Friday, May 15, 2009

Using Twitter to Find Food...

I'm visiting SoCal again in about a week and a half (a little graduation gift to myself). Such divine providence it is that I found this news tidbit on Yahoo. Apparently, foodies in LA are using Twitter to keep track of where their favorite roving food trucks are. As the article says, one of the leaders in this movement, Kogi (they sell Mexican/Korean fusion food), uses Twitter to tell people not only where they are but also what secret items are on today's menu. To wit:

Since Kogi's launch in November, hungry herds of have been following the pair of white trucks that rove the city selling tacos, burritos and other gourmet tidbits steeped in traditional Korean flavors.

In short order, the Kogi name has become recognizable to foodies around the country. No small accomplishment for a pair of taco trucks, says Kate Krader, restaurant editor for Food & Wine magazine. "That's 90 percent thanks to Twitter."

And she thinks the success of food truck Tweets likely will inspire a broader use of Twitter across the food world.

"Chefs will be Tweeting from the farmers market about the mushrooms they just picked up and will be part of their mushroom pasta that evening," she says.

For diners, there are benefits to the Tweets beyond just knowing where to find the eats.

Kogi is using the service to maintain the Californian tradition of restaurants having secret menus one must be in-the-know to order from (such as the hamburger joint In-N-Out). On the side of the truck, Kogi's menu lists a few items, including tacos and burritos stuffed with Korean short ribs, spicy pork, chicken and tofu. But keep up with Kogi's Twitter feed and the options multiply.

"We do that because it's fun to have something different and experimental available every day," says [Kogi brand manager Mike] Prasad, adding that the truck wouldn't have as many followers if it didn't provide new options.

I will have to start following them now so I can find out where they are when i wind up in LA at last. Mmmm, kimchi and bulgogi tacos.