lassoing grub. the mobile food rodeo roundup

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05.09.2012 by Andrea

Where to start?

Anticipation had been mounting for months. Literally. As soon as the tweets started promoting this sensation again, I marked my calendar, highlighted it twice, and starred it multiple times. This was an event that was not to be missed and let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. In fact, I have already saved the date for 9/15 when the trucks descend upon South Lake Union. I am really hoping that the Husky game isn’t a noon start that day, or there will be a serious conflict of interests.

Until then, let me lead you through my food journey that caused me to raise my hands and surrender after just two hours. For a gal who likens herself to Miss Piggy, this certainly wasn’t the marathon eating session I was anticipating, I was only able to complete a 10k. However, every bite was worth it!

I started recruiting eating amigos and amigas early in the game, but in the end this girl was riding solo. A big task, but with the aid of signing up for the VIF [very important foodie], it helped guide me through the truck corral. VIF had a lot of cool benefits. A great swag bag, the opportunity to use LevelUp at several vendors and get an automatic credit, and the ability to visit all the food trucks for 2 hours prior to the general public.

Keep in mind there was 35 trucks, so it was no easy feat to cover all the territory. I had a general idea of 20 trucks I thought I would get to stuff my face at. As you’ll see that was an impossible feat, unless I planned to pump my stomach and spend nine hours gorging. Don’t think that I didn’t consider it.

Kicking things off with Jemil’s Big Easy was the best choice ever. I wanted to try their sampler platter but limited myself to the gumbo. Simple and savory. The word is out that the sausage used simmers for 24 hours. I wouldn’t attempt to argue that because it was delicious.

Next stop was something I was very excited about seeing. New to the Seattle streets, Rollin Q had their homemade mac and cheese which was certainly tempting. I opted for their frickles [fried pickles]. Bingo-bango-bongo. Fresh out of the fryer into my belly made for a wonderful second course. A complimentary side of ranch, just added to the greatness. I think I hit food bliss, at Rollin Q.

While licking my fingers from the fried pickles, I stood in line for Contigo.

photo credit: contigo

All of their tacos sounded marvelous, and probably easily at that point could have done a trio. I played it safe and sampled their mushroom taco. Unfortunately I think I deleted their delicious pictures I took. If they magically reappear they will be uploaded.

Sidenote. The staff at Contigo was definitely my favorites of the day. Coming off the 107.7 The End’s Taco Truck Challenge from the day before they still brought energy and wit to the table. Nicely done and a staff well worth sharing my fried pickle with!

From there I wandered to Off the Rez and opted to purchase a container of their succotash quinoa. I didn’t eat it right there, rather I pocketed it for a later meal. The colors were lovely and enticing.

A hop, skip, and across the street was Seattle’s best sweet potato pie being served up by Jerk Station. I tried my very first Jamaican Patty, and then scored a little sweet potato pie that I gifted to my friend BB.

I had to drink some water and wander a bit before I dove into the most unique pizza I had at the Rodeo. Thank you Tucsan Stone.

There were four options for pizza on Sunday. It came down to the bottom two and ultimately I opted for the Alligator Andouille. Like an exotic dancer, the pizza was light on it’s toes, but carried a big punch of flavor.

I couldn’t stop, I was on a roll. So I meandered towards, Happy Grillmore, who originally hailed from Portland. I was starting to sink into a food coma so I went for a smaller portion and tried their spicy mac salad. Not too heavy, not too creamy. Just right.

They were also sampling their limeades and coconut waters. Refreshing to sip on for sure.

Tired yet? I was slowing down, so I grabbed a side of nori french fries from Tokyo Dog, with their spicy mayo dipping sauce, and sat down for a bit.

The thought of a brief catnap crossed my mind, as the sun danced across my face. I was determined to rally, so I summoned the appetite to dive back in and head to Curry Now. I wasn’t quite ready to break into anything heavy so I went with some Indian Flat Bread. The menu looked great though.

The bread was just enough to tide me for over for my next pit stop, Fusion on the Run.

A min taco was just what I needed while I stood in line for my tasting at Lumpia World. I must confess I started to hit a sinker, and due to my knowledge of tasty homemade lumpia from my friend NA I skipped out on indulging in their goodies. After perusing their website however, this might have proven to be a fateful decision. I will have to hunt them down during lunchtime in the coming weeks.

The two hour VIF session was nearing a close so I swung through Athena’s and I grabbed a greek salad from them, and added it to my growing assortment of items I planned on nibbling on later. My friend CC and her husband came later in the afternoon and reported great things on the gyro they split.

Being that lines were starting to lengthen, hello Crisp Creperie, there was never any less than 25 people awaiting an opportunity to indulge, I decided to finish my tour on a sugary note. All my salt consumption had lead me to believe I needed a sweet treat. What a finale. The mini cookie sandwich Sweet Wheels was offering with salted caramel ice-cream, was the perfect ending.

The food cart culture is growing by leaps and bounds in Seattle and if you weren’t excited before, get there. I am anxiously licking my lips, and trying not to bite my fingernails as the appearance of Monte Cristo, nears. It will be the new home of grilled cheese and mobile melts in Seattle. If you are at your local grocery store and there are still copies of the Seattle Met, featuring Seattle’s Best Food Trucks, pick it up, it is a keeper, and your back pocket guide for all the best mobile meals in Seattle far and wide. A girl can only eat so much alone, so not only are there trucks I want to revisit, there is still several that I didn’t even get to try. Hit me up if you want to be my truck tasting partner. Anyone else check out the rodeo? What did I miss? What were your favorites? Also, I recommend taking to twitter for the latest breaking news of where the trucks are at, and for new ones popping up in the city. I am a fan of @seattlefoodtrk and of course the inspiration for this post @mobilefoodrodeo. I am hoping to try bacon bacon in San Francisco next week if it coincides with my schedule, fingers crossed. Their tweets alone have me salivating every time I look at twitter. What can I say, I heart bacon. Any other can’t miss food carts across the US that I need to add to my growing list? Leave me a comment.

That’s the roundup for the week. If I was in town this evening I would have had my behind squarely planted at T.Doug’s baconopolis event. Guess I will have to wait until next year. Coming up in my quest to eat my way through Seattle, I have plans to take the Seattle Cheese Festival by storm on May 20th and am attending a nautical themed baby shower, should be some fun nibblers on deck.

Until the next bite, keep on truckin’ – cheers.


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