I must confess that when I hear the term “food truck”, I always think of old-school “roach coaches”.There is nothing like associating roaches with food to get your taste buds going, right?
Despite having lived in my neighborhood for over a year, a neighborhood that hosts a weekly food truck market, my real-life experience of 21st century street food is limited to Food Network competitions and the (wonderful) movie Chef, but that finally changed last night.
I headed over to Moveable Feast: Willow Glen at the Curtner Avenue VTA Light Rail Station parking lot at about 6:00, after working from home all day. I had spent my lunch hour doing chores and realized I was both very hungry and ready to get out of my apartment for a while.
The first thing I noticed was a very low-key tailgate party atmosphere in the parking lot area outside of the food truck circle. I quickly realized that I might be the only Moveable Feast virgin…everyone else seemed very prepared. While I haven’t gotten around to buying furniture for my balcony yet, these diners had folding chairs and tables with them.
As I approached, I got a strong whiff of fried food (kind of what I expected), which faded and was quickly replaced with the smell of clam chowder (ugh). I still had high hopes for the evening, even though the introvert in me was starting to question whether this was going to be a fun solo activity. As it turned out, there was no need to worry.
As I walked through the market, checking out the trucks and what they had on offer, I engaged with several people. The mood was light and casual…everyone was just ready to get their nom on. I wish my friend Johnny had been there with me when I spotted one of our favorite things: funny variations on Bananas Foster.
The trucks last night were:
- Road Dogs Weenie Wagon (hot dogs, obvs)
- Sam’s Chowder Mobile (very popular, but not for me)
- MoGoBBQ (Mexican/Korean fusion)
- Sanguchon Peruvian Sangucheria (Peruvian sandwiches–come on, you knew what a sangucheria was, right?)
- Soulnese (Asian/Soul Food fusion)
- Tacos de los Altos (no explanation needed)
- Waffle Amore (very tempting; I’ll have to try this one next time)
- Grilled Cheese Bandits (ding, ding!)
- Fairy Cakes (cupcakes, of course)
- Frozen Kuhsterd (looked good, but I had homemade ice cream at home)
I went for the grilled cheese…this is something I love, but rarely make at home because I hate the lingering fried food smell. I chose The Bandit (jack, parmesan, and american cheeses on texas toast) with tomatoes added…and an order of fried mashed potato balls. You read that right. As my mom said when I told her about this delicacy “mashed fried potato balls forever!”
The fancy furniture available to those of us not packing festival kits: upside down buckets with planks for tables and more upside down buckets for chairs. I parked next to a cute little toddler with a fauxhawk and two mommies and had the healthiest meal ever. While I was eating and chatting, the entertainment started: a singer with a very pretty voice and an acoustic guitar. She seemed to be singing originals, but maybe they were just songs I didn’t know. Kids were gathering around her and starting to dance in that way we all used to do before we discovered how fun it is to be self-conscious. The highlight was when she sang “Let it Go” from Frozen. The girls went CRAZY! The little ones spun around and sang along with abandon, and the pre-teens got excited and then blushed and ducked their heads and struggled like mad between wanting to join in and being way too embarrassed to live. Those of you who know me personally (I’m assuming you’re my primary audience at this point) will not be surprised to know that there were tears behind my sunglasses. It was sweet and a little sad.
I really enjoyed the community feel of this event It struck me that this is a good way to do family dinner when everyone wants to eat something different. I also thought it would be a relaxed first date option. I do think it would be more fun with friends, but going to the food trucks for dinner was a fun way to start my weekend.