Retro Food Trucks Circa 1988: Looking Back at the Observer's Diner Column

I was excited for my debut review, and had what I thought was a good idea: Find the very first Observer review, pray like hell the place is still open, and use a series of plates to reflect on how much the dining scene has changed (or hasn't) over the years. But even the best ideas can get blown up by reality, and this one didn't work out quite like I'd hoped.

The Observer started in 1980, but food coverage didn't begin till 1988. The first few articles ran in column called Diner, and were more newsy in nature compared to the present critical reviews. They make for an interesting read.

Your parents may have been perplexed when bell bottoms experienced a resurgence in the mid-'90s. I know I'm dreading the day when our trend-setting youth decides it's time to cuff their jeans again. But trends have always been cyclical. Pleats become flat-fronts, wide (ties, jeans) becomes skinny.

And who knew that food trucks were popular more than 20 years ago? Not the taco and burrito trucks that have remained steadfast since perhaps the beginning of time, but real-deal food trucks, toting fried chicken and sandwiches and other catered fare.

Here's the story (click to zoom). And if anyone sees a fried-chicken truck, please let me know.

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