Renee Allen wasn’t surprised several weeks ago when Leslie Zemsky told her and other food truck operators they would need to serve at least one healthy option this summer season if they wanted to hawk their grub during Food Truck Tuesdays in Larkin Square.
In fact, the owner of the R&R BBQ welcomed the challenge.
“It’s something that people have been asking for, so it’s kind of a nice option,” said Allen, whose food truck first hit the road 3½ years ago and who last year opened a restaurant of the same name at 5952 Seneca St. in Elma.
When Food Truck Tuesdays launches its second season from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, a dozen miles west from R&R at Seneca and Van Rensselaer streets in Buffalo, Allen will roll out a BBQ chicken wrap among her offerings.
She hopes to offer a different healthy food choice every week or two on Tuesdays.
As is the case with other food truck operators working the Larkin Square crowds, Allen submitted her recipe to the Independent Health Foundation, where it was looked over and deemed a healthy option.
Her first recipe flew with foundation dietitians. For recipes that don’t quite measure up, the foundation offers suggestions – mostly in the form of substitutions for some ingredients – before giving its Healthy Options seal of approval.
The healthful options will be clearly marked on the food truck menus, said Zemsky, lead organizer for Food Truck Tuesdays. She was pleased to be able to offer more eclectic fare to crowds she expects to see grow in size and diversity this year.
Up to 20 food trucks from the Buffalo and Rochester areas showed up on Tuesdays last year, and Zemsky estimates up to 30 will do so through Oct. 28 this year, including R&R, Chowder Up and Effortlessly Healthy. Arden Farms, an organic farm just outside East Aurora, also will sell produce Tuesday evenings.
“This has become a gathering point for family dinners,” Zemsky said, “a modern twist on family dinner hour.”
– Scott Scanlon