overlooking the Williamsburg waterfront and Manhattan skyline, Andrew Carmellini's Mister Dips serves dairy dips, burgers, waffle fries and soda floats. New dip flavors include chocolate peanut butter deluxe and banana split with banana chips and whipped cream.
Austin has really embraced the food truck trend with dozens of trucks throughout the city. But groups meeting at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines in nearby Cedar Creek don't have to head downtown for the experience; the resort owns two food trucks serving pizza and snow cones that can roll right up to the more than 15,000-square-foot ballroom, which is part of the resort's 300,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The resort has an agreement with Gordough's, a local donut chain, that will send a vintage Airstream trailer packed with the bakery's signature pastries such as the Flying Pig, a donut topped with bacon and drizzled with maple icing.
This article appears in the August 2018 issue of Successful Meetings.