In anticipation of the Second Annual Jax Truckies Food Truck Championship coming Saturday, June 15 at 6pm, I will be highlighting a few of Jacksonville’s best food trucks over the next two weeks.
The food truck business is a recent phenomenon sweeping the nation, born of the struggling economy and an entrepreneurial spirit. In cities across America, would-be-restaurateurs are starting food truck businesses, lured by the lower overhead and start-up costs in comparison to a traditional restaurant.
In Jacksonville, the food truck movement really took off about a year ago when a number of local food trucks competed in the first annual Food Truck Championship. From this event, an alliance was formed: the Jax Truckies. Through their Facebook page, which has almost 8000 followers, Jax Truckies notify the public of the locations of various food trucks in Jacksonville.
The newest food truck on the scene is Baby’s Badass Burgers, a bright pink truck with a bombshell theme. Baby’s serves a variety of beef burgers as well as turkey and veggie varieties. You can choose Baby Burgers or Maneaters, made with ½ a pound of Angus Beef and served on Hawaiian rolls.
I visited the truck while it was parked at Key Auto off of Southside Boulevard. It was easy to find a parking spot (being a car dealership and all). There was even a picnic table under a large, shady tree.
A line had formed at the window, but a lovely tank-top-clad waitress stepped out of the truck to speed up the ordering process. I chose the Cover Girl, a turkey burger topped with swiss cheese, sauteed onions, lettuce and tomato ($8). She suggested a side of “Baby’s Special Sauce,” sort of a thousand island dressing twist (50 cents extra). I have a weakness for sweet potato fries, so I added Sweetie Pie Fries for another $3. After a brief wait under a shade tree, my order was ready.
The burger was tasty (“Now that is a tasty burger!”) and the special sauce added even more flavor. My fries were a little cold, but I think the curly fries (“Pig Tails”) are a more popular choice.
I also sampled Au Naturale (the burger, not myself), a baby veggie burger made from crushed avocado topped with lettuce tomato and grilled onions and cheese. Don’t worry about giving up taste when you give up meat here: the veggie burger was delicious with some extra Baby sauce.
Other burger choices on the menu included the Original Beauty (swiss, grilled onions and mushrooms), All American Girl (smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickles), She’s Smokin’ (smoked cheddar, BBQ sauce, crispy onions, bacon), The Good Wife (smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomato and bacon topped with a fried over-easy egg), The Other Woman (blue cheese, lettuce, tomato, sauteed onions, bacon, ranch), The Perfect 10 (smoked cheddar and Baby’s 10-spice chili), and The Bombshell (1/2 pound Maneater sandwiched between 2 bacon grilled cheese melts, topped with grilled onions and special sauce). All burgers range in price from $8 to $12.
Don’t expect a cheap lunch just because the food is cooked in a truck: on the contrary, a lunch at a food truck will typically average around $10.
However, many Jacksonville food trucks serve gourmet offerings using only fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.