Curbside Cuisine serves up strength through numbers 

Long Story Short

Foodbeast.com estimated last fall that the United States boasts around 3 million mobile food units, which suggests we've embraced culinary street culture as fully as most any other nation. We're clearly happy to chomp down roadside and al fresco as much as we are inside traditional brick-and-mortar spaces, be it for reasons romanticized or just convenient.

Takin' it to the streets, so to speak, has always felt harmonious with counterculture. But it's also just smart, providing would-be restaurateurs the opportunity to incubate a business with far less overhead, which often yields cheaper prices for customers. And aside from the practical points, aesthetically, food-truck culture is simply hip and fun to engage with — a whole 'nuther playground for the knife- and spatula-wielding set.

Think: hijacking the ice cream truck, silencing the annoying music, and replacing it with options for all meals, most of them quite gourmet.

The recently launched Curbside Cuisine, the subject of this week's cover story (here), takes the food-truck concept to yet another level. Rather than having to jaunt around town to odd parking lots for one-at-a-time offerings, food-truck fanciers can now head to one downtown hub for up to nine different options — the "something for everyone" cliché realized.

Organizers of the lively community collaboration say this is just the beginning, with more choices soon. That's a movement we should all rally behind. Eaters, mobilize!

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