The food scene in Carthage, as Caleb Stiles will tell you, is not exactly bustling.
“Carthage lacks in food, like, a lot,” says Caleb Stiles, owner of The Lunchbox Truck in Carthage. “We’ve got fast food, and we had a few independent [restaurants]—we still have a few independents that do a really good job, but we just needed more variety.” With this in mind, Stiles put together a ragtag event called Food Truck Fridays. The first rendition included two food trucks including Stiles’ and two sno-cone trucks. The event drew 3,000 people.
Now, three years later, it can draw twice that. Running April to September on the second Friday of every month, Food Truck Fridays has grown into an event where people want to see and be seen. Twenty to 25 trucks show up month to month, providing patrons with a ton of variety.
On a recent muggy July day at Central Park, we sampled five trucks, serving foods as diverse as pastries, fresh-squeezed lemonade and grilled cheese, among other wilder concoctions. Stiles’ Korean barbecue offerings were especially tasty.
The event was packed, especially for mid-afternoon on what was ostensibly a workday. It was a loud and strong message: This is something that the Carthage community needed, and others have taken note.—Evan Greenberg
WHEN: Food Truck Fridays are the second Friday of every month, April to September. Visit foodtruckfridaycarthage.com for the lineup and more information.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Stiles suggests coming with a group to try as much as possible. From 5 to 9 p.m., there’s a beer garden, too, with Indian Springs Brewing Company serving its brews.