NORFOLK- The phrase “If you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen” is proving to be a challenge for the 6 food truck vendors participating in Norfolk’s food truck rodeo on Thursday.
The rodeo brings the vendors out every third Thursday of the month between 11am-2pm, but this Thursday is by far the hottest rodeo day of the year and the food truck vendors are thinking creatively to beat the heat.
In most all of the trucks, there’s no AC. Bobby Hernandez, owner of Bobby Q’s, says there wouldn’t be a point because the exhausts required for cooking will just kick out all the hot air. So inside the truck, where temps reach up to 104 degrees, many of these vendors have fans going and make sure all of their windows are open.
The heat is affecting business too. Bobby Q’s has seen a decrease of about 50-60% in sales just this week. So Bobby is handing out free samples of fresh mango juice to lure his customers in.
And offering a lighter menu helps too. Paul Chin, Jr. of Panavoir has what he calls a “Cool Summer Menu,” offering lighter items like turkey wraps and hummus.
While cooking, these chefs say there not much to do to beat the heat other than to drink lots of water and keep the smiles on their customer’s faces.