Sunday, August 21, 2011

Parked: Food Truck Rally

I don't know if there is a better way of spending your Saturday than going to a food truck festival with a friend who is equally in love with food as you are. You mean, I don't have to track these trucks down using Twitter and Midtown Lunch? You mean, they are all converging in one spot and I can have anything I want all in one place? Sold.

I'm very glad Hilary and I got to South Street Seaport--where the event was located--as early as we did. By the time we left, around 1:30 PM or so, the lines were crazy long and there was obviously no guarantee that the dish you wanted would still be around.

We started our gluttonous day with some meatball sliders courtesy of a stand (not an actual truck) called Mighty Balls.

The three choices they served were beef, pork, and veggie meatballs. You can choose a sauce for each slider (African Onion, Cranberry Horseradish, Not Your Average Brown Sauce, Jalepeno Jelly, and Tempting Tomato) and for a$1 more, a cheese to top it off (Parmesan, spicy Feta, Mozzarella).

Hilary and I ordered the beef meatball with the tomato sauce (top photo) and the pork meatball with the brown sauce (bottom photo). The brown sauce had a hint of sweetness which was great given the general lightly-sweet flavor of pork. We actually didn't know what the brown sauce tasted like before we ordered it, so kudos to us for choosing wisely. The beef meatball had a bit of a spice kick to it which was amplified by the tangy tomato sauce. The highlight of our food tour, for sure.

We also ordered their pomegranate lemonade, which was enticingly displayed in a clear jug beckoning us to try it in the hot weather.

Continuing our food-shaped-like-spheres theme, we decided to try another stand called Teriyaki Ball. For $6, you get 6 dough-y balls with potato, sausage, or shrimp tucked inside. It is then topped with teriyako sauce and mayo, some crispy tempura flakes, and sliced almonds. I was pretty underwhelmed with this mostly because of the price, but also because it was a lot breadier than I had expected. I SEE you sausage, but I can't seem to taste you. It doesn't help that the sausage was reminiscent of sausage that you top on a pizza from Pizza Hut. The girls working the stand were very adorable and nice though, on the other hand.

By now, the lines were getting ridiculously long. I had wanted to try a few more things from some of the trucks like Mexicue (barbequed meats on tacos) and Gorilla Cheese (fancy, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches), but the sun was bearing down on me and I am generally a very impatient person. Neither one of us wanted to get full meals because we wanted to try as many little things as possible, so a lot of the food trucks were out (Ed's Pizza, Two Pitas, a bunch of the burger trucks).

One of the trucks with no line was Rickshaw Dumpling. I had seen this truck idling near Astor Place plenty of times but was always wary of it because dumplings = an Asian thing and I never saw any Asians manning the truck. This time was no different, but I was still hungry and again, no line. For $6, you get six dumplings that come out of this steamer-oven-type thing.

Hilary and I ordered the Thai Basil and Chicken dumplings since we realized we haven't tried anything with chicken yet (and you know that is my favorite protein). Oddly enough, it came with a sauce? As Hilary said over dim sum today, "White people love their sauce." So true. This one came with a peanut satay sauce. The dumpling consisted of minced chicken, Thai basil, glass noodles, sliced carrots. It was...okay. I get why they gave you sauce though. The dumpling skin was so dry, probably because it's been chilling on a tray for a long time. At least they offered you chopsticks to make it SOMEWHAT "authentic."

To end our food truck day: dessert. There were a bunch of trucks and stands serving desserts like waffles (Wafels & Dinges which Hilary and I have gone to a bunch of times so we didn't need to get it that time), ice cream sandwiches (CoolHaus), slushies, cupcakes, cookies, and other baked goods.

I wanted to get some Wooly's Ice again but since there was another shaved ice stand, I decided to give this one a whirl to see how it compares.
For $6, you got shaved ice with a scoop of either green tea ice cream or mango sorbet, and three toppings. The ice is then drizzled with condensed milk. The ice is your run-of-the mill shaved ice (unlike Wooly's, which is like sheets of snow ice, Taiwanese style). For $6, it's a bit more than Wooly's, BUT you do get a lot more toppings. If only I could combine the ice of Wooly's with the generous amount of toppings of Shaved Ice Shop, then it would be the perfect dessert. Regardless, still pretty tasty.

We got mango sorbet with chopped mangoes, strawberries, and matcha mochi. The mochi was a tad bit too chewy for me but I liked the freshness of the sorbet.

Since Hilary and I are both very organized people, we had a list/game plan and had taken notes as to what we both ate. Here she is in action, with her game face on.

And to end, here I am in front of an Ethopian food truck with what had to be the weirdest people working there. A girl was wearing a green wig, which can't be that sanitary around food...