Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mobile Food Rodeo, with no clowns or horses

As I have been exploring the mobile food business, I was excited about the Mobile Food Rodeo.  I had been sampling trucks and carts here and there, but this would gather many of them I had been stalking in one place.  Plus it included trucks from Portland, perhaps the food truck capital.  It was also something fun to do with Travis, Michael, and Scott, visiting from out of town.  You have probably already figured out that I like to eat, and this passion was shared by one or more of my visiting friends.  I have a particular fascination with street food, and I wanted to share some of this with my friends.

From the start, it seemed a bit disorganized.  We arrived several hours after the start with advance tickets in hand, but had to wait in line far too long for entrance.  This was the first year of the event, so I guess they just need to work some things out.  We eagerly surveyed the trucks through the fence as we stood in line.

Once inside, we quickly developed the divide and conquer method because of the long lines at many of the trucks.  While a couple of us would stand in longer lines, the others would peel off and bring back food from places with shorter lines to share while we waited.  This kept us happy and entertained.  We got a great and diverse sampling of goods, starting with some delicious lumpia choices from Lumpia World and Truffle Fries from Buns.  The Lemongrass Chicken was my favorite lumpia flavor.  The seasoned rice was a little two old.

Next came my favorite food of the day, Curried Salmon Tacos from Curry Now.  The chicken tacos were great as well, but the salmon were exceptional.  We samples sliders from both Bistro Box and Buns.  Personally, I think that Buns had a slight edge, but others voted the other way.  We were starting to slow down after that.  A stoner friend randomly threw some chocolate ice cream from Sweet Treats into the mix.  He was hoping for something else sweet, but they had sold out of everything else they offered.  Several places sold out of items only halfway through the event.  Many vendors seemed unprepared for such a large crowd.

I wandered over to the Big Food truck.  The paint job is amazing and the Sasquatch theme fun, so I wanted to support them even though I was told up front that it would be a 25 minute wait for food.  My stomach needed a rest anyway.  Travis waited longer than that for a sandwich at Snout and Company.  While I waited, I listened to the band Disco Cowboys.  The organizers seemed to love them, but I am not sure the crowd shared their enthusiasm.  The concept was great: disco, soul, and classic rock done by a country band.  The band was tight.  If they had new singers (both lead and back-up), they would be good to go.  In their current incarnation, they began to get a little annoying.  I loved my Sequoia. chicken with a tomato chutney on grilled flatbread.  It was worth the wait to cap off the night.

Travis enjoyed the Cuban.  Micheal's favorite food was the $1.50 tacos at Taco Flair.  We all left more than full and happy.  We did not have room to try everything and were unwilling to stand in line for more than one hour for mini-doughnuts, but there is always next year.  And hopefully there will be beer.

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