Meals On Wheels

Food trucks gain traction, driving a new, exciting aspect to the Hampton Roads Cuisine scene.

Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake food trucks

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Food trucks, in one form or the other, have been around almost since the inventions of fire and the wheel.

Even before the Industrial Revolution, and continuing through today, lunch carts are de rigueur outside many workplaces. And who can forget the Good Humor man signaling ice cream treats on hot summer days with the tinkling of a bell as he drove through our childhood neighborhoods? 

Today many food trucks have evolved, and the culinary coaches are hotbeds ofinnovation and creativity for chefs and entrepreneurs.

Although this new wave of food trucks has been common in larger metropolitan areas for some time now, they are just emerging on the scene in Hampton Roads, and we say better late than never. Do they enhance the culture in our region? We whole-heartedly believe they do.

Do they take away business from traditional, brick-and-mortar restaurants? We don’t think so, at least not much, because the experience is very different. People going out to dinner will go out to dinner; people wanting to grab a bite from a food truck will do the same. We do feel both food trucks and traditional restaurants must work together, but what’s wrong with cooperation—or maybe collaboration?

Food trucks are mobile; our chart gives you their general geographic locations. Most food trucks post their locations daily or weekly via Facebook, Twitter or a website; check with individual food trucks for specifics.

Bros Fish Tacos
BROS FISH TACOS Established 2012
Facebook: /BrosFishTacos
Twitter: @BrosFishTacos
Phone: 757-635-8561
Geography – Virginia Beach, special events
Days/hours of operation – greatly varies
Forms of payment accepted – cash and credit card

“We have crafted our menu in a way that stays true to the style of the original fish taco while also providing people with multiple ingredient combinations to allow them to try fish tacos in a variety of different ways. We want to always keep our menu on the healthy side by only using fresh ingredients such as wild caught fish and local organic produce whenever possible.” —Jacob Harver, owner

Menu Sample
• The Truth (Baja-style fish taco with crisp beer-battered flounder, pico de gallo, shredded purple cabbage)
• Neptuna (Chunks of blackened Ahi tuna, pico de gallo, shredded purple cabbage)
• Good Cod All Mighty (grilled cod tossed in fresh ground chipotle-lime seasoning, pico de gallo, shredded purple cabbage) All tacos range from $3 to $4

“Our idea spawned from a combination of interest in starting an exciting new business venture, our love for great healthy food that doesn’t hurt the wallet or the waistline, and our combined experiences with making people happy by providing them something delicious to eat. Food trucks are a fun way to enjoy delicious cuisine and support local, small businesses. They are becoming great new way for skilled people with wonderful food ideas and recipes to show the world their craft.”—Jacob Harver, owner

Hubcap Grill
Established 2012
Facebook: search “Hubcap Grill Norfolk” on Facebook
Geography – across Hampton Roads, special events
Days/hours of operation – greatly varies
Forms of payment accepted – cash and credit cards

“Our offerings are inspired by global street food cuisine.” —Evan Harrell, owner

Menu Sample
• Bahn Mi Sandwich (ginger barbecue-glazed smoked pork loin, pickled carrot and radish, cilantro, cucumber, mayo on Artisan’s Bakery bahn mi loaf), $7
• Grilled Corn Tortilla Tacos (with fillings such as pulled pork with pineapple chutney), $3
• Burgers (beef and vegan, including the Dub Burger with fried onions, chipotle aioli, lettuce, tomato and Monterey Jack cheese on locally-baked Hawaiian buns), $7

“Food should be real, fun and delicious. Eating isn’t just about getting your calories. It starts with engaging personal service and ends when you stop thinking about the amazing flavors you just experienced. We started a truck because we love food. We offer superior culinary variety which is great for consumers. Our goal is to bring business back into areas that are lagging by, as cliché as it is, giving people what they want.” —Evan Harrell, owner

Just Cupcakes
Established 2012
Facebook: search “Just Cupcakes” on Facebook
Twitter: @JustCupcakesVA
Phone: 757-425-1010
Also has two brick-and-mortar locations in Virginia Beach.
Geography – Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Virginia Beach
Days/hours of operation – greatly varies, but Food Truck Friday is a staple; special events
Forms of payment accepted – cash, credit cards

“We offer everything that we do in our shop. All 12 cupcake flavors (which change frequently), coffee, water and soda are offered; sometimes we have marshmallows and cupcake pops on board.” —Carla Hesseltine, owner

Menu Sample
• Chocolate Mousse Cupcake, $3
• Puckerup Buttercup Cupcake, $3
• Tiramisu Cupcake, $3

“A large part of our business is philanthropy and events; our truck enables us to do events and festivals and ensure the integrity of our product, as well as making it easier to go to non-profit partners for ‘bake sales. While we do ‘just cupcakes,’ food trucks can be incubators for emerging chefs to try out new cuisine or offer a new way to reach an audience. I love being in the truck.” —Carla Hesseltine, owner

Malbon's BBQ
Established 2013
Facebook: /MalbonsBBQTheFlyingPig
Twitter: @MalbonFlyingPig
Phone: 757-563-3080
Geography – across HamptonRoads, special events
Days/hours of operation – daily, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., depending on the season
Forms of payment accepted – cash and credit cards

"An extension of Malbon's BBQ & Catering, we wanted an exciting new way to serve Hampton Roads with delicious, mouth-watering barbecue. The Flying Pig is an extraordinary culinary experience, serving up an eclectic barbecue menu. Food trucks bring variety and healthy competition to a community. They bring people together both on the street and through social media. They offer a great alternative to unhealthy ‘fast food.’” —John Malbon, owner

Menu Sample
• The Original BBQ Sandwich (pulled pork barbecue mixed with Malbon’s BBQ sauce and served with or without coleslaw), $5 or $8 for a combo meal
• BBQ & Brisket Tacos (barbecue and brisket, topped with shredded cheese, shredded cabbage, chopped jalapenos, locally-made taco sauce and lime), $6–7 for two tacos
• Ribbon Fries (handmade on the truck; served naked or loaded with melted Monterey Jack cheese and chopped jalapenos), $4; $4.50

“We offer items like barbecue and brisket sandwiches, tacos and nachos, bratwursts, hand-cut ribbon fries and regionally-exclusive specials, giving Hampton Roads a [mobile] national barbecue tour from the Carolinas to Alabama to Texas.” —John Malbon, owner