Foods that found popularity on the world’s streets are making their way onto club and resort menus.
As gourmet food trucks peddling an array of street foods compete with the best local chefs and restaurants across the country, clubs and resorts are finding smart ways to get in on the action.
At PGA National Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Executive Chef Sean McKee incorporates street food on both the resort’s menus and via the property’s food truck, dubbed iTruck.
“We can do just about all of the food we do in the resort out of iTruck,” says McKee, who has been with PGA National for more than eight months.
That said, iTruck’s most popular menu items speak to its street-food roots.
“Though we do have a stable of items we like to serve off iTruck, like the Short Rib Mac & Cheese and ‘Birdie’ Shrimp, the menu is actually very fluid,” says McKee. Fries, fritters, sliders and tacos are hugely popular.
To imbue a food-truck-meets-upscale-club feeling, PGA National plates its iTruck offerings in upscale, disposable bamboo cones, plates and bowls (above left). This also gives guests the flexibility to take their food to go.
“iTruck reinforces the idea that great food can be created and eaten anywhere, even on the street,” says McKee.
Similarly, the Four Seasons Food Truck served up an array of ethnic street foods during its two East Coast tours (one in 2013 and one in 2014) to both guests and the public. And it had a lasting impact on two of the company’s properties: the Four Seasons Baltimore (Md.) and the Four Seasons Washington D.C.
“Everything we served off the truck was fairly simple and easy to eat and execute,” says Executive Chef Oliver Beckert of the Four Seasons Baltimore. “We served a pit beef taco, Reuben burrito, crab cake burger, crab hush puppies, disco fries, and some fun salads and desserts.”
Many of those dishes have remained on the bar/lounge and pool menus at the Four Season Baltimore.
The Four Seasons Washington D.C. also used the truck’s visit to expose locals and guests to the property’s fun, whimsical street food options. A sampling of that property’s truck-inspired menu offerings includes:
- Kale “Caesar,” Jalapeno Corn Bread Croutons, Queso Fresco, Chipotle Caesar Dressing ($5)
- Lamb Burger, Hummus, Tabbouleh, Raita, Sesame Bun ($9)
- Bulgogi Short Rib Sandwich, Cucumber Kimchee, Gochujang Mayo, Korean Hot Sauce ($9)
“Street food is a big part of our offerings and Sunday brunch,” says Douglas Anderson, Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Washington D.C. “It continues to grow as a trend on our menus and with our events. In fact, I’ve seen more weddings this year with standing receptions featuring a variety of street foods than ever before.”