The food truck scene in greater Bangor has exploded in recent years, hitting a peak this year with nine trucks slated for serving up food around the area.
Four trucks have received permits to serve on the Bangor Waterfront. Two have reached agreements to serve in the Bangor Mall area. There will be one on Odlin Road as well. And on Sundays, at the Bangor Farmers’ Market, there’s a truck serving up crepes. A ninth truck is set for the Brewer Waterfront.
Bangor’s community and economic development director Tanya Emery says it took a few years for the eating public here to get used to the idea of food trucks in the first place.
“Nationally, food trucks have become way more popular in the past five years, and as with many trends, we get them a few years later,” said Emery. “I think it just took people a few seasons to get used to the idea. And now people love it.”
The City has actively worked over the past few years to make the Bangor Waterfront a food truck destination. Tracy Willette of Bangor’s Parks and Recreation Department, which oversees food truck permitting for the Waterfront, said there were up to five slots available there for trucks this year, with four trucks currently signed up for this season.
“It definitely was strategic on the city’s part to open up the Waterfront even more to more permits for trucks, but we never would have expected to have had as much interest beyond that as we have had,” said Emery. “It’s really caught on, between our established trucks and now all these new ones. A Brazilian food truck? How cool is that?”
So what are some of the good eats available at all those food trucks?
Pompeii Pizza was the first food truck to set up on the Bangor Waterfront, during the summer of 2013. Every summer since then, Pompeii has offered personal-sized wood-fired pizza, cooked in a custom-built brick oven for the lunchtime crowd, as well as to concert-goers and event-goers on the waterfront. Pompeii is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays-Saturdays, as well as during some concerts and events.
Also on the Waterfront since 2013, Hampden-based ice cream makers Wild Cow Creamery offers their custom, creative ice creams in cones, ice cream sandwiches and floats out of a cute trailer. Wild Cow has since expanded to include a brick and mortar stand on the Belfast Waterfront, and sells flavors like Lemon Heaven, Raspberry Lime Rickey and Chocolate Toffee Crunch by the pint at stores including Tiller & Rye in Brewer, but the original trailer is returning to the Bangor Waterfront this summer. Hours are noon to 8 p.m., Wednesdays-Sundays.
Returning to the Bangor Waterfront for its second season, Casa Mexicana offers affordable tacos served on handmade corn tortillas. Taco filling choices change regularly, but chorizo, barbacoa beef, chicken mole and picadillo stewed beef are regularly on the menu. Casa Mexicana is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays.
New to the Bangor Waterfront this year is Melt, run by Mount Desert Island-based friends and business partners Alexis Walls and Amanda Smith. Melt will serve grilled cheeses, patty melts, philly cheesesteak fries, mini chimichangas and pickle poppers — pickles and cheese, folded into a tortilla and fried. Melt will be open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesdays-Saturdays, as well as during Waterfront Concerts.
Beyond the Bangor Waterfront, the parking lot at 663 Stillwater Ave., near the Bangor Mall, will soon be home to the Lobstah Buoy. The food truck will serve up traditional, old-fashioned Maine food including quarter pound and half-pound lobster rolls, lobster stew, red hot dog baskets, pulled pork sandwiches, whoopie pies and strawberry shortcake. The Lobstah Buoy begins service on Monday, June 5, with permanent hours to be announced closer to opening date; check facebook.com/TheLobstahBuoy for updates.
Wanderlunch, the food truck that started serving up goodies like tempura avocado, lobster rolls, fried asparagus, breakfast sandwiches, bananas foster dippers and much more this past spring, has after a few moves finally found a permanent location for the summer. Wanderlunch will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, in the parking lot on the JC Penney side of the Bangor Mall, as well as on select Saturdays at Blank Canvas Brewery in Brewer. For an updated schedule, like Wanderlunch on Facebook.
In the parking lot at Hollywood Cinemas on Odlin Road, another new food truck offers up a cuisine new to Bangor: Brazilian. Grillin’ Brazilian, owned by husband-and-wife Natalia and Brook Dyer, will offer goodies from Natalia Dyer’s native country of Brazil, including grilled churrasco beef, chicken and linguica sausage sandwiches, Brazilian breakfast sandwiches, Acai and guarana granola bowls, grilled farm cheese with molasses and cornbread baked with guava and fresh cheese. The truck is also available for catering. Grillin’ Brazilian will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays-Fridays, and is set to open sometime in mid-June; check facebook.com/grillinbrazilian for updates.
After several years cooking crepes out of the back of a van, Billi Barker, owner of longtime local farmer’s market member Enchanted Kitchen at Fire Fly Farm, has finally opened the YumBus, her long-in-the-works food truck. Barker will serve made-to-order crepes both savory and sweet, filled with fresh, local ingredients, out of her bright green, retrofitted school bus, three days a week, including 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at the Orono Farmers Market, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays at the Bangor Farmers Market. The truck also parks from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays at the Belfast Farmers Market. Her full array of baked goods will also be for sale.
Though an official opening date has not yet been announced, Abby Freethy will bring her new Northwoods Gourmet Girl food truck to Brewer later this June. Expect her monstrous, mega-tasty crab cake sandwiches with remoulade, pastrami and asparagus egg rolls, chicken pot pie and other treats. Northwoods Gourmet Girl has confirmed locations set for Tiller & Rye in Brewer and in the parking lot by Save-a-Lot on the Brewer Waterfront; exact days and times will be posted on the Northwoods Gourmet Girl Facebook page.