The sun is shining, the days are getting warmer, and that means that food truck season has arrived in Maine. In the Bangor area, there are several old favorites returning to the scene, a few that won’t be coming back, and a new addition arriving later on in the summer.
On the Bangor Waterfront, two reliable favorites will return, including Pompeii Pizza, which will open on May 1, and Wild Cow Creamery, which will start serving up cones, sundaes and ice cream sandwiches in mid-May.
Pompeii Pizza returns after a difficult 2020, which saw its downtown Bangor restaurant close in December, a little over a year after it first opened. Owner Will Carney said in a Facebook post that the pandemic was too great of an obstacle to continuing on with his brick-and-mortar location, but that the food truck would reopen for 2021.
Tracy Willette, director of Bangor Parks and Recreation, the city department that oversees the food truck area in Bangor’s Waterfront Park, said that last year, the trucks were moved to face the river, rather than the street, to allow for better social distancing. He said the city plans to continue that setup permanently.
“Having that dining area set up in a courtyard-style area in the parking lot was really popular and seemed to work really well,” Willette said. “It’s one of those odd things that came out of the pandemic that ended up actually being a really good change.”
From left: Erin Doughty, co-owner of The Lobstah Buoy food truck in Bangor, passes an order to a customer on Friday. The Lobstah Buoy food truck in Bangor has reopened for the season at its regular location in the parking lot of the Bangor Funplex and Westside Cinemas on Odlin Road. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik | BDN
Willette said that there are still several spaces available for other food trucks on the Waterfront, and that his department has some new applications pending, and is still open to other applications.
Elsewhere, the Lobstah Buoy has already reopened for the season at its regular location at 268 Odlin Road, in the parking lot of the Bangor Funplex and Westside Cinemas. Lobster and crab rolls, fried seafood, chowders and homemade shoestring fries will be on the menu throughout the season.
In Brewer, Wanderlust Coffee Company never closed throughout the winter at its location at 318 Wilson St., in the parking lot of the Brewer Auditorium. It has served espresso and coffee beverages, cupcakes and scones, mac and cheese, readymade salads and sandwiches and other goodies all season, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.
The YumBus, the farmers market food truck that offers up made-to-order sweet and savory crepes, will be at the Orono and Bangor farmers markets on Saturdays and Sundays, respectively, each weekend throughout the summer and fall.
In Old Town, Joe’s Chuck Wagon recently opened for the season, at a new location at 423 Stillwater Ave., in the parking lot of Old Town Auto Parts. Expect a menu of comfort food including gourmet hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches and burgers, homemade chili and clam chowder, sausage sandwiches, steak and cheese and much more.
Later on this summer, a new food truck, Sweet Willamina, will join the scene. Owner and pastry chef Jillian Clark Sarnacki-Wood is in the midst of renovating her truck, and is hoping for a mid-summer opening, with a Bangor-area location yet to be determined.
“It’s going to be a build-your-own trifle truck, so we’ll offer different flavors of cake with toppings and fillings like creme anglaise, caramel sauces, fresh fruit and berries, whipped cream,” she said. “All the good stuff.”
A few food trucks that formerly operated at the Bangor Waterfront will not return for 2021. MELT, the truck that offered decadently cheesy melt sandwiches, paninis and appetizers, has retired its food truck altogether, and will open a permanent, brick-and-mortar location with a similar menu and some new additions at 27B Main St. in Bar Harbor. An official opening date for the new restaurant has not been announced.
And, sadly, both Casa Mexicana, the taco truck, and JJ’s Jerk Shack, the Jamaican truck, will not return to the Bangor Waterfront this year.