Street Eats Food Truck Festival 2014, Advice from Day One: Get the Lobster Roll, Bring Cash, Prepare for Lines
Last year I had to skip Devilicious, the California-based food truck that appeared on the second season of The Great Food Truck Race, due to -- you guessed it -- a really long line. But this year it was a reasonable wait to get our hands on an $8 or two token Duck Confit Grilled Cheese. The caramelized red onions and Gruyere and mozzarella cheeses made for a tasty sandwich, but the stand out ingredient had to be the port honey reduction sauce that also helped counteract the dryness of the duck.
Evie Carpenter The duck confit grilled cheese from Devilicious is a big meal if you want to try other trucks.
There are a few Cajun and Creole food trucks at the truck including local favorites Jamburritos and Sandra Dee's Catering. In the interest of trying something new, we headed to Person's Cajun Food out of California for a taste of the South.
The Person's menu includes catfish, crawfish, and Po'boys, but we went for the more interesting Frog Legs with Cajun Fries. If you're looking for a dining adventure this is a pretty mild one. The legs come fried in a flavorful batter but ours were a little on the dry side. On the upside (or downside depending on how you see it) they really do taste kind of like chicken. Oh and don't even bother with the Cajun fries, which are just standard state fair-variety with seasoning sprinkled sparingly on top.
And we couldn't resist checking out Frank., the gourmet hot dog truck that hit Valley streets last October. It's pretty gutsy to do a fancy sausage truck in a town where a certain other hot doggery has such a strong following, but we'll happily admit we really enjoyed Frank's Demeter dog.
Lauren Saria The Demeter from Frank.
We ordered ours with a bratwurst -- and yes, they use locally made Shreiner's sausages -- and pretzel bun. The brat was as good as expected but the bun fell short. The dog comes topped with falafel, cucumber, tahini, tomato, and feta cheese and makes for a tasty but messy meal. Most notably, the falafel is surprisingly good, both on its own and on top of the dog.
There were long lines at the Hao Bao truck when we went by. The Chinese comfort food mobile returned from a hiatus five weeks ago. If you're looking to get in on their signature pork and shrimp dumplings, just know that they'll cost you $8 but that they'll only accept tokens. Yatai Ramen, the Valley's first ramen truck, also takes token only but is wisely serving small sample-sized portions for one token a piece.
And speaking of portion size, we noticed that most of the trucks this year have returned to serving full sized dishes. A whole grilled cheese; sandwich; or plateful of fry bread is a lot to enjoy if you want to eat at several trucks. Next year we'll be hoping to see more affordably priced, smaller dining options.
Finally, while few trucks ran out of food, we found drinks difficult to come by as the festival drew on. And thanks to this year's particularly warm weather, you're probably going to want at least a bottle of water or three, which will cost you $2 a piece.
Evie Carpenter The frog legs from Pearson's -- tastes like chicken.