The 16 hysterical and agonizing stages of eating at a food truck

Food trucks are a great way to get a meal, but eating at them can be an experience. Between long lines, inclement weather and dodgy employees, it’s no small wonder that eating at a truck leaves diners yearning for the quality service and sanitary offerings of a hot dog cart.

We love food trucks — we really do. What can be better than a gourmet restaurant that packs up and comes to you? Still, it’s not always sunny in food truck land. Between the thrill of finding a food truck and the thrill of eating your meal, a lot can happen, and it ain’t all good. Of course, no one will tell you that your food truck meal comes with a side of waiting, raining and whining, but we’ve got the pictures to prove it.

Stage 1: Hunger

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Like so many meals, the rumbling in your tummy gets your butt out of your chair and looking for food. Sure, you could hit the vending machine or call out for sandwiches, but today you’ve decided you’re going out to eat.

Stage 2: Excitement


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You’re on your way to the same old place when you see it. A food truck. Something new. Something different. Something close! No walking! No driving! What could be better?

Stage 3: Pride


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Of course you feel a sense of pride! Food trucks are where the cool kids eat. Celebrity chefs open them, celebrity diners eat at them, and now it’s your turn to be seen at one.

Stage 4: Realization


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And that’s when you see it: the line. That’s the problem with being trendy — everyone else is doing it. Still, you’re committed, and you get your number. That’s right, you’re number 7,431.

Now serving: 4.

And that’s when things really start to go downhill.

Stage 5: Worry


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See, there’s the problem with food trucks. That rhythmic drumming you heard walking up to the truck wasn’t some haute new techno band. Nope, that’s the diesel generator that powers the whole operation. Even better, it’s now spewing hot smog straight into your lungs.

Now serving: 8.

Stage 6: Mother Nature attacks

Mother Nature attacks

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Your ability to breathe isn’t the only thing affected by all that smog. Somehow the food truck’s gasses have created a Clooney-esque perfect storm directly over you, that is dumping ice-cold water on your head and blowing gale-force winds into your face.

On the plus side, numbers 100 to 6,786 get blown away by the storm, meaning you’re going to get your food a lot faster.

Now serving: 6,912.

Stage 7: Daydreaming


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At this point, you’ve been waiting in line over a day, and the dangerous drop in your blood sugar has got you wishing violence on the people in front of you, the food truck chefs and anyone who’s ever looked at you funny.

Now serving: 7,346

Stage 8: Envy


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Near where you stand in line, dreaming of karate-chopping your mother-in-law, who once said eating at a food truck was “a good idea,” sits a teen eating a dry turkey sandwich on two stale slices of bread.

And you decide he’s the luckiest man in the world.

Now serving: 7,431.

Stage 9: Ordering


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All’s right with the world, because they finally call your number. You’re about to eat, right?

No, of course not, because this lady is taking your order, and she’s getting really annoyed that they don’t service “rice” every time you try to order a burger and “fries.”

Stage 10: Empty wallet syndrome

Empty wallet syndrome

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Finally you just order the chicken salad because you’re hungry and you just don’t care anymore. Then they hand you a bill roughly equal to the amount Donald Trump spends on toupees. You really start to question why you were put on this Earth if all you’re going to do is suffer.

Stage 11: More waiting!


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Well, sure, they still have to cook the food, but surely you won’t need to wait more than a minute or two, right?

Wrong. You hear the words that spell your doom: “Number 4. I got an order for number 4.”

Stage 12: What are they building in there?

What are they building in there?

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They have your money. All you can do is wait and wonder what kind of exotic ingredients they’re putting into your chicken salad…

Stage 13: The moment

The moment

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On the third anniversary of starting your food truck adventure, after you’ve chewed every piece of gum in your purse and begged for the crumbs from that kid and his turkey sandwich, you hear it.

“I have a steak wrap for number 7,431.”

Your first thought is that you didn’t order a steak wrap, but that thought is immediately beaten up by your all-consuming need to EAT. FOOD. NOW.

Stage 14: It’s amazing

It’s amazing

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And that’s the worst part. You wanted a burger and fries. You ordered a chicken salad. You got a beef wrap (with rice, no less), and it may just be the best beef wrap you’ve ever eaten. You can’t get enough. There’s sauce dripping on your fingers, steak stuck in your hair, pita smeared on your face, and you don’t care. This food is amazing!

Stage 15: You can’t move

You can’t move

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You eat twice as much as you thought you could because you didn’t realize the beef wrap was bigger than your head, and it was so good you didn’t want to stop eating.

Stage 16: We’re doing it again tomorrow!

We're doing it tomorrow!

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And that’s when it hits you. Smog, pouring rain, angry wacked-out-Nicki-Minaj-looking order taker, weird kid and his nasty turkey sandwich — it was totally worth it! Sure, you’ve been declared legally dead by your loved ones, and the clothes you’re wearing went out of style and came back into fashion while you were in line, but the food was amazing.

And that’s the crazy part. You’re actually thinking about doing it again. Even though tomorrow you’re going to have to find this truck and probably drive across town…

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