From its humble beginnings as your corner hot dog joint to community icons of "civic pride," the food truck has come a long way, especially with food trucks nowadays serving anything from exotic international cuisines to gourmet chocolates. The trucks themselves have evolved too, and Austin, TX boasts what is officially the world's smallest food truck, operated out of a converted Smart car.
Serving "Berlin-inspired" doener kebap, a dish of shaved meat and pocket bread that's somewhat similar to a Greek gyro sandwich, this littlest of food trucks was started up by two former exchange students from Germany, Michael Heyne and Dominek Stein. The pair worked with Frenzel, a German company that installs on-board kitchens, to convert the interior from an ordinary automobile to one that can heat and store food.
To do this, they removed the passenger seat in the Verts Kebap food "truck," and in its place sits a power system that runs on two truck batteries and supplies electricity for the refrigerator and food warmer at the rear. There's even a sink.
To set up shop, Heyne and Stein drive to various locations -- some of them where ordinary-sized food trucks cannot reach. They raise the hatch, roll out the food container attachment, set up a table and canopy and they are ready to go. On average, they are able to sell about 50 sandwiches in two hours.
Not too bad, but it's probably safe to bet that this food truck's uniquely diminutive cachet is a major selling point -- something that made world records recently. Plus, a fully-operational food truck as small as this shows that mobile food joints have an edge over mortar-and-brick restaurants when it comes to location, energy use, and overall ecological footprint. Not only that, as TreeHugger Bonnie has pointed out before, food trucks help liven up community life on sidewalks and neighbourhoods, making cities more livable and deliciously diverse.
For more information, check out the Verts Kebap Facebook page.