By now, the concept of a food truck rally is fairly common. These mobile food courts are held often in most large cities and even a few smaller ones. Every once in a while they’re combined with another event like a music festival or art show. In the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, they hold an event on the second Saturday of every month called Art Walk. This normally seedy area of town opens up into a hip smattering of galleries, pop-up market stands, restaurants and of course, food trucks. I’m a big fan of art in all forms, but on this night, I was there for the food.
As with any respectable festival, whether it be music, comedy, whatever, there are always warm-up acts, memorable new discoveries and of course the headliners that usually brought everyone there in the first place. The Food Truck Roundup was no exception with a lineup so long it would take you three or four visits to eat at every truck. We got there just as the sun was going down, before the real crowds showed up so we could get the run of the place. However, with only about $23 between my sister and I, we had to choose wisely.
We passed up Dog Eat Dog and Ms. Cheezious, hot dogs and grilled cheeses, you all know I love ’em, and the food coming out of those joints looked delicious, but with a limited budget, you have to be picky. The fact that the folks at Gastropod retrofitted an Airstream into a rolling hipster eatery (I couldn’t tell if it was a ’64 or and ’81) definitely caught my attention, and as much as I wanted to sample their diabolically tasty sounding fare, I had to skip them as well as they were out of my budget (though I’d like to return and write-up a piece just for them, I mean just look at their menu?!).
At last we made our first stop at the BC Taco truck. I’m a sucker for tacos served out the side of an old UPS van. The main draw here was the simplicity. The menu hit all the right areas, steak, chicken, fish, shrimp, without getting cute with fancy ingredients. We ordered a Missing Link consisting of fried Mahi, green cabbage and shredded mozzarella, and a Gatherer, a veggie taco with fried avocado, lettuce, shredded mozzarella and chipotle mayo. Simple, tasty and well-done. At about $7, it was a great start.
We walked a few yards past the Nacho Bizness despite their admirable enthusiasm, as well as the Waffle Gourmet truck, which, while tempting with its chocolate and strawberry smothered gaufre on the side, had to be resisted in favor of more savory options. We found our next target with Che Grill.
My sister, ever the communist revolutionary sympathizer, spotted Che Grill from across the park. This truck may share the name and home country with everyone’s favorite commie, the folks at Che Grill are more interested in serving up fresh Argentinian cuisine instead of Coups d’Etat. The first thing to catch my eye was the Lomita Sandwich, fresh-baked bread with thin slices of churrasco steak, topped with melted mozzarella, ham, a fried egg, bacon, lettuce and tomato! Unfortunately this feast on a bun was out of our budget, so we sprang for one of their tasty looking empanadas instead, spicy beef to be precise. As empanadas go, it wasn’t anything mind-blowing, but the dough was tender and flaky, and the filling had great flavor, so I call it a success and for only $3.
It was time for the main event, the whole reason we came to this food truck rally in the first place. Dim Ssam a G0-G0, Sakaya Kitchen’s mobile platform. For me, this was the headliner, the David Bowie or Pixies of the rally. I’m not alone in my love for this truck, Mr. Bourdain himself visited Dim Ssam a Go-Go recently on his Miami visit for The Layover. Anyway, their truck was situated right at the main entrance, obviously the most prized spot in the sandy lot. I expected nothing less from this hulking matte black truck than I would from the brick and mortar shop in downtown Miami, and I was not disappointed. Two Kurobota pork belly buns for $7 were the order of the day. Perfectly tender pork, a spicy jolt of sweet chili sauce and their awesome quick pickled cucumbers. They disappeared in a matter of seconds but oh how satisfying they were.
We were left with three dollars, which we had promised to a young lady in a van a while back. Giselle Pinto is the proprietor of the Sugar Yummy Mama cupcake truck and had in her tiny glass case, a cupcake that I had to have. The guava cupcake. It. Was. Awesome. No other words needed, I’ll leave you with this.
Well that was a little long-winded, but the Food Truck Invasion has a lot to offer. These guys move around a lot, so they can be tough to pin down sometimes. If you’re looking to visit a food truck rally here in South Florida, I find that Roaming Hunger is a good website to track down your favorite truck. Of course you could always follow them on Twitter to get up the up to the minute scoop on their next location. It’s all about doing the research!