The Fun in Food Trucks
Mobile options bring life to on-the-go eating
Fun mobile food options aren’t just reserved for fairs and festivals anymore, although it’s a veritable part of summer experiences. Food truck rallies and individual pop-ups are happening all the time from April to October—the unofficial food truck “season.” Especially in the Fox Valley, thanks, in part, to the Fox Valley Food Truck Association and their noteworthy weekly Food Truck Rally.
“We’re a collaboration of food vendors,” Kyle Fritz, president of the association and co-owner of On the Fritz Concessions, says. “I’d say 90 to 95% of them are local within 15-20 miles or so of Appleton. But it’s not a requirement. We just like to work with good vendors, that’s what it really comes down to.
“Our founding member was Hawg Tyed BBQ. Dennis Schmalzer and his son kind of loosely organized it,” Fritz explains. “They were looking for an additional outlet to get their product in different hands. They had this vision of a group of food trucks together.”
The response that first event garnered surprised everyone, and exceeded expectations enough to catapult the food truck scene into the booming industry it is today.
“From day one, that day six or seven years ago at Pierce Park in Appleton, it was just huge. Nobody expected it. Obviously it was a pleasant surprise.”
The Fox Valley Food Truck Association was created to streamline the process of bringing food trucks to events and communities for both the food trucks and consumers.
“The one thing that we really wanted to do with the association is we wanted to be a one-stop shop for food trucks in the Fox Cities,” Fritz says. “You can go to our website and in the upper lefthand corner is a tab called Our Trucks. Everybody’s contact information that’s a part of the association is there.”
“Over the past six or so years there has become a closeness with trucks working together sharing events and helping each other out,” Jon Dietzen, owner of Kona Ice Fox Cities North, says. “It has become somewhat of a big family that you look forward to seeing each spring as you pull the trucks and trailers out and head to the events.
“Progress and advancements in the food truck scene is another area that is fun to watch. The advancement in technology on the trucks over the course of the past few years has allowed products to be served that you would never have expected from a restaurant on wheels.”
Join the association for their weekly Food Truck Rally on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at WG&R Furniture in Appleton from April to October. For more information, visit www.foxvalleyfoodtruckralley.com
There are thousands of food trucks nationwide. And we’re lucky to have some of the most fun, high-quality options in our backyard. From sweet treats to hearty sandwiches and flavorful fare in between, here are a few:
*On The Fritz Concessions
Co-owner Kyle Fritz
What is On The Fritz Concessions? We’re comfort food with a twist. We do hot dogs, brats. We have burgers. Fries. We have some seafood items: perch, shrimp, salmon. Veggie burgers, turkey burgers. Those are our basics.
Most popular offerings: Our twist is our cheese curds. That’s really what we’re known for. We have won a few awards for our cheese curds. We hand beer batter them. We make our own beer batter. We hand dip them. It’s not just a pre-breaded, frozen product that you get from a food service provider. Absolutely, by far, it’s the favorite.
Where you can find them: Our most consistent event is going to be the food truck rallies that the Food Truck Association hosts on Tuesday nights. Follow us on www.facebook.com/OnTheFritzConcessions/
*Kona Ice Fox Cities North
Owner/Operators Jon and Katie Dietzen
What is Kona Ice? Kona Ice is a party in a cup. We offer Hawaiian Shaved Ice in over 40 flavors, including dye free and sugar free products so just about everyone can take part in Kona Ice visits.
Most popular offerings: Our Blue Raspberry Kona Ice flavoring.
Why shaved ice, why via a food truck? We chose to start Kona Ice Fox Cities North 10 years ago. The food truck was a simple choice as it allows us to travel around the community helping others out. We built our local Kona Ice on the value of Giving Back to the community. Our motto is “Be Good, Do Good, For Good.”
Where you can find them: We can be found at the Fox Valley Food Truck Rally each week at WG&R in Appleton on Tuesday evenings. Other events are posted on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/konaicefoxcitiesnorth
Owner Reggie Desamour/Manager Roxanne Adams
What is Caribbean Taste? Caribbean Taste is a food truck that focuses on delicious authentic food, sharing Haitian culture, and a great atmosphere.
Most popular offerings: The best seller is always the Jerk Chicken meal. Our Jerk Chicken has some spice to it… it definitely has a kick, but the chicken is well-flavored and so tender it falls off the bone. Other favorites: Pork Mac Bowl, seasoned Jerk Mac’n Cheese covered with our flavorful Garlic Pork and topped with a homemade Garlic Aioli that we call Rachelle sauce, named after Reggie’s mother.
Why this type of food, and why a food truck? Reggie was born and raised in Haiti so while he is no longer physically there, he carries his culture with him always. In a transitional period of life, he decided to take a chance and turn a hobby into a business. For him, a food truck made sense because it allowed him to travel and connect with people in different communities.
What should we know? Not everything on our menu is spicy! We are happy to talk with you about our menu and help you pick what makes sense for your tastes. We have a large selection of gluten-free options as well as vegetarian and vegan options.
Where you can find them: We update our schedule on our Facebook page every Monday morning. You can find our schedule on Instagram and on our website, www.caribbeantastefoodtruck.com
Owner Dan Couture
Why barbecue, why via a food truck? Years ago I started cooking barbecue as a hobby. I have always enjoyed cooking (and eating) smoked meat and as I got more serious into the hobby, I thought I might have a shot of turning it into a business. After researching the restaurant business, I decided to go with a food truck given the lower start up cost and the ability to change locations. I actually started the business in Knoxville, TN and moved to Wisconsin a few years ago.
What should we know: We enjoy booking events for our customers (weddings, graduation parties, etc.). We are a small business and book up pretty quickly so if anyone wants to book a truck they should reach out as soon as possible.
How to find them: Our website www.vincentssmokehouse.com has a live calendar that folks can check to see where we are going to be!
*Osorio’s Latin Fusion
Co-owner Kimberly Finnell
Most popular offerings: Avocado Fries.
Why a food truck too? The first time we ran our first food truck was Cinco de Mayo (May 5) of 2020 during Covid shut down. The food truck became a tremendous asset during that time—just to keep us afloat. We fell in love with the whole idea, bringing our passion on the road.
What should we know: We do private event bookings & can customize our offerings to fit exactly what you are looking for.
How to find them: We post our public food truck events on www.facebook.com/osorioslatinfusion — follow us to follow us!
the wandering table (Opening soon!)
Owner and Head Chef Heather Karisny
What is the wandering table? the wandering table is a food bus that provides local, made from scratch, delicious food. It is a place to come to eat good food, to feel at home and to experience something new! Half of the bus will be the kitchen, and the other half will have an amazing black walnut table with seating for up to 10 people. It can be used for private events, to hang out, for chefs tasting dinners, for catering or anything else someone might be looking for.
What type of food will you offer? The food will be multicuisine, higher end ‘food truck food.’ There will be a variety of options; so if you are vegetarian, have dietary restrictions, etc. we strive to have options for everyone.
Why this type of food, why via a food truck? I wanted to provide something different, while still being able to provide high quality food and a fun experience. This seemed like the perfect way to combine all of the things I was looking to provide.
What should we know: Food and wonderful adventures are my passion. I hope to portray my love for travel, food and experiences, through all of the dishes I make, every interaction, and each private event!
For opening updates and how to find them: www.facebook.com/thewanderingtablewi
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