Bus Food, Redefined

What's bright red, has wheels, and serves up the best breakfast burritos in Cordova, Alaska? An old, refurbished school bus-turn-restaurant, that's what.

Last August, I devoured an egg-and-Copper-River-salmon-burrito I'd ordered through the window at the Baja Taco Restaurant. Established in 1988, the seasonal eatery (it's only open during the April to September fishing season) is suddenly part of a larger trend not only of food trucks, which seem to be multiplying by the day, but of food buses and food carts as well. (Read my article on Portland's thriving food cart scene here.)

Salon.com recently published a piece on World Fare, a self-proclaimed "BUStaurant" in Los Angeles that opened in March. Now that the concept has an official name, I'm guessing it will quickly gain in both cultural legitimacy and cachet. And while I may quibble with Salon's claim that World Fare is America's first official bustaurant, since Baja Taco has been operating for well over 2 decades, it may very well be the first one to carry that cool moniker. (It also may be the first stateside restaurant in a double-decker bus, and with marble counter tops.)

Ultimately, though, it doesn't really matter which came first, at least to me. What's important is that food buses have apparently arrived. (Salon indicates that several more California-based bustaurants are in the works). Whether they propagate quickly, and beyond the west coast, should be known soon enough. If they do, I only hope the quality of the food matches the originality of the concept.


Have you spotted a bustaurant (bus turned restaurant) in your neighborhood? Chime in below!

Like this? Read these:
- How to Make Fast-Food Dishes at Home
- Can Jamie Olive Revolutionize Our Eating
- Los Angeles Gleans
- See all of Cheryl’s posts here

Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule. Read all of Cheryl's iVillage posts here.

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