I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I LOVE FOOD TRUCKS. When it comes to food, sometimes I like to feel a little fancy. Weather it’s treating myself to cute tea sandwiches, or a decadent desert, these little pleasures have the ability to turn a bad day around. In a perfect world, I’d be at a different tapas bar every night, sampling cuisines of the world. That’s not my reality right now, so food trucks are the next best thing. They hold such a soft spot in my heart, I mean, they’re the broke girls dream. I travel far and wide (within 30 miles) in search of all things food truck related. This past weekend was a festival in Rawway, NJ called Much Madness. An all around family event with food trucks, a barbecue competition and face painting and bouncy houses for the kids.
My family came along, and we feasted! Here’s what we ended up trying.
This, funny enough was not a truck but a booth named “The Guac Spot”. I appreciated their take on the standard taco, with twists like “candied apple roast pork”. I was also impressed that they offered a vegan option with their “black bean and quinoa slider”. Food trucks often offer vegetarian options, but rarely a vegan one. Lastly, I liked that they had three entrees, and one side dish. Often times, food trucks will offer such a variety on their menu that it can end up being overwhelming.
I ultimately chose the “drunken jerk chicken tacos w/ mango slaw”. On a warmed flour tortilla was shredded chicken, pickled red onion, the mango slaw and a healthy dollop of guacamole. It was…okay. All the toppings were wonderful, but the chicken wasn’t. It gave me this awkward dishwashing liquid aftertaste that I could not get behind. It didn’t taste “jerked” to me but instead bland and soapy. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t nearly what I had hoped. The pickled onion and fresh mango salsa definitely helped, with just the right amounts of vinegar, and citrus. The guacamole was great, thank goodness considering their name!
On to the next spot! Another booth, named “Oriental BBQ” . Their menu was simple they offered meat on a stick: pork, chicken and beef. We opted for the beef and I have to say I really enjoyed. It was salty, and a little sweet and tender. The portions were nice and healthy, especially For $4. Who can be mad?
Finally! On to a truck! Named the “Dump N Roll”, they pride themselves on being “Your Premier Dumpling & Roll Specialist” (That’s a direct quote by the way). They have an extensive menu including three kinds of dumplings, pad thai rolls, smoked truffle fries, and even something called a tempura, bacon cheeseburger wonton! Yum! Anyone who knows me, is aware of my addiction to dumplings. Yes, I admit it. It’s a magic combination: carbs + delicious filling + unique dipping sauce= not realizing you’ve already eaten 15.
We opted for the “Chickapalooza Dumplings”,and the “Pad Thai Roll”. The dumplings, filled with chicken, vegetables and served with a roasted garlic soy dipping sauce were prime. I thoroughly enjoyed them. They were reminiscent of pot stickers with their slightly crisped bottoms. The Pad Thai Rolls were an interesting concept, embodying all the best parts of Pad Thai noodles in a crispy spring like roll. Everything fried to order for $14, was pretty amazing. I wish I could bottle the roasted garlic dipping sauce, it was that good. A little sweeter than the standard soy sauce, it was a beautiful added touch.
Last up is an empanada truck by the name of the “Empanada Guy”. With an extensive menu offering beef, chicken, pork empanadas, rice and bean side dishes and platanos. That made it harder to decide! but ultimately decided on a single beef empanada, a classic.
So good! What I liked about this empanada was how wet it was. Sounds weird, but it’s true. It wasn’t liquid, but it wasn’t overly greasy and the ground beef was so fine. With bell peppers and olives, traditionally prepared, no unnecessary extras, this was fantastic. Pipping hot, it was a perfect empanada.