Somewhere South with Chef Vivian Howard

Somewhere South Food Truck Dining Guide

As we all try to navigate our safe return to dining out, food trucks are an option to consider. Often parked in an area that allows for socially-distanced dining, food trucks are ideal for those seeking relief from cooking at home. Here are a few food trucks that you can find parked at various locations around the country:

Gulley’s Food Truck, Parrish, Fla.

You may remember Rick Gullett as ‘the mullet guy’ from the “How Do You ‘Cue?” episode. He and his wife, Dea, are avid fishers and proud Florida Crackers. They’re also entrepreneurs who serve up their fresh catches via their food truck, which you can often find parked on Hwy 301 in Parrish, Fla. in the northwest part of the state. Rick carries on the tradition of smoking mullet his father began in the 1950s. “ Our business has done well since COVID-19,” he says. “We serve smoked mullet and smoked mullet spread. We also serve fresh Florida grouper tacos, shrimp tacos, and crab cakes that my wife makes fresh everyday.” He is especially proud of the “Gullett dog, which he describes as “a hot dog split and pan fried with onions, mustard, and our sauce drippled on top of it all.” If you’re not sure what “dripple,” means, stop by Gulley’s Food Truck between 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Thurs.-Sun. to find out.

Food Truck Flix, RTP, N.C.

Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina”s Piedmont region is home to hundreds of government agencies, and science and tech firms. More recently, it has become home to hundreds who venture out for a combo of family-friendly flicks and grub served from some of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill’s most popular food trucks. Deemed “The Triangle's First Food Truck Cinema Experience,” Food Truck Flix features a rotating cast of food trucks and PG-rated films with proceeds benefiting local non-profits. Admission is $20 per car and viewers tune their FM radio dial to a predetermined station for audio while enjoying the movie on a big outdoor screen. The popular series regularly sells out as families have found it a COVID-safe way to enjoy a night out.

Chirba Chirba Dumpling Truck, Durham, N.C.

“Chirba chirba,” which means “Eat! Eat!” in Mandarian, inspires pleasant memories of SOMEWHERE SOUTH’s “Dumpling Dilemma” episode. The debate about what is or is not a dumpling left many of us hungry, and this Durham, NC-based food truck is our relief. If the bright yellow truck emblazoned with animated smiling dumplings doesn’t make you happy, the food certainly will.

Domo Alley-Gato Tatsu-Ya Food Truck and Patio Bar, Austin Tex.

Although Domo Alley-Gato Tatsu is temporarily closed, we thought it was important to put the latest concept from the Austin-based Tatsu-Ya Brothers on your radar for future reference. Tatsu-Ya team member Carrie Chau Hellinger describes Domo Alley-Gato as “a patio bar and food truck outdoor space attached to the Ramen Tatsu-Ya location at 1600 E. 6th St. In line with Tatsu-Ya’s mission of educating and introducing guests to authentic Japanese “soul food,” Domo Alley-Gato’s kitchen, known as Karē Ban Ban, focuses on a unique, painstakingly created 23-spice Japanese curry. Classic dishes like katsu curry will be featured as well as unique curry-inspired dishes like curry pan hot dogs, curry wings, and more. Domo Alley-Gato’s bar program features a variety of Japanese--inspired cocktails, highballs, Chu-Hi cocktails via house tonics, frozen beer foam boilermakers, and one cup sakes. An article in Austin’s Culture Map blog further explains, “The concept was inspired by the two staples of Japanese nightlife: tachninomiya and yokocho. Commonly found near commuter train stations, tachinomiya are standing bars beloved for their sociable atmosphere and affordable prices.” Yakocho refers to post-World War II “pub-filled alleyways.” At Domo Alley-Gato, potent, Japanese-inspired drinks are the highlight, but the food is no afterthought. Brothers Tatsu and Shion Aikawa appeared in the “How Do You ‘Cue?” episode when they invited Vivian to a picnic featuring brisket and bento boxes. According to Hellinger, “The team is currently working on how they can begin to reopen concepts in the safest way possible while monitoring COVID-19 developments.”