The day was grey. The car park alongside and empty strip of Lygon Street was desolate. On the side of the road, a man sat with his arm around his teenaged son beside a parked truck, and that truck was the one bright place for miles around. The truck was the Beatbox Kitchen, one of Melbourne's many food trucks, and it assaulted the senses with happiness on that lonely strip. Splashes of red and yellow, painted onto the side of the truck, lit up the sidewalk, while a cheerful row of orange lights warmed an awning over the truck's side window. An 80s beat-box renovated into an iPod dock sent Otis Redding's rhythm and blues out into the street, and the burgers sizzling on the grill made tummies grumble from blocks away.
I was buying for three, so I ordered a couple of Raph Burgers for Mr B and Em, and a Shroom Burger for me, as well as some crispy shoe-string fries to share. We took them home and had a picnic on our lounge-room floor, with Madeleine rolling around on the rug and trying to put her feet in the spicy tomato dipping-sauce.
Both kinds of burgers were delicious, and my marinated and grilled portobello mushroom replacement for a meat patty was as juicy as they come. All we needed was some Otis Redding on my iPod to make it perfect.
ps. Curious about more of Melbourne's food trucks? I'm slowly eating my way through them, one by one. Here's what I've tried so far.