Food trucks are as ubiquitous in New York City as Yankees caps, subway signs and text message-obsessed tourists. Finding one is never a problem; finding one worth eating at, however, is a whole other rub. As someone who lived in that great city for twelve years, I've eaten at—and gotten sick because of—a fair share of food trucks. It's too bad I didn't find out about Tweat.it until now, staring out my window at another coastline (although LA food truck culture is pretty impressive as well).
Tweat.it is not going to help you find a greasy gyro or MSG-rich chicken fried rice; the purveyors do a bit of hand picking before mapping out the truck. First, the vendor must be tech-savvy. Only trucks with a Twitter account are accepted. Second, you have to offer something unique, though not necessarily healthy. I've had my share of Wafels & Dinges to know that Spekuloos Spread is not everyday fare.
The real value of this iPhone app is finding out where the truck you want is at the moment you want it, which is equally dependent on that vendor tweeting their location. Tweat.it waits for updates from their trucks to drop a pin on the map of the five, well, make that one borough (with a lonely outlier in Queens). So if the Mud Truck decides to leave Astor Place and head to the monthly "Food Truck" Sunday gathering in Grand Army Plaza, the MUDtrucker's got to tweet it for you to find out.
Because of Tweat.it, I know at this moment that my beloved Rickshaw truck is at Columbus Circle, where I'd be able to swing by and pick up the delicious edamame dumplings and a watermelon juice. My carnivorous friends would not have far to walk to taste Luke's Lobsters or a Kimchi Taco, and if we were all feeling indulgent, we could head downtown for a Cupcake Stop. You have never had to look hard to find a hot dog with extra kraut on a Manhattan street. Tweat.it may just help you leave your three-block comfort zone and find out what else is driving around the city today.
Stay in touch with Derek on Twitter: @derekberes
Image: Jianetto's Pizza