Summer is a great time to sample the culinary creations of Wichita’s growing fleet of food trucks.
The sun is shining. The kids are out of school. Nothing can come between you and your hot-off-the-truck slab of ribs but a few bothersome flies.
Summer, on the other hand, is the worst time to be IN a food truck.
“If you can picture what being in an oven would be like, that’s exactly what it is,” said Jeff Schauf, who along with his chef/brother Rob Schauf is about to begin his third consecutive summer inside his Flying Stove food truck. “There’s an operating oven inside of a metal box, which turns the truck into one big oven. One side of the truck is 130 or 140 degrees. Let’s just say that when you step out of the truck, and it’s 100 degrees outside, it feels nice.”
But Wichita’s dedicated food truck operators don’t let such things get in the way of their summertime business. About a dozen of them are out right now and will be throughout the summer months, parking in various locations or stationed at special events and fundraisers serving up barbecue, brats, tacos, sandwiches, pizza and more.
The truckers will welcome three new businesses to the fleet this summer. Park-N-Pork, a new barbecue food truck, has just hit the streets. And vegan food trucks Kind Kravings and Funky Monkey Munchies, which focus on healthier fare, both hope to be rolling sometime this May.
Several of the trucks will continue to gather throughout the summer on the final Sunday of the month for food truck rallies, which always happen over lunchtime near the fountains at the WaterWalk.
Schauf, whose truck started the trend in Wichita in late 2011, said he welcomes all the new competition. The food truck community over the years has become a tight-knit group that works together to make the scene better, he said.
“We want it to grow,” said Schauf, the unofficial Wichita food truck president. “I always use this analogy: A rising tide raises all ships. At this point, the more awareness about food trucks, the better.”
Following is a list of food trucks that will be feeding Wichita this summer.