One day last week I won a couple of tickets to “I.E. Food Truck & Brew Fest 2011” on Facebook for a little contest and was pretty excited about it. At one of our local sports arenas, Citizens Bank Arena, they set up around 55 food trucks and probably 10 local breweries or so. It was from 11:00 – 6:00 pm unless you purchased a VIP ticket and then you got to get into the event at 10:00 am. I remember hearing about long crowds in the past so Brad and I decided we would head over maybe around 1:00 or so, let the first round of people that showed up first thing kind of start heading out.
When poking around before the event on Facebook I heard a few complaints that the VIP tickets weren’t worth it, as most food trucks weren’t 100% ready to go right at 10:00. Good to know for future food truck events! We strolled on over shortly after 1:00 with cash and my iPhone in hand and we were ready to get truckin’.
Of the trucks, we visited about seven of them. We easily could have stopped sooner, and we would just share one item from each truck – man did we get full, and didn’t finish many items! But here are the trucks we visited in order as well as my thoughts on what they had to offer.
Nom Nom Truck
If any of you watched the first season of The Great Food Truck Race you should know the Nom Nom Truck very well since they won the season (update: I don’t obviously know very well because Nom Nom had to correct me *my bad* — they were one of my faves so I guess I overlooked it was actually Grill ‘Em All who won! LOL). They are known for their delicious Banh Mi — a Vietnamese sandwich. We tried a grilled pork Banh Mi and a lemongrass chicken taco.
Unfortunately, there was such a bad glare on my screen I thought I was taking better pictures then I was. Seriously that sandwich was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted and was one of my top two favorite items we had at the event. Here is the breakdown of the banh mi on the NomNom website:
I could seriously have this sandwich FREQUENTLY. The taco was also delicious, but just was a no-brainer!
This was kind of an impulse buy. In the moment we were hot and we thought we wanted something sweet. We ended up paying $5 each for a pre-packed homemade gelato. I just ended up going with a classic red raspberry and not finishing it because I quickly realized I wanted savory while Brad went with “what they were known for”. It was called Mackinac Island Fudge which is a Pana gelato with a caramel swirl and Mackinac Island fudge chunks throughout. Mackinac Island is apparently an island in Michigan I believe and they are known for this killer fudge and they add it with there gelato. They were originally from Michigan so they said they were very proud of this gelato — it was killer!
Great Balls on Tires
Goodness, gracious… great balls on tires! I could eat these balls everday. Okay maybe not every day, but this was the other fave up there with NomNom for the day! I read the first thing on the menu and didn’t even read the rest – I told Brad we were getting the IncrediBall. And boy was it incredible. It was ground Kobe beef wrapped in applewood smoked bacon with Gruyere cheese, wild arugula, and garlic aioli on a fresh toasted brioche.
I’m seriously ashamed of these pictures. But when you have this delicious food in front of you and a husband chompin’ at the bit it’s a little difficult to get the perfect “iphone photo”. These balls melt. in. your. mouth. They also have some other great balls I would love to try in the future that sound AMAZING – you can check them out on their menu HERE.
MeSooLaLa & MeSoHungry were MFEO. Although we had just tried a slider we decided to go for another and this one although wasn’t quite as good, it was still a fantastic slider on the same fresh, amazing bread. At MeSoHungry we tried the KTM Sliders with Marinated Short Ribs, Pepper Jack Cheese, Crispy Onions and Spicy Crème Fraîche. Is your mouth watering yet? Writing this post was a bad decision right before dinner time.
This is where it all started to go down hill. From here on out I was FULL and although we still wanted to try a couple of things I was just not having much sound appetizing so I can’t give a good valid review of the food but I will still show you the trucks, what we tried, and what they have to offer.
Don Chow Tacos – Chinese Mexican Fusion
I remember hearing about this truck from Diner, Drive-in, and Dives and Brad had wanted to get some tacos so this was our top choice. We got a sampler that had three street tacos — one carne asada, one chicken, and one… pork maybe? I seriously can’t remember. Please remember, food coma was setting in and I wasn’t taking notes.
All I remember is that middle taco had some type of bacon on it and they were spicy! But they were freakin’ amazing… I don’t see what we got on the menu on their site so I can’t say for sure what any of it is though.
Did someone say Bacon? At this point I was realllllly feeling ill. Unfortunately a lot of things were sold out on the truck by the time we got here. There is a lot of crazy, delicious sounding stuff on their menu and you have to see it all HERE but we decided to go with the Jack Back Sammie.
It had thick-sliced egg bread, stuffed with melty Sharp Cheddar Cheese and a “chunk bacon blend”. On their site it says that it comes with a shot of tomato soup for dippin’ but we didn’t get that. Maybe they were out or what, but I also see on their site some add-ons which might have been good. This was a classic, comfort food right here. The bread was a LITTLE too thick for me but the cheese and bacon that I was stretching out of there was good. Not overloaded with bacon, but enough and I really wish I would have had that shot of tomato soup – that might have made it have that perfect finish with it. I will definitely hit up the truck again some time.
Last but definitely not least, there was Paradise Cookies. Brad wanted to end the day with something sweet so he wanted an ice cream sandwich. The line was the longest one we waited in — still only around 20 minutes (which isn’t too bad for food trucks some times!) and during that time I walked up and looked at their cookie and ice cream selection and caved. Of course, once again I couldn’t finish it and by that time I was DOWN. FOR. THE. COUNT.
We both went with their chocolate chip cookie — I did both but Brad did one of that and I think some type of double dark chocolate or something like that. I went with just a classic mint chip ice cream and Brad tried this rich and delicious English Toffee ice cream.
And to finish it off… we did not try this truck but the name just killed me so I took a picture of it anyay. Truck Norris.
Do you live somewhere where food trucks are popular? What are some of your favorite trucks you’ve had? It is a huge craze here in Southern California and it can be lots of fun visiting different trucks!