While gourmet food trucks have captured the hearts of some other boroughs, they are still a rare commodity in the Bronx.
Aside from the ubiquitous hot dog, ice cream or taco stands found on many busy commercial streets, additional food options are few and far between.
That will change, at least for two days, at Jacobi Medical Center when it holds its first ever food truck festival for its employees and surrounding community later this month.
The event will be held on Friday, April 21 and Monday, April 24 from 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Jacobi Human Resources events coordinator Nery Munoz said the event is aimed at providing employees with an opportunity to try new things at lunchtime after getting employee feedback.
There are two vendors inside the hospital, as well as a few trucks that park on Pelham Parkway on a regular basis.
Beyond those options or ordering takeout, Munoz said employees wanted more choices.
“We do multiple surveys here at the hospital, and we ask patients or staff what we can do to make things better,” Munoz said. “On two separate occasions, it was mentioned that the food options could be a little more diverse.”
The food truck festival, one of the first in the Bronx, will feature around a dozen area food trucks hawking everything from empanadas to mac and cheese to bratwurst.
Many are members of the New York Food Truck Association, which lobbies for the burgeoning industry.
Already scheduled to appear are The Empanada Sonata; Deli N’ Dogs kosher truck; Yankee Doodle Dandy All-American Truck; the Stuf’d Truck (sandwiches); Mac Truck NYC; La Bella Torta (Italian pastries); Hudson Foods (fried foods); Chef Samir Truck (Mediterranean vegan); Carl’s Steak Foods Truck; German Bratwurst Group; Los Viajeros (Mexican); Jolly Fat Pig (Latin fusion) and local favorite Rudy the BBQ Man.
Unfortunately there is no parking on site for those hoping to dine from outside the hospital, but Munoz said some parking can be found on nearby streets such as Eastchester Road and Seminole Avenue.
The 49th Precinct Community Affairs team will also be assisting with the event.
Jacobi spokesman John Doyle said the event is really focused on doing something for the hospital’s employees.
“The hospital is trying new and different ways of employee engagement to show them they are indeed valued,” Doyle said.
Doyle said the two or three food trucks that park outside the hospital on a regular basis are popular, especially Los Viajeros.
“They are top notch,” Doyle said. “They attract people from off campus as well.”
Those unable to attend the two-day festival will have another chance later this year.
A second festival is being planned for September, with three trucks already booked.