BOISE -- The modern food truck craze is steadily building in the Treasure Valley, thanks to some interesting offerings and plenty of hungry bellies.
On Friday, weekend food warriors are preparing to chow-down at the MK Nature Center at 600 South Walnut Street from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. That's when nine food trucks serving a variety of mobile, finger-friendly -- yet gourmet -- foods will offer up their goods to customers as part of a weekend "rally."
For those who haven't seen -- or (gasp) haven't heard of the modern food truck rally -- imagine a collection of gourmet kitchens with state fair prices on wheels. Many dishes are priced at $4 to $10. Entry to the event is free.
In fact "Circle the wagons!" might be an appropriate battle cry as these mobile restaurants set up shop in a parking lot near you.
However, this recent phenomenon isn't a throw-back to the pioneer camps of yore.
Food truck fans say the quality of food is emphasized just as much as the price and convenience factor at such rallies. Think beer braised pork tacos, bison burgers, habanero arugula salads, and deep fried varieties of cheese.
Many say this unique, food truck 'culture' has already taken hold in larger cities across the West such as Portland and Seattle.
According to rally organizer Sheila Francis, Boise's very own monthly Food Truck Rally started last fall with just a few trucks and several hundred loyal followers.
Francis says that number ballooned to several thousand at March's event after local media sources put the word out. "We weren't exactly expecting those numbers," Francis said, mentioning that several food trucks actually ran out of gourmet grub at the end of the night.
However, Francis says that won't happen this time because participating food trucks have upped their offerings (and several more food trucks have been invited).
With dishes designed to surprise diners -- and compete with other food trucks for business -- Francis says many options will surprise you. "These definitely aren't the roach coaches people have seen before," Francis said.
Friday's food truck menu includes treats from the following mobile kitchens:
A Cupcake Paradise -- serving several unique varieties of gourmet cupcakes
Archie's Place -- specializing in sloppy joes, sloppy tacos, soups, and the signature "sloppy grilled cheese"
B29 Streatery -- known for deep-fried grilled cheese and pulled pork, now serving up a surprise menu change
Big Daddy's Barbecue -- serving beef brisket, pulled pork, and traditional barbecue
Boise Fry Co. -- offering bison, beef, and veggie burgers, plus purple and traditional spud fries
Brown Shuga Soul Food -- known for mouth-watering mac and cheese and creative southern cooking
Calle 75 Tacos -- serving "street" tacos braised in local varieties of beer
Dippin' Donuts -- serving deep fried donuts and ice cream
Riceworks Asian Food -- serving teriyaki tacos, egg rolls, and other creative Asian food
Payette Brewing -- official beer sponsor, pouring Payette Pale Ale, Mutton Buster Brown, and other seasonal varieties
Note: Food trucks will also rally in Nampa on Saturday, April 14th from 5-9 p.m. at Lloyd’s Square on Front Street and 14th Avenue. This will be the event's debut in Nampa.
For more information, you can visit the Boise Food Truck Rally's Facebook page. You can also check KTVB.COM later tonight for a review of Friday's fantastic food event, including photo galleries and an in-depth look at the valley's newest food phenomenon.