CookTruck: Serving food in style (with photos)

By Erika Mahoney

September 27, 2013 Updated Sep 28, 2013 at 12:02 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Wall Street in downtown Binghamton doesn't have any permanent restaurants.  But on Friday night, those enjoying a concert at Peacemaker Stage didn't have to go far for food.

The CookTruck rolled in and parked to serve up fried eggplant sandwiches, pork sandwiches, braised beets and fried cauliflower.

The selection was a hit, making a busy night for CookTruck owner and founder Tony Shaw.

"I love to cook," Shaw said Friday night in his all silver, mobile kitchen. "I worked in restaurants a long time and when I moved to the area, it seemed like nobody was doing a food truck in Binghamton, so I decided to give it a shot."
    
He bought his truck two years ago in Austin, Texas and drove it across the country to Binghamton.

He calls it "CookTruck;" a general name so that he is not tied down to one specific food group.

The name comes in handy because he changes his menu every week.

"I try to work with things that are in season, and try to work with the local farmers markets."

Shaw is working with Binghamton's Office of Economic Development to help make food trucks a more permanent staple in downtown Binghamton.

The city is currently collecting feedback on a possible one-year pilot program to bring more food trucks downtown via their website.

According to Omar Sanders, a financial specialist for the Office of Economic Development, food trucks are currently allowed downtown, but the rule is they can only serve in the same place for 10 minutes.

He hopes to change that rule so that food trucks can offer on-going business.

People enjoying the concert Friday night were all for the idea.

"It's fantastic," Tim Johns said. "I got a small pork sandwich with an amazing beet salad and I think it had pumpkin seeds in it. I work not too far from here. And if there was something like this downtown, I might get downtown for lunch more often."

As then night rolled on, the line grew longer and longer.

If City Council approves the pilot program, food trucks could begin hitting the streets in January.