Sunday, August 28, 2011

Food Truck Festival... Fail.

An article in the Dallas Morning News  this morning by Katherine Unmuth motivated me to get off my ass and write something about the DFW Food Truck Festival I attended last night. Those writers do post their articles quickly..

I will agree (with Ms. Unmuth) that there is a food truck revolution happening in Dallas. It is also quite a recent one. The way it seems to work in Dallas is that people stalk the food trucks on twitter and drive out to their locations, which vary quite a bit, for lunch or dinner. Of course, the part of town will have an effect on the traffic. A visit to Gandolpho's, which I reviewed earlier here, in the industrial part of town had hardly any customers in attendance. On the other hand, a visit to Nammi at Flora and McKinney had a good amount of people. In places like New York or Austin, they just seem to be floating around. People go to them when they see them rather than following their twitter feeds. Perhaps if our food truck community gets large enough, we will get to that point.

After glancing at an article by Scott Reitz about how crowded this festival would be, and how bad parking would be, I was planning to get there early. I think he posted it on the Dallas Observer, I found the post from twitter, but I don't see it any more. He suggested arriving at 5 PM, that most of the trucks should be setting up by then. However, my state of mind interfered. I had run off to this Chocolate Conference that morning with no coffee. I had the idea the chocolate would give me energy. But that so didn't work. I need more caffeine than that. By the time I got home, I was beyond stuffed and exhausted. I had a cup of espresso and was trying to wait till I had more energy. I also wanted to wait till I was a little less stuffed before we left. We got into the lot with the food trucks around 6:45 PM.

I know it was the first of it's kind, and I was later than I should have been, but the lines were ridiculous, the heat was ridiculous, and I just thought it was a miserable time. My friend Zeena wanted grilled cheese from Ruthie's Rolling Cafe, so that's where we started. We waited on line for a little while and filled out pieces of paper to select the kind of grilled cheese we desired. I chose San Francisco sourdough bread, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, bacon, roasted tomatoes, and pesto. However.. I actually never got to try this sandwich. I thought after we got to the cashier, we would get our food. But no. They informed us there would be a 30 minute wait for our orders. Ok fine. More than an hour later, we were still waiting. At this point, we decided to cancel our orders and get our money back. I, on the other hand, exchanged my order for a t-shirt since I thought it was adorable.
I do think their mascot is adorable!

Some time during this wait, there was a grilled cheese sandwich that was messed up they gave away for free. We raised our hands and received the free bread sandwiched around some sort of liquid, cheese, tomatoes, pickles, and turkey. I think. It was quite messy. I'll try not to judge them off this sandwich because it's probably not fair, but it didn't do much for me. I mean, it seemed pretty average, but I think the grilling of the cheese somehow failed in this one. I will still make an effort to try a sandwich from them at a later date.

Enticed - 3*s
Near the beginning of our waiting time, my friend Jason was at the Enticed truck line for some ice, so we all had some. He got a regular size with half Passion Fruit and half Pomegranate. I got a regular size with half Margarita and half Root Beer. I've gotta say, it was delicious. Though I admit part of that had to do with the environment. I'm reminded of a story my father always tells about 7-up being the best meal he ever had. This was after a daylong bike ride (across Nassau County, Long Island both ways).

It wasn't the best snow cone I've ever had, but at the time it felt like an amazingly delicious meal. Objectively it was pretty good. Ok. It was all very sweet. Nothing special. My friend Zeena said the snow cone place by my house, at Arapaho and Hillcrest, is better. But ice is always nice! My favorite was probably the root beer. The blue and red flavors were pretty good too. Honestly, I didn't taste pomegranate or passion fruit. I just tasted blue and red. We never figured out whether the blue was pomegranate or passion fruit.

Unfortunately, I didn't remember to take photos till our ice was half eaten and half melted, but it does make a nice swirly image.
Blue and Red AKA Pomegranate and Passionfruit
There's a small bit of green at the bottom left. That was the
margarita. The brown is the root beer flavor.
This whole time, Matthew and Diane were on the ginormous line for Gandolpho's. They were almost at the beginning by the time we had canceled our orders. They placed their orders along with a tip via "keep the change." After waiting a little bit for their orders, they were told that Gandolpho's had run out of pastrami, corned beef, rye bread, and hot dogs. Granted, this is not a reflection on Gandolpho's. As I made it clear in a earlier review, I am quite fond of the product they serve.

While Zeena was waiting for our order to be called at Ruthie's Rolling Cafe, I decided to jump on line for The Bomb Fried Pies & Fried Guacamole. I'd been craving some fried guacamole.. There was a little girl in front of me and the woman ahead of her went to the window. She came back with the news that this food truck was closing down as well. I think they had run out of food as well.

Another friend came to the festival after we had canceled our orders, but decided to forgo the ridiculous lines and just sample some Sam Adams. That may have been the best part of the festival. There were also free samples of wine. These lines were more reasonable. And of course the AC in Sigel's Fine Wine and Great Spirits. I heard tell a lot of people just left after they saw the line without getting any food.

I will say that the parking situation really wasn't so bad. We parked in lots across the street like most people and dangerously jaywalked. I do enjoy a good jaywalking.

After all this, we actually made a trip to the In N Out on 635 east of Hillcrest for cheeseburgers. I, of course, abstained in my chocolate-induced anorexia. In N Out is always an impressively well organized place. The line for the drive through looked a bit bit steep. Inside it only took a few minutes to get our food.

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