Food Truckapalooza in Durham

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In theory, the Bull City Food Truck Fiesta should have been an awesome day. Foodies, loads of good food, and a great selection of beers at Sam’s Quik Shop, which was hosting. While the day was good for introducing the growing food truck scene in the Triangle, the heat and the massive amount of people turned a good time into a sunstroke-inducing afternoon.

Before I talk about the food truck fiesta, I just want to gush about Sam’s. We’ve been to Sam’s Quik Shop before and Tony and I were just blown away by its selection of beer, which covered all of the major and microbrews, plus growlers from a lot of local breweries. I honesly think that if you can’t find your favorite brew, Sam’s has it. I’m actually mad that we’ve only discovered this place recently, so many years have been spent trying to find a good beer and coming up short at our local market.

But I digress, we showed up at the parking lot behind Sam’s at 11:30, thanks to an awesome article by News and Observer’s Andrea Weigl (\”Food trucks offer eclectic dining\”), we knew that some of the most popular food trucks in Durham would be in one spot for the afternoon. Evidently though, everyone else in the Triangle area had the same plan, as the parking lot quickly filled up with hungry people.  I wonder if the food trucks knew how many people read Andrea’s article, because combined with that, all of the twitter and facebook updates, and just general word of mouth, there was so many people, food ran out well before 3:00 when the event was supposed to be over. Good news for the food trucks, but bad news for the people waiting for food. But I’ll get to that later….

The good news is that Tony and I had an awesome meal at Parlez Vous Crepes (http://www.parlezvouscrepe.com) and Only Burger (http://www.durhamcatering.com/onlyburger/). Normally when I think of crepes, I think of sweet, breakfasty flavors. However, Parlez Vous Crepes blew my mind with its savory offerings. My crepe, made with a vegan batter and filled with pork sausage, fresh spinach, cheddar, fried egg, and carmelized onions, was amazing. Each bite was a little different, depending on what combination of ingredients was there. The fried egg was peppery, the sausage was spicy without being overbearing, and the spinach added a nice freshness to everything.  Parlez Vous has made a crepe believer out of me.

Meanwhile, Only Burger proved to be a real competitor for the title of best burger in the Triangle. We had the Durham special, which is bleu cheese, bacon, and red onion jam. The red onion jam was a revelation, I could eat a jar of this stuff. Their french fries tasted freshly cut and made. I could see eating a plate of these with some vinegar and a little kosher salt.

As the day went on, the lines grew longer and longer. Tony and I split up to tackle Mom’s Delicious Dishes (http://www.momsdeliciousdishes.com/) and my beloved Bulkogi (My gushing review from the NC state flea market). Tony was hoping to get the Chipotle Shrimp tacos at Delicious Dishes, he heard that these were A-MA-ZING. Unfortunately, word of mouth screwed us over again and they run out, so Tony picked up their Asian BBQ Chicken sandwich instead. The overall opinion was that while it was an ok sandwich and loaded with lots of fresh toppings like cucumber, the flavor was disappointing. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to grab one of those shrimp tacos someday.

I decided to tackle the bulkogi line, but grabbed a locopop (http://www.ilovelocopops.com/), who smartly showed to offer a way to beat the heat. Their pomengranate tangerine pop was summer on a stick; tart, cool, and loaded with fruitiness.

Thank goodness I grabbed a locopop, because the line for Bulkogi was an hour long. I loved their beef bbq tacos and wanted to try their spicy pork tacos, so I braved the line. Yeah, it was long and my sunscreen-lacking shoulders were getting a deep burn, but it was all in the name of a good taco.  Unfortunately, Bulkogi didn’t tell us that once we went through the hour line to order, it would be another 45-60 minutes before I would get my food. Eventually during my wait, they ran out of food, but because thye didn’t put up a sign, I had to grumpily tell random people waiting in a now non-existent line, “they’re out of food, I swear!” Luckily (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), because I had put in my order, I was guaranteed food. I wish I had just asked for a refund, when I finally got my tacos, the flavor I craved was there, but instead of fresh lime, they squirted my food with lime juice and left it sitting for a few minutes before serving it to me, making the tacos a soggy mess. I couldn’t eat them with my hands without the tortilla falling apart and since they didn’t give me a fork, I had to pick it apart with my fingers in order to eat anything of it. At that point though, I was too sunburned to care.

Overavll, I’d go again, but I think the popularity of this event took everyone by surprise. Hopefully next time, there’ll be more vendors, shorter lines, and maybe cooler weather. Here’s hoping!

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6 responses to “Food Truckapalooza in Durham

  1. Agreed. Total nightmare. Hooray for good food, but I so wanted to leave the line. I look forward to eating at those trucks in a less gruesome situation!

    • rdugonnaeatthat

      One of my friends asked me, “why didn’t you just leave the line?” I have no rational explanation other than when I’m promised tacos, I’m getting tacos!

  2. Yea, that heat and those crowds were crazy! I left hungry, which just seemed wrong.

  3. Pingback: Truckin’ Along « The Daily Triangle

  4. I couldn’t make it that day – I heard the lines were LONG. But THIS is an awesome write- up. Now I know exactly what to order.

  5. thanks for the great reporting! I’ve heard that food trucks have the best, most surprising meals. Sorry about your sun-tinted shoulders!

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