by Chelsea Chambers, photos by Mark Dyrud
As the sun beats down overhead, teetering toward 100 degrees, the smell of fresh-cooked ingredients comes cascading across the grass. After an entire afternoon in the park—volleyball, disc golf, and the occasional goose chase—you can work up quite the appetite. The sizzling sound of a burger being flipped on the grill, the aroma of sautéed onions and garlic is tantalizing. You’ve invested far too much time and energy into dragging all of your sports gear to pack up and go home now; luckily, just up the road lies an oasis of flavor in this vast Idahoan desert: a food truck paradise.
With all of the excitement of summer, there comes the definite need to eat and sometimes it’s not worth packing up everything just to go home and dirty up the kitchen. While barbecues are always a blast and it’s great to relax at one of Boise’s many unique restaurants, the speed and convenience of food truck dining is almost unbeatable.
One of Boise’s newest food truck additions is Wetos Locos Tacos, owned by Kristen Grugel. Grugel started the business about two years ago after making the decision to leave her job writing TPS reports. She wasn’t fully satisfied working in an office every day and sought out ways to combine her love of cooking and the outdoors with a source of income. The change would be drastic, but she poured her love and dedication into this dream of being a business owner and it has been a tremendous success. Alongside all of the delicious traditional tacos and burritos that we crave, Wetos Locos also features potato chorizo, portabella asada, and carnitas. Wetos Locos can be found at Capitol and Main in front of the Egyptian during the summer and outside Mulligans on Tuesday evenings. Recently joining forces with various local breweries, Wetos also posts up at Payette on Tuesdays, Boise Brewing on Fridays, and Barbarian on Saturdays.
Genki Takoyaki, owned by former sushi chef and English teacher Rhett Atagi, is a truck that features fresh, tradition Japanese cuisine. The inspiration behind the truck is, of course, takoyaki, a dumpling filled with octopus, nori, and special sauce. In Japan, Takoyaki was Atagi’s favorite dish. He would travel all over Kyoto and Osaka in search of the most revered Takoyaki. On the weekends, Atagi would try his hand at preparing the dish himself with the help of his friends. He used to joke about opening a Takoyaki shop in America, and in May 2014, the joke turned into a delicious reality. In addition to Takoyaki, Atagi has various rotating specials that he features at the truck. Genki Takoyaki can be found Saturdays at the Capitol City Market near the post office on Bannock. The truck will also be at Tour de Fat in August and various local brewery events and food truck rallies.
Since 2011, Bang on the Wall Burgers has been a pinnacle of Boise food truck dining. Owned and operated by Noe Claudio and Gypsy Thomas, the truck has been an incredible success and can be found all over Boise at local events and on Wednesdays at Amity and Maple Grove from 5-8. The original name of the truck was Big Boi Burgers, but due to its similarly to various other restaurants around town, Claudio and Thomas sought something else. They installed the large service window into the truck, but it was cut at Claudio’s height, which was approximately 6’2”. This is significantly taller than most and as it turned out, unless customers were 6’2”, they were practically invisible from the inside of the truck. At their first event, people were literally banging on the wall of the truck to get his attention. From this hilarious mishap birthed the name of the business, and it stuck! Bang on the Wall Burgers was created, equipped with fresh ground beef and fries with every burger because you simply cannot have a burger without fries.
From hot dogs and burgers to tacos and takoyaki, there is always something to satisfy any craving. Food trucks can be found conveniently all over Boise, on nearly every corner downtown, and at a variety of events across the valley.
Many of the local food trucks will be a part of the Food Truck Rally event at the Idaho Botanical Gardens on Friday August 28. The event will be held from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm and admission is completely free. Come support local business and enjoy incredible, quality food from the convenience of a food truck.