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August 17, 2012

Stalking Nashville’s Best Food Trucks and Discovering Their Must-Have Eats

The Old Timer from Hoss' Loaded Burger is stuffed with cheese. Don't think old-fashioned, think heavenly.

Guest blogger and self-described food truck chaser Gwen McCoy tracks down the best fare on wheels in Nashville. Before you take a bite out of life, try her five must-haves.

If you haven’t jumped aboard the food truck phenomenon yet, it’s time to take your lunch adventures on the road. Nashville has seen an influx of mobile eateries, serving anything from gourmet burgers to Thai food.

I’ve become a bit of a food truck chaser, following them on Twitter and forcing my family to drive all over Nashville in search of one we haven’t tried yet.

Here are my top five and my must-have picks for each. With so many choices, it was hard to narrow it down, but these five are the ones I would stalk over and over again.

No. 5: The Latin Wagon (@TheLatinWagon)

Why do I like it? It’s super fresh! Sometimes you just want a taco without having to use your online dictionary to describe the ingredients. Just call me a Latin Lover!

Must-Have? The Cuban sandwich is one of their most popular and is fresh and tasty. The brisket tacos were no joke. If I could just get a beer truck to follow them around, the meal would be perfection!

No. 4: Smoke Et Al (@SmokeEtAl)

Why do I like it? Having grown up in the South, I would probably eat any type of varmint if smoked right and covered in BBQ sauce. But don’t worry, no mystery meat here. They take your traditional BBQ and put a nice, new spin on it. I love all types of BBQ and the smell of the hickory smoke coming out of the truck is intoxicating. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I will try to wipe the drool from my keyboard. And I repeat, baste it with BBQ and they will come.

Must-Have? The Hammy is a “slap yo momma” treat for your taste buds. (No mommas were harmed in the eating of this sandwich, mind you.) It is a burger made of all pork—country ham, bacon, smoked pork shoulder, ground pork—and then covered with what they call Bama white sauce. No matter your collegiate allegiance, this burger will have you screaming, “Roll Tide!” Another popular item on the menu is the Fiddler’s Biscuit. Well, you had me at biscuit. Because nothing says health nut like a Southern biscuit covered in shredded smoked chicken and Tennessee honey. Yes, please, and thank you.

From Strawberry Lemonade to Sweet Potato, you can make a meal out of The Cupcake Collection's sweets.

No. 3: The Cupcake Collection (@cupcaketweets)

Why do I like it? Sweet mother of Betty Crocker—this ain’t no Easy Bake Oven Cupcake! I hesitated to put this in my top five because it wasn’t a “main course” food truck. But who says you can’t have cupcakes for lunch? Life is short and I declare it should be an eat-dessert-first kind of day. And to quote my 7-year old, “DUHHHH! It’s cake.” That about sums it up right there.

Must-Have?  The Strawberry Lemonade is ridiculous—light, fresh and delicious. It is lemony without being too much. The frosting is so light and creamy. I think I just got lightheaded thinking about it—please pause while I collect myself. Whew. My favorite is the Sweet Potato cupcake because well, I DO love my veggies! And this counts, right? The cake is moist and the cream cheese frosting makes me want to do a happy dance. Sweet heaven in a cupcake.

No. 2: The Grilled Cheeserie (@GrlldCheeserie)

Why do I like it? You may think, “It’s a grilled cheese—how great can it be?” Well, stop right there, my friend, because this is no ordinary grilled cheese. No, it doesn’t come with its own superhero cape, but I would crown it the “King of Cheese” if I had the authority. It is the ultimate in comfort food.

Must-Have? Any melt of the moment features the best seasonal ingredients and is usually a best seller. Try the specialty B&B—made of buttermilk cheddar, Benton’s bacon, apricot and orange marmalade on multigrain bread. The Pizza melt is also amazing and includes pizza toppings (as if the name didn’t give it away) that are always a favorite.

No. 1: Hoss’ Loaded Burgers (@hossburgers)

Why do I like it? I feel like there should have been some sort of a drum roll before the big announcement. Actually, a drum roll should be sounded every time these guys serve up one of their outstanding burgers. Juicy, fresh and filled with cheese—three signs of a happy marriage…I mean, burger. With beef and veggie options, there is a burger for anyone and any taste.

Must-Have? The Old Timer is your basic burger—only STUFFED with cheddar. Biting into the burger and then watching the warm, gooey cheese seep out of the burger—I think that is what Heaven looks like. If they have the Big Kahuna on the menu, go for it. It’s stuffed with Swiss cheese, covered with teriyaki sauce and topped with a grilled pineapple. Yes, yes, and YES!

The bottom line? Venture out and try a food truck. This is my kind of fast food!



About the Author

Gwen McCoy
Gwen McCoy
Gwen McCoy is a full-time wife, mom, business woman, volunteer, friend and astronaut (well, 5 out of 6 ain’t bad!). Between planning parties and chauffeuring her kids to baseball games, she spends her time traveling, reading and stealing decorating ideas from magazines and HGTV. In lieu of good parenting advice, she can give you creative lines to use to keep the kids quiet. Learn more about her life and general tomfoolery on her blog, Southern Sass with a Side of Laughs.




  • Alison

    I, too, joined Twitter for the sole purpose of stalking the food trucks. Just had the Melt of the Moment from Grilled Cheeserie, and it was all I thought it could be…and more. Have you tried Riff’s? It’s a fave of mine becuase the menu is almost always different. If you ever see jerk chicken with rice and mango salsa on the menu, track them down for sure!

  • Cookie

    Gwen, my friend was just “facebooking” about the Sweet Potato cupcake. I am truly a fan of sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries, and sweet potato chips. Sweet potato cupcakes is on my horizon. Love your article!

  • Gwen

    I have tried Riff’s. What I had was just so-so but you’re right, they change it up often so I will have to give it another try!! Thanks! Gwen

  • Gwen

    Thank you!! I’m a sweet potato freak myself!!!

  • Lydia

    Gwen, love your article and now I have to become a food truck chaser! I want to eat everything you described! Yummy!

  • Kim

    Awesome article, go Gwen. Don’t forget that yummy yummy fried pickle okra from Smoke Et Al. It was so delish and even though I’m not a Bama fan, I ate that darn Bama sauce :-) Go Vols!

  • Tiffany

    I just got back from lunch and now, thanks you, I am starving again. Wow. These sound awesome! Great review! And kudos to you for proving that stalking can be good. Who knew?! ;)

  • Marie

    I am definitely checking out the Food Truck Frenzy in Hermitage next Wednesday. You’ve convinced me to try something from a food truck and they usually have a few there each week. Can’t wait!

  • Anonymous

    Loved the reviews! I may have to venture up to Nashville and chase food trucks with you one day!

  • Lynn

    Gwen.. these sounds soooo good. next time I am at Kate,s she has to take me to chase one of these trucks. Love your stories! Lynn