Sunday, March 10, 2013

Great Food Days: South Florida Food Trucks

Haven't been out to catch the Food Trucks in some time. Was a little disillusioned with the scene end of last year as it seemed to be teamed with everyone doing the same thing.
Well, what a difference a season makes!
Last night was the Once Monthly Wynwood Street Food Fest in Miami.
Wynwood is usually my choice of the ongoing Food Truck gatherings, because the trucks are all encased in a fenced in area, where you can traverse pleasantly enjoying sites, aromas and (DJ) sounds all at one time. It truly is a party atmosphere.
I am always surprised at how giving the "Foodies" and Non-Foodies are with sharing their experiences and what really has hit their palate with joy! So many smiling faces, and expressions of shear delight and satisfaction. At the various picnic tables and truck side chairs, you see the crowds literally ordering "sharable" items so that they can not miss a bite.
I have to admit I too, did exactly the same. I brought someone along so I could order any item I chose but could share it, so I would leave room to try yet another & another sample of goodness for which their were No shortages!

The Lineup: According to the South Florida Food Trucks Website 

B.C. Tacos
BITE Gastrotruck
Boba Station
Che Grill
Cheeseburger Baby
Daddy’s Grill
Dim Ssam a gogo
Dog Eat Dog
Dolci Peccati
Fireman Derek’s World Famous Pies
Grill Master Cafe
Guiseppe’s Italian Sausages
Health Nut on Wheels
HipPOP’s Handcrafted Gelato Bars
Latin Burger & Taco (2)
Los Chamos
Marlie’s Delights
The MexZican Gourmet
Ms. Cheezious
Nacho Bizness
Palate Party
Pescados Unidos
Purple People Eatery
The Rolling Stove
Slow Food Truck
Sugar Yummy Mama
Sweet Sensations
Taco Fresh
Taco Heat
Waffle Gourmet

Now that's a Lineup!! I have only included links for the Trucks I sampled last night. I do have other's highlighted in a (2011) piece I did called,  "Food Truck Phenomena". There are also 2 Italian Themed Trucks not on this lineup that I did see on site, so you might want to remember that not Everyone makes the lineup online and you just may find some additional surprises when you get to a "Gathering."

Let me just start by saying again that I was Pleasantly surprised by the Fresh Alternatives to the usual "Taco" Smorgasbord I have come upon in the past.
First started with a Favorite Dim Ssam a gogo who is also noted as the "Host" of the night!

I took a moment to check out their feature on the "Burger Beast Website" just to familiarize myself with their menu. I was intrigued to say the least.
I ordered the "Honey Orange Ribs" and the
"Chunk'd Spicy Cheesy Tator Tots"

The Ribs were tender, moist and Full of Flavor!
The Spice Rub was prominent, but the notes were Great! You got the hint of sweet orange along with the smoke and asian flavors! Awesome!

The "Tator Tots": There was a spice element about the "chunk" of Beef that were a great addition to the cheesiness of the Tater Tot. Very interesting!
Great combo for the Ribs Sweetness too.

First shot was a homerun!
On to the Arepa Box!

The found Arepa Box info on Roaming
It lists their Social Networks etc.. but not alot of info on the Truck itself.
I looked for a website , but it didn;t find a working website.
They do have a Facebook page, I'm sure if you have a question you could ask it there.
My partner in crime is Latin and loves a Good Arepa now and again. As we had agreed to share everything, we decided Why not? They aren't big ( a bite or 2) so, it would be a treat to add to the evening.

We ordered the Arepa de Maiz con Queso Guayanes (a traditional Venezuelan hand made cheese)
As I am of Portguese heritage, I asked if it was a Cows milk cheese? And the vendor replied Yes.
It had a texture of a "cualhada" or a cheese made with milk curd.
Quite tasty with the Cornmeal Arepa!
A tasty bite for sure!

I Tweeted a few times from the event and had a question from Maureen Berry of Orlando, Fl (@SeafoodLadyOrl)
I really had to answer that Comfort Food vs Healthy was the Trend of the Night. South Florida really offers the Gamit of Vegan, Vegetarian and "Healthy" from Health Nut on Wheels, Mushaboom & Boba Station to Italian, Latin and Good Old Fashioned American Comfort Food. if you do not know what you want to eat tonight, Sample this lot and you wont need to make a choice!
I added a Healthy sample to my night by Stopping by Boba Station!
Boba Station a lively colorful Truck with Phenomenal Drink Choices! From "Bubble Teas" to Smoothies they are in a class by themselves! Check out their website for info it's a Great Read!

I stopped at Boba Station for a Smoothie! A Fresh Fruit Smoothie! It was out of this world.
I had a Honeydew Melon Fresh Fruit Smoothie and with that I had a choice of Boba Toppings.
I chose "Lychee Seed" Jellies.
What happens is they crush the melon with ice and add in these jellie, so that when you are taking a sip (with the largest straw I have ever seen) you get a burst of flavor from the jellie that melts in your mouth after the smoothie has gone. It's fantastic! An Adult version of the best Slurpee you have Ever had! the flavor combinations are endless! It's a Must Try!

Now that I had a drink in hand I was ready for more!
Across the way I caught a face that looked familiar!
"Could it be?"
As I got closer I waved at the person like a lunatic!
Chef Robyn Almodovar! Hell's Kitchen Alum! I was thrilled to find out that she had come back to South Florida to celebrate with a New business venture! Good for Her! Goes to show, You don't have to win Hell's Kitchen to be a Success! She is pure Drive and Determination this one, she's got it in the bag!
Chef Robyn's Palate Party is just that. A Party for the senses.
I enjoyed chatting and tasting her food. We decided on the Lobster Mac n Cheese! Perfection! It was great. Full of Fresh Seafood flavor and authentic texture from the shredded lobster.
What a delight!

Although it isn't unexpected to go to a Food Truck event and have offerings from a "Celebrity Chef "anymore. Celeb Chef Ingrid Hoffman's Latin Burger and Taco Trucks flanked the event on either end but,
This truly was a delight! Chef Robyn not only owns the truck but prepared my food herself! She then took the time to ask what My thoughts were.
She made my night!
Thanks so much Chef Robyn!

Last but certainly not least...Best for Last!
I had to visit Fireman Derek's Pies!
If he is ever at a Food Truck event where you are stop and grab a piece of Heaven from him!
I cannot rave enough about this man and his Pie!
This time I had perused his Facebook page before coming and knew exactly what I was going to have. As a matter of fact I tweeted with him during the afternoon. I let him know for sure I would be stopping by. Fireman Derek is great about being right there with his patrons! Awesome personality! Definitely knows the priority of Customer Service!
So the Treat of the month is the
Irish Car Bomb Pie! Boy oh Boy! This was an Explosion of flavors! (Pun Intended)
Chocolate Cookie Crust, Baileys custard, Coffee whip cream, Toasted Almond Caramel and a Guinness reduction. How can any of that be bad??? Put it all together and you have a Slice of Heaven my friend!
I have no idea where his imagination has gone, but I hope it never comes back! This is a Flavorful mind at work! Every Single Bite was absolute Valhalla! I kept mmming and ahhing. The other people at the table were sure to jump up and get them some of what I was having, because that reaction was straight out of "When Harry met Sally"! If you ever have the chance to drop by a Food Truck event where Fireman Derek is...give yourself a gift! But a Slice of Pie! You will never regret it! Oh, and Restaurants in and around South Florida Grab some for yourself! This can only Rock your dessert Tray to Stardom!
Thanks Everyone for Last Night! It was a Great Night for Food in South Florida!