Sunday, March 19, 2017

Birth of a Food Truck Groupie

Birth of a Food Truck Groupie | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Food trucks in Asheboro's Bicentennial Park 
during the annual St. Patrick's Day festival.
During the second annual St. Patrick's Day festival in downtown Asheboro, Bicentennial Park was lined with food trucks. Admittedly, I've been slow to embrace food truck cuisine. How could delicious, safe food be produced in a tiny kitchen within a truck inundated with fuel exhaust and road grime? When Hubby and I arrived at the festival, however, we realized we were hungry. 

The aromas swirling around the park were difficult to resist. I found myself looking at the food passers-by were balancing in their hands as they walked, talked and tasted. Even the food splattered on the ground after failed walk, talk and taste attempts looked vibrant and delicious. Hunger was overtaking my senses and sensibilities. 

I pulled myself together. Rather than give into temptation and dive in, I opted to do a research before making a final purchase decision. I strolled around the park and checked out every truck, every menu, every sanitation rating.

Yes, the barrier between my foodie personality and ability to get on board with food trucks has always been my imagination. When I pictured a food truck kitchen, my stomach turned at images of tiny college apartment kitchens and a camper kitchen or two from the seventies. 

Displayed in each food truck window was a sanitation rating. Among the offerings in the park were several highly-rated trucks. There were several boasting a 100 percent. Many ratings were better than area restaurants. 

As an aside, there was also a man wandering around downtown for two days trying to drum up business for his friend's food truck. We'd heard the pitch a few times. It was hard to avoid the persistent marketer. Unfortunately, the sanitation rating for his friend's truck was among the lowest. While the man aptly described a delicious-sounding menu, I chose not to take the risk. 

Now, the food truck in question may have been marked down for infractions that could never affect the quality of the food. Also, he may have already corrected every single issue. However, I've been hospitalized for food poisoning in the past from a restaurant with a higher rating. I did not want to chance a repeat of that experience. 

Hubby and I chose a couple of different trucks on our first go. The food was delicious. We were pleased.

We spent the next few hours perusing vendor booths, catching up with friends and neighbors and patronizing the beer garden.
All that did was work up our appetites once again. So, after our pleasant lunch experience, we decided to enjoy dinner in the park as well. And that was when we stepped up to the best food truck at the event. With a 100 percent rating and yuca fritas on the menu —I'd fallen in love with yuca during a visit to Ecuador  I couldn't resist. 
QSPRESSO Leftovers | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
This is the half that was left of my chicken
quesadillas and yuca fritas from the
QSPRESSO food truck. The green stuff
is their amazing cilantro sauce!

Hubby was drooling over the word cubano on their sandwich board menu. He was so excited about the prospect of enjoying a Cuban sandwich that he pulled out his wallet and told me to order whatever I wanted. I love it when Hubby does that. They were sold out of chicken empanadas, so I ordered chicken quesadillas to go with the yuca. 

The food was phenomenal. We were in heaven. Several other folks who saw us making love to our food truck cuisine and smelled the aroma swirling around us headed over to order their own meals. It was too much to eat, so we carried it home and heated it up a few hours later. Our reheated snack was just as delicious.

The food truck in question was QSPRESSO. Based out of Durham, N.C., the truck is in its second year of traveling around the state providing mouthwatering food for the masses. I now follow them on social media. The food is well worth the drive to wherever they may roam.

I'm a changed woman. I no longer fear the food truck. QSPRESSO transformed me into a food truck groupie.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books and aspiring novelist. 
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Copyright 2017 Michele Bare

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