a couple's adventures in eating
What: The Daily City’s Food Truck Bazaar (I-Drive) at World Bowling Center
The Deal: After hearing much ado about these food truck bazaars, Tall and I found ourselves at our first official The Daily City hosted food truck bazaar. A smaller-scale bazaar with almost ten trucks on hand. We would love to have made it to the Fashion Square Bazaar on Sunday, but alas we were in Tampa seeing the Buccaneers take on the Panthers. The Bucs won…boo. Sorry to all of you Bucs fans out there, neither Tall nor Short like your team.
There were a good variety of foods on hand. Ranging from different cultural and ethnic flavors, to cuisines ranging from quick bites to gourmet almost haute dishes. Cafe Cocoa Mo (@cafecocoamo), Darland Bakery (@darlandbakery), SwedeDish (@SwedeDishTruck), Big Wheel Provisions (@BigWheelTruck), 5Gastronomy (@5Gastronomy), The Korean BBQ Taco Box (@koreanbbq_2011), Twisted Cuban (@TwistedCubanMFT), Cafe Rouge (@CAFEROUGEEXPRES), The Yum Yum Cupcake Truck (@yumyumtruck_fl), Saigon Sizzle (@saigonsizzle), and Ice Cream Social Club (@SCOOPSANDSMORE) were all on hand for the evening’s festivities. I am almost positive that I didn’t omit anyone. If I did leave anyone out, it is nothing personal and I am truly sorry.
As with any food truck event, the major players in the event are both the food and the people. The food truck is the quintessence of the entrepreneurial spirit that keeps this country alive in times of economic crises like these. Individuals who work hard to create a great product that keeps people fed, and interacting. It’s a rudimentary social club. Outside in the heat or the cold strangers stop to ask, “What are you eating?” or “May I take a picture of your food?” This reminder of the fact that there are truly nice people in this world both inside and outside of the food trucks might be the biggest appeal to an event such as this.
I will now repel from my soap box and put down my note cards to talk about what makes a food truck a food truck…the food!
As we waited for our food to be prepared from The Korean BBQ Taco Box, we ran into our local actor friend Kevin (Hand pictured above holding grit cakes). Who had sampled the four cheese grit cakes from Big Wheel Provisions. They sampled one of these golden triangular cakes and weren’t too excited about them. We gave them a go, and I have to say that outwardly we weren’t too impressed. The texture was perfect, the presentation fantastic, but they just lacked cheesy southern grit flavor. Perhaps a little more kosher salt at the finish would’ve amped their flavor a little more.
I held off from the purchase of Big Wheel‘s Vanderbilt Brussels ($7.50 for brussels sprouts seemed a little dear). Later, we decide finally that we will take on the Vanderbilt Brussels because if you can’t be a Vanderbilt…eat like one. The honey, soy, sriracha sauce that coated the brussels was truly fantastic. It had a great balance of heat and sweet and was packed with flavor. The weakest link that made me want to say “goodbye” to these small cruciferi was texture. The traditional Vanderbilt brussels are broiled or roasted. For convenience and a made-to-order feel, Big Wheel fries theirs. I am never opposed to fried foods, but when the naked brussels are fried the outer leaves take on the texture of what I imagine a palmetto bug’s exoskeleton feels like. Icky. Additionally, the oil gets trapped between the leaves which in turn gets trapped somewhere between your mouth and your stomach and stayed there for the rest of the evening for both myself and Tall. Swing and a miss.
Twisted Cuban was one of our favorites. Alex, the owner, is a kind and proud man who knows he has good products and loves to share info about them. His infectious personality kept us entertained the whole time we hung out by his truck. Right around the time we started talking to him, we tasted his balls. His G.B.D Balls to be exact. Golden, Brown, and Delicious they are. Filled with flavor and a texture that is reminiscent of falafel, these spheres de sabor pack a mean punch of chicken green peas, and arboreal rice that keep the inside creamy and the outer panko-crusted layer crunchy. They are served with a light and creamy sauce containing a hint of roasted red pepper. Its subtlety matches well with the intense flavor of the GBD balls, but to be honest I personally would prefer a sauce with a bit more bite or kick. At a price around $5, these are truly a great value.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you the main event of the evening. THE KOREAN BBQ TACO BOX!
In my book, the food served here is unmatched in portion size, value, and flavor. We ordered the Beef Galbi Taco Box. At $7.99 this includes one huge soft taco stuffed with tender beef and lettuce covered with a delicious sauce, two pieces of a fried cheese roll (didn’t really understand the cheese part, but still yummy), one spicy chicken wing, a ginger dressed salad, and a rotating Korean side that changes at each event. We got the fried potato as our rotating Korean side. This food was outstanding. The salad was refreshing and the spicy, crunchy, sauce covered wing was absolutely phenomenal. I could have eaten three hundred of them, Adam Richman style. The aforementioned cheese rolls really didn’t give me any cheese, but they still tasted great. The fried potato was golden brown and flavorful. One of the highlights of this place was the fact that each item on the dish had its own sauce that complimented the flavor greatly. All of the food here is easy to go down and portioned out perfectly. If we see this truck again, I will make it a point to try something different. This truck really sells some amazing food.
The verdict: A very successful event with a ton of great flavor. The truck that I look up to the most? The Korean BBQ Taco Box (@koreanbbq_2011) Also look forward to trying some of the other trucks in future events!