Love the new season of Orange Is the New Black so much you want to eat it? Good, because starting this Friday, you can. Netflix is bringing an Orange is the New Black food truck to the streets of L.A. to promote Season Two of the hit show, which was released in its entirety on June 6.
Thankfully they won't be serving Red's prison cuisine — but the alternative is confusing and almost as unappetizing: “fruit-flavored hand pies” (the “fruit-flavored” should tip you off) and “chocolate and vanilla swirl” soft serve ice cream. Yum?
Apparently the menu items are throwbacks to some of Crazy Eyes's most beloved lines from season one — “I threw my pie for you” and “chocolate and vanilla swirl.” The truck itself goes by the name Crazy Pyes. The connection between food and Crazy Eyes seems sketchy at best, but who cares when free food is on the table? The truck left Mexico City on June 3 and is currently in New York City, but is on its way to L.A.
This Friday at 4 p.m., the Crazy Pyes truck will land at Hollywood and Highland, followed by an appearance at The Culver Hotel at 1 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday at 2 p.m., the truck will stop by the Brig on Abbot Kinney in Venice (each stop will last four hours).]
Netflix has used food trucks to promote its shows for quite a while — they did a frozen banana truck for Arrested Development, followed by a House of Cards truck that served free barbecue lunches to voting members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences during Emmy season. Maybe Netflix felt handouts to Academy members were a bit obvious, so for the recently released season two of Orange Is the New Black, the bites will be free for everyone (not just the people who can vote on whether or not to give the show an Emmy).
Brooklyn Nine-Nine took a cue from Netflix and brought its own truck to L.A. just last week, off which cast members served free coffee and doughnuts, the favorite meal of cops everywhere, to both Academy members and regular folks.
Food trucks, once the mainstay of hungry locals looking for cheap eats, have not only become upscale and trendy – they're now a marketing schtick so ubiquitous that, walking down the streets of L.A., you might have to dodge not only the Brooklyn Nine-Nine truck and the Crazy Pyes truck, but the Frappuccino truck and even a Tostitos truck, on your search for an authentic taco.
In Los Angeles, mother to both the food truck trend and the film industry, food trucks and Hollywood work together — the trucks fuel the bellies that make the films L.A. is famous for. Out of the silver lunch truck and run-down taco stand was born a trend that flew on shortrib-taco-crusted angel wings through the United States. But now the tables have turned – and Hollywood is using food trucks as a promotional tool targeting their own kind.
Companies like L.A.-based Roadstoves will work with clients to create a personalized promotional food truck – they've done the trucks for Strike Back and House of Cards. Roaming Hunger, which helped Brooklyn Nine-Nine launch their food truck, claims to “engage consumers through all five senses.”
Roaming Hunger's latest venture is a Frankenfood truck, which will serve delicacies like Fruity Pebbles chicken tenders and Spam sushi to promote a new reality show of the same name, in which competitors showcase their strangest culinary mashups. You can catch the truck — if you dare — today, June 16, at the Santa Monica Pier, and throughout this week at various other L.A. locations.
Promotional food trucks aren't always this gimmicky. Last month, Jon Favreau brought the fictional El Jefe food truck to Pot and the Grove to promote his new film Chef, and that made sense — it's a movie about a food truck, and they sold a real-life version of the movie's Cubano sandwich. And back in 2011, Tom Colicchio partnered with HBO to create a Game of Thrones–themed menu (think pigeon, rabbit and black fish stew) for their very own foodmobile.
Will Orange Is the New Black's pie and ice cream truck be as delicious as their thrilling new season? Probably not. But it looks like promotional food trucks are here to stay, so we might as well grab some free soft-serve, before the Academy members eat it all.