Jay Pisculli spent his younger years on Long Island catering at some of the most exclusive places in The Hamptons. Now, as part owner of Craft Bar and Kitchen and Social on State, he's helping to transform Binghamton's food scene with his latest brainchild, Trucks on the Tracks - a food truck festival. 

If you're not yet familiar with the food that downtown Binghamton has to offer, all I have to say is...get to eating! Our downtown area is more than just the strip of bars you've come to know (and love) (and hate) at 1 in the morning. Not only is downtown Binghamton bustling with local businesses that are serving up some of the best meals you'll find around (shoutout to you, Social on State Mac and Cheese), but it's also chock-full of locals who really are yearning for new things to do. 

Rachel Straining

That's where Trucks on the Tracks comes in. About 2,000 people showed up to the first day of Trucks on the Tracks, which proved that if you provide a venue, if you provide people with something to do, and most importantly, if you provide them with good food, show up they will. To Jay, that's the coolest part of it all - walking around and knowing that the smile on people's faces and the food babies in their stomachs are all because of something that was hashed up a few short months ago.  

According to Jay, this isn't a business venture at all. Rather, it's a way to bring something entirely new to both the people and businesses of Binghamton. In an effort to make downtown a truly liveable "downtown", Pisculli looked to bigger cities that are putting on food truck festivals as inspiration for his own event. 

Held at Lackawanna Train Station, Trucks on the Tracks has over a dozen vendors and is only continuing to grow. From Pig Vycious BBQ to Scoopy Doo’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, Binghamton's newest ice cream shop (don't worry, we'll be giving you the scoop on them soon), this festival highlights some of Binghamton's most well-known food-institutions, as well as some of the younger businesses popping up in town. 

Rachel Straining

In the past few years, so many new restaurants have emerged in downtown Binghamton. In the beginning, a lot of places tried to be all things to all people. However, now, as Pisculli says, restaurants are starting to stick to their guns. People are starting to say "this is who we are, this is what we serve, and this is what we do" and it's paying off. 

Take Happy Pappi, for example, a guy solely selling Venezuelan arepas from his street cart in downtown Binghamton. He found his niche, stuck to it, and now he's crushing it as one of the busiest vendors at the festival. It also doesn't hurt that his arepas are out-of-this-world delicious. I mean, look at that.

Rachel Straining

Ultimately, by "keeping one foot in Binghamton and one foot moving forward", Pisculli hopes to transform downtown into an enjoyable place for residents, businesses, college students, and all-food lovers alike. I’d say Trucks on the Tracks is an excellent start. 

Trucks on The Tracks has a few summer dates left, including Sept. 13, Sept. 27, and Oct. 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 45 Lewis St. You definitely need to add Trucks on the Tracks to your Binghamton Bucket List, and then check it off ASAP.