“I think of [street food] as the antidote to fast food; it’s the clear alternative to the king, the clown and the colonel.”
— Anthony Bourdain
Sioux Falls’ love affair with the food truck may have flickered and sputtered at times, but if the popularity of Food Truck Friday is any indication, the fires are burning brightly once more.
For the second year, coworking space The Bakery is hosting the monthly event in its parking lot. The 605 team decided to stop by the season’s first Food Truck Friday in late May to see who was back and what’s new.
We arrived right after five and already, lines were forming at several of the dozen or so trucks onsite. Since the first Food Truck Friday last summer, many changes have occurred. First and foremost, it’s moved from the lunch hour to the evening. More seating is available, with additional tables set up north of The Bakery. Also, there’s a
beer garden, which we saw as a welcome addition on a 70-degree Friday evening.
Our group of four made our way passed the line of trucks parked along Main Avenue, through the parking lot (where more trucks were parked), and stopped at the drink ticket table. Each ticket was $4 and good for one of the Fernson beers on tap or a glass of wine at a distant tent. Near the ticket table, local party guru DJ Kor from Pinnacle Productions was cranking upbeat country and dance music. Although it was a little on the loud side (how old do I sound?), the music helped set a festival-like tone.
The barbecue sauce available to top it with was rich and tasty, a good, middle-of-the-road offering – not too spicy or smoky or sweet.
We grabbed an open table in the beer garden and subsequently dispersed to procure some grub. First, we got a “Louie” from Scotty D’s barbecue truck. This was hoagie roll loaded with brisket and pulled pork. On the side, we got the mac and cheese. The meat was moist and incredibly tender. The bun, however, was a little too dense and bready. The barbecue sauce available to top it with was rich and tasty, a good, middle-of-the-road offering – not too spicy or smoky or sweet. Basically, it’s a sauce I would feel comfortable putting out at a party, if there was room for only one sauce.
Next, we stopped by Sub Hub and got the Blue Bomber. This is a truck that I’m pretty familiar with. They’ve been around for several years, and they have never served me a bad sandwich. In fact, their attention to details like creating homemade sauces and making sure that they have the best bread have made it a favorite in my household. This was my first time trying the Blue Bomber, though. It was a pulled chicken sandwich topped with a bruschetta blend, spring mix and bleu cheese. Although previous experiences had set my expectations high, they were met with this sandwich. The chicken was cooked perfectly, and the vinegary tomatoes blended wonderfully with the mild bleu cheese dressing. The bun was soft and chewy, with a slightly crusty exterior.
Long after we finished the first couple of items, our graphic designer returned from the Hunny and Bunny line. Apparently, ticket times were exceeding 30 minutes. And that was after standing in line for 20 minutes or more. What she had to show for nearly an hour’s wait was a pita piled with shawarma, lettuce, and tomatoes next to a pile of lightly seasoned fries. The fries were really good, even after they cooled off. Despite being generously cut, they managed to avoid being too dense. The pita had a great texture, managing to be chewy while maintaining its integrity beneath the delicately flavored steak. The steak, while well seasoned, was a bit tough to chew. However, that did not keep me from eating a piece I dropped on my 2-month-old daughter’s head. Just saying.
Finally, we all split at Caramel Cave Cake from Heart of the City, a gluten and allergy sensitive bakery that had a table set up. This petite treasure was one of the moistest cakes I’ve ever tasted. The bite I
had tasted decadent, but light, likely due to the almond flour it was made from.
By the time we left our table, people were circling, waiting for any available seating. And while it would have been fun to stick around for the social aspects of the event, the crowd had swelled and it felt like time to go.
Bottom line: If I’m in town, this is a must-attend event. However, I will always try to arrive as early as possible. I like delicious, creative food from a truck as much as the next person, but I hate waiting longer than I would in a sit-down restaurant.
The vibe was upbeat. The extra seating and beer garden were welcome additions. I saw many people bring their food to adjacent Tower Park and make a picnic of it. Good idea.
We only had one long wait, and that truck had a person working alone inside. Hopefully, she will bring a buddy to the next event.
We had some good and some great. Nothing terrible, but nothing I’d stalk one of these trucks
to eat again. However, when I see Sub Hub, even if it’s not a mealtime, I will grab one of their sandwiches for later.
It’s the facts
[It’s the facts]
Future Food Truck Friday dates are 6/17, 7/22, and 8/19.
Hours are 5-10 p.m.
Food vendors include Hunny and Bunny, Scotty D’s, Swamp Daddy, Boxcar Beef, Backyard BBQ, Sub Hub, SDSU Ice Cream, Dakota Snow, Squealer’s and Heart of the City.