Local food trucks are trading indoor meals for a set of wheels

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Since the pandemic’s start, take out and delivery food orders have been on the rise. Now that some bars and restaurants can’t bring customers inside, many are trading indoor meals for a set of wheels.

Food trucks like Lobster Dogs have been getting their “just desserts” since the beginning of the pandemic, gaining traction with more customers than ever before.

An established North Carolina chain, Lobster Dogs has been in Wilmington for about a month. They serve fresh lobster, crab, and shrimp, as well as stuffed avocados.

Managers Austin Herndon and Amanda Chason said they owe their success to neighborhoods and apartment complexes, upholding food trucks as a safer way to eat out.

“So when we come to neighborhoods,” Chason said, “they can come, they can pick it up, take it home… and then they’re, you know, they’re home. They’re not, they’re not mixed in with people. So they don’t have to fear getting sick.”

Former sous chef, Austin Belt created Banh Sai food truck in January 2020. The truck’s been open for two months, and Belt said it’s still a dream come true.

“So when outdoor dining, to-go food started happening,” Belt said, “I figured why not just kind of put the pedal to the metal, and just go for it.”

Banh Sai serves Asian Fusion cuisine like banh mi sandwiches, ramen, and the cult-classic cobra fries.

Which has togarashi, sriracha, hoisin, banh sai aioli, green onion and red pepper,” according to Belt.

Business has been heating up. Now that breweries and bars are allowed to serve alcohol outdoors, they’ve invited food trucks to serve hungry customers.

“I’m very excited for spring when it’s not freezing,” Belt admitted. “And hopefully we can kind of open up soon, but all the breweries that have outdoor dining and heaters set up has been great for us.”

And though Belt dreams his following and passion for food will one day translate to a brick and mortar restaurant, his co-owner and wife, Lucy said she’s enjoying the journey course by course.

“I really enjoy the food truck more than a restaurant, personally,” said (Lucy) Belt. “I think there’s just more freedom with it, you can go to different places and get a whole different atmosphere. It’s fun to go to the breweries. I think some of them have a really good following and a great family. So, I enjoy it.” ​

With the freedom to create whatever spicy or savory concoctions they want, the Belts said there’s never been a better time to serve up a dream.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, News, Top Stories

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