The food truck scene in Orlando is vibrant and, of late, quite the springboard to the American dream. Within weeks of one another, two brick-and-mortar venues – each born on four wheels – have opened, marking the evolution of a couple of area favorites.
No need to wing it. The Smiling Bison's Buffalo chicken dog and house-made BBQ chips — Photo courtesy of The Smiling Bison
At the periphery of Baldwin Park, the Smiling Bison’s new kitchen is redolent with the scent of meat-making. Its popular truck brought craft sausage and charcuterie to the palates of mobile foodies. Chef Joshua Oakley hopes that now they’ll be eager to come see him. Though its menu is subject to change, truck customers are likely to see a couple they recognize on any given night – goodies such as the Buffalo chicken dog with house-made chicken sausage, blue cheese and pickled carrots; crispy homemade BBQ potato chips and refreshing basil watermelon salad, a sweet soother to spicier plates.
Perhaps the bison was plied with selections from the eatery’s impressive craft beer roster to get it smiling. It figures on the menu as well – via burger and meatball – and so may be blissfully unaware.
The Crooked Spoon's new bar, a decided upgrade from that camping chair you keep in your trunk — Photo courtesy of The Crooked Spoon
Over amid the rolling, citrus-laden hills of Clermont, the Crooked Spoon has opened shop in a neighborhood more than ready for a fire exit from the chain-eatery Venn diagram. Fans of this truck (Chef Steve Saelg's burgers were hailed by many as the city’s best) will be delighted to have them back for lunch and dinner, along with creative takes on traditional favorites in a family-friendly setting. Bonus for parents: freedom from chicken nuggets is nigh; even the kids’ menu will rotate!
Craft, not Kraft: The Crooked Spoon's six-cheese mac 'n' cheese — Photo courtesy of The Crooked Spoon
The irony? Once mom and dad check out a Crooked Spoon specialty – gooey with Swiss, fontina, Asiago, Parmesan, Gorgonzola and provolone (and served with or without bacon) – they may just order the mac ‘n’ cheese.