I support taco trucks, hot dog vendors (especially those dudes who mix in the bacon, onions and peppers), ice cream trucks (and handcarts) and basically almost any mobile food service. I admire their entrepreneurship, and most importantly, their food. They work hard, so I have no problem breaking bread with them. For this installment, I’m giving shine to a gem on wheels that some of you may or may not be familiar: the fruit cart vendor.
I have no clue if there is an official name for these. All I know is that on a hot day there are few things as refreshing as a huge 32 oz. cup filled with freshly cut fruits. From what I remember, there weren’t many of any of these carts around town last summer, but I feel like this year they are all over the place; Broadway, Florin, Franklin, Fruitridge, etc. Spotting them is easy, just look for the colorful umbrella on the side of the road; and I swear once you’re aware of them, you’ll notice their abundance.
My first experience with these delights was out in Oakland on International St., where the portions were far less favorable and served in a plastic bag that was not nearly as easy to eat out of as the durable plastic containers found at my Broadway location (I’m gonna keep it real ridiculous and hold onto mine for future leftovers). Ordering is simple; just pick and choose what fruits you want. Choices usually include: watermelon, pineapple, mango, oranges, cantaloupe and cucumber, and you have the option of adding chili powder and limejuice. The chili powder and limejuice sounds a little odd considering all the natural flavors involved, but consider it an added bonus. Maybe on your first trip, try the chili powder in a small dose at first as I can see it not being for everybody, but my thinking goes if they do it, so should I.
For some it might be just a snack, but I can usually maintain with one cup for lunch. Prices vary, but expect to pay somewhere between $4 and $5, and while it might sound like a lot for fruit it’s a small price to pay for a truly healthy lunch. Alright that sounded mad corny, and instead of trying to further convince you I’ll stop by promising you won’t be disappointed.
By Corey Bloom