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April 11, 2013

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Parking downtown may be an issue for some folks, but six local food trucks will have no trouble finding a spot at Center Park. Center Park is the vacant lot on the 700 block of Market Street and it is being officially repurposed April 12 as gathering place for the community.

The food trucks were formerly housed in Miller Plaza as part of River City Company’s Fresh on Fridays campaign, but the rising popularity and amount of trucks required a larger space. Miller Plaza and Waterhouse Pavilion will remain part of Fresh on Fridays and will serve as the seating for Center Park.

Participating food trucks cover a broad spread of flavors and cuisines. A Taste of Argentina features a rotating weekly menu with exotically titled items such as beef empanadas, choripan sandwiches and berenjena on fresh bread. Southern Burger Co. is your typical burger truck, but ingredients are bought from local and regional farmers. If a your meat cravings persist after having a burger, Famous Nater’s slow-cooked beef and pork should do the trick. One breakfast sandwich includes 12-hour braised pork with bacon, a fried egg and maple glaze, which sounds like a great meal to wake up for. The Missing Link is a sausage cart serving up artisan sausages from locally sourced pork. Popular sandwiches are the Chicago-style, Fully Loaded and Naked. Scheduled to join the rest in June, The Muenster Truck will serve uniquely crafted grilled-cheese sandwiches.

The planning behind Center Park is also part of River City Company’s strategy to create a more vibrant urban community and unite the North Shore with Southside. They believe a vigorous downtown culture is necessary for a healthier city. Center Park is temporary until a long-term project can fill the block, but for now it’s a great reason to try a distinctive new sandwich on your lunch break.

The Food Truck Court at Center Park opens April 12. Trucks are generally on the lot from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on Center Park, visit facebook.com/centerparkchattanooga. For more on the mobile food scene, read Mike McJunkin’s “Sushi & Biscuits” column here.

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April 11, 2013

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