We stayed in town this past weekend. We had only just returned from our big Europe trip, and were loving sleeping in our own bed a little too much to venture too far just yet. Plus, the jet lag meant we still had trouble stringing full sentences together. (Does jet lag affect anyone else this way? Even if I’m awake, I can’t seem to speak properly. It’s an issue.)
Anyway, two things made this the best possible decision.
- my best friend and her husband came into town!!
- Durham had a food truck rodeo!!!
[All the exclamation points!!]
Can you ask for a better Labor Day? I think not.
These food truck rodeos happen a 4-5 times a year, but I find myself out of town most of the time. So when I do manage to be local, I convince whomever is nearby to come with me!!
With Armando and Laura in tow, we headed over to Durham’s Central Park where 50 food trucks gathered. The first truck we saw, Cousin’s Maine Lobster, elicited a cry of joy from Armando immediately. He filled us in that they got their start on Shark Tank. Which is pretty impressive, if you think about the novelty factor required to gain traction on that show.
We saw several of our favorites – Chirba Chirba, Only Burger, Pie Pushers, Local Yogurt. It’s so much fun to see some of these places grow into opening brick and mortar places too – while there, I heard that American Meltdown had opened up in Southpoint Mall‘s food court! I will definitely be eating there next time I’m at the mall.
First we did a lap, assessing all the options. Some of my favorite names had to be the Wandering Moose and Heavenly Smoke. A clever name should be required to open a food truck.
Logan and I have a strategy for food trucks: we share, and try to only get one thing from each truck we visit. So we get to try several of them (balancing our go-to’s with new tastes) in one day, embracing the rodeo as much as humanly possible. We started out pretty hungry, so for our first “course” we wanted something filling. We tried The Humble Pig‘s pork BBQ sandwich and it didn’t disappoint!! An enormous brioche bun filled with a meal-sized amount of BBQ, topped with a healthy amount of sweet and spicy tomato-based sauce!
Meanwhile, Laura and Armando found a Cubanos truck getting some good-looking empanadas and seriously, some of the best yucca fries I’d ever tasted.
One of the things I love most about Durham is the local beer scene, and several great local places made an appearance! We opted for Ponysaurus this time, trying a fig saison which sounded like a perfect labor day drink: summery, with just a hint of fall sneaking in.
With beer and our first round of food, we found an open patch of grass and listened to the band, a bluegrass-y group with a fun range of styles. The sunny but not-too-hot weather made the perfect setting for catching up!
The joy of a food truck rodeo is that when you get too hot sitting in the sun, you just go find another round of treats. For part two, Logan went for dumplings while I moved on to some dessert crepes from Parlez-Vous Crepe, another consistent favorite.
Like most outdoor gatherings, the rodeo is ripe for people watching. We played with babies, petted dogs, overheard hilarious out-of-context conversations, and even caught a few people dancing.
If you ever get the chance, I would definitely encourage you to go. Durham food truck rodeos have food for any palette and fun for any age. Last one for 2016 should happen in late October – when the date is set, it’ll likely show up here.
See you there!!
Opinions are my own and I didn’t receive compensation for my writing. The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.