Finally! Tampa is jumping on the Food Truck craze and this past Saturday was the second Food Truck Rally.
I was unable to make the first one, which took place back in September but I did hear it was a total success. So much so that there was a much higher turnout that was planed, some 3,000 people, who waited more than an hour to buy from 10 vendors who soon ran out of food.
Not a good start.
So, I was a bit apprehensive about this time around, and hoped that the event planners as well as the participating food trucks learned from their past mistake and were a bit more prepare.
I can tell you this, the weather was totally onboard. We had a beautiful sunny Florida day with temperatures in the low 70’s making it a perfect day to sit back, enjoy some music, sit on a patch of grass an eat “al fresco” while enjoying lots of strange sightings.
We arrived around one in the afternoon and it was in full swing. I later learned that over 4,000 people made it to the event. And this time around the event was better organized, and with 30 vendors there was something for everyone.
Tom and I started with a Blue Crab Roll from Monsta Lobsta they must have been popular, because by the time we got there, the roll and the Lobster bisque were the only thing on the menu. Our take: the roll was good, not mind blowing, sad to say that both Tom and I had better, but the roll was full of crab, so there is that.
While waiting some folk were raving about the banana treats from Gone Bananas. Tom loved it, I thought it needed something, could not point my finger to it, but it was good. I think I was just being a bit over-critical of the food.
In the meantime, I headed over to The Cupping Cake to give their cupcakes a bite. They had the Vanilla with Buttercream, the Chocolate with Buttercream, the Pumpkin Patch, Cuppin’s Carrot, the Cho-O-Nutter, Stella’Nutella and the Red Velvet, which they ran out while I was in line. I took with me the Stella’Nutella and the Chocolate with buttercream. Our take: Ok cupcakes, I liked the Stella’Nutella more than the Chocolate with Buttercream. I felt there was not enough frosting on them, but then I’m a frosting type of girl.
After the sweet stuff, we were back on the prowl craving savory so we stopped off at the Killer Samich. Their chicken slider, which was a cilantro, jalapeno and tequila marinated chicken breast, shredded and topped with cabbage and cilantro pulled me in. The first bite of it totally had me running the other way. This was my first real disappointment in the rally. The way it sounded in the menu was so good. Instead we got a very dry slider, and no kick at all… where was the jalapeno? The cilantro? We could not taste anything, except a very dry slider – boo.
After that we needed something to drink, and I zero in on Coconut Bo’s who had smoothies written all over it. I wanted something refreshing, so I went safe and ordered the lemonade. One word: YUM! It was perfect, not too sweet, tart and perfectly blended.
Tom decided that he wanted some deviled crab so he headed to Michelle Faedo’s on the Go and ordered two to take home. I, in the meantime headed to the Fire Monkey Truck and could not help to order their spider monkeys, which was julienned plantains, fried crispy and season with a sriracha aioli. After taking a bite, I could not get enough of them. By far the best thing we ate there. I love the aioli so much, I went back and ask if they could squirt some more on my plate.
By this time, we were totally stuffed and we were in need of a “siesta”. We took our leave, but we are not hooked… I now follow, either in Twitter or Facebook about 6 of the food trucks that were there and while the trucks are still a bit of a novelty in the Tampa area, the whole new style of eating is gaining a huge following fast.
You can find a list of some of the participating trucks here. Most of them can also be found in Facebook or Twitter.
And if you missed it this time around, don’t worry, the next event is right around the corner on Nov 1st over at MOSI, you can read all about it here
Side note: Tom, told me that the deviled crab from Michelle Faedo’s on the Go, were the best deviled crab he had eaten yet.