Gourmet Food Trucks Taste Sweet Success

LAS VEGAS ( TheStreet) -- In seeking the hottest restaurants, ingredients and flavors, TravelsinTaste.com recently had the opportunity to chat with its resident garden fresh flavors expert, Executive Chef Mark Sandoval of Wolfgang Puck's Postrio in the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino ( LVS). Sandoval is always on the lookout for new, unique ingredients for his menus, and interesting playful ideas such as his purchase of Pepper the pig, an acorn-fed hog that was butchered and delivered and from which he subsequently created many out-of-the-ordinary menu items. We asked him about dining trends in Vegas. His answer: the gourmet food truck.

"There seems to be a lot of people breaking into that market. They are on Twitter and Facebook and they'll let everyone know what location they are at. People go to that location specifically, and then they'll move. It seems to be a big trend in Vegas -- something that's growing more and more, " Sandoval said.

TravelsinTaste was lucky enough to track down the new powerhouse in town -- Fukuburger, a big, red gourmet food truck serving up the classic American burger with a Japanese flair. In Vegas Fukuburger has been all the rage for locals and the chefs among them. It is run by former Tao servers Colin Fukunaga and Rob "Mags" Magsalin.

Fukuburger travels the streets of Las Vegas serving gourmet burgers to in-the-know locals and hungry chefs with high standards.

Fukunaga let us in on his secrets. "Our intentions were to take care of the infrastructure of Las Vegas. When I moved here in 1995 there wasn't a lot of selection, but now we have a lot of celebrity chefs. Everybody knows good food now, and that's why we wanted to do a gourmet truck specifically for 'foodies' and service industry professionals who want a high-quality, after-hours meal."

In addition to the six original burgers on the menu, Fukuburger has a secret menu that can be ordered daily. Secret menu items include a creation of Japanese rice, a fuku patty, a fried egg and homemade brown gravy sprinkled with Japanese sea salt and bonito. In something of a game, customers talk on Facebook and Twitter about their customized creations and seek to have a menu item named after them. The truck serves dessert too, in the form of Japanese shaved ice (kakigori) with flavored syrups.

If you don't happen to be in Vegas, or you're not into shaved ice but have a hankering for dessert, mobile cupcake bakeries have begun to pop up on city streets all over the United States. Here are some of the most popular.

Last June, New York welcomed a brand-new twist on street food, the Cupcake Stop. Claiming to be the first-ever cupcake truck in Manhattan, the Cupcake Stop has been so successful that it now has more than five locations across the city and two retail outlets. Find out where they are today on Twitter: @CupcakeStop. Tingle your tastebuds with the red velvet with sweet cream cheese frosting.

In Chicago, Tiffany Kurtz says she quit her corporate gig and decided to convert an old mail truck into Flirty Cupcakes after she had the idea to upgrade the ice cream truck for urban dwellers. Each cupcake is packaged in a tiny gift box, so you'll really feel like you're treating yourself to something special! Find out where they are today: @FlirtyCupcakes. A must try is the CBFF, a chocolate cupcake with Nutella ganache.

Sprinkles, the haute cupcakery in Los Angeles, has recently launched its own version of the dessert truck, Sprinklesmobile. And Sprinkles is keeping up its posh Beverly Hills image in the 22-foot customized Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The van holds up to 1,500 of the bakery's standard flavors daily. Find out where they are today: @sprinklesmobile. The Banana -- fresh banana cake with creamy vanilla or bittersweet chocolate frosting -- is the star of the show.

Don't worry if you aren't within reach of one these trucks; there are plenty of others hitting the streets of Miami, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Philadelphia, Boston and San Francisco.

-- Written by TravelsinTaste.

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