Food Truck Rodeo 2014-06-25

In the midst of a day filled with rain, fog and ultra humidity, the June Food Truck Rodeo came to the Public Market and so did plenty of people ready to eat. Crowds were a bit small to start with the on and off rain we got during the day, but by the time I left we were pretty close to the normal jam packed version of the rodeo we’ve all grown to tolerate.

Check out my recap in the normal format below including some new trucks and food from some of the more offbeat vendors!

New Openings

Rodeo 2014-06 Brunch Box Open

This was the official first Rodeo serving food for the Brunch Box food truck. Didn’t quite have enough stomach room to get to these guys this time, but they’re on my list to try at one of the future events.

Rodeo 2014-06 Sticky Lips

The Sticky Lips setup was more of a catering deal than a true food truck/trailer rig, but I appreciate them showing up to the event. Seems like more and more of the bigger Rochester establishments like Tom Wahls, Abbott’s and now Sticky Lips are making their forays into the Food Truck Rodeo world. The mainstreaming of the “food truck” continues!

Rodeo 2014-06 Bukkwheat

Bukkwheats Country Cravins (pulled the spelling off the truck directly) opened for the first time at the Rodeo serving a few simple BBQ menu options. I grabbed one of their pulled pork wraps to go at the end of the event and will be discussing it below among the other foods I sampled.

Dish Reviews

Rodeo 2014-06 Shrimp Gumbo

Since I end up going to almost every monthly food truck rodeo and even a bunch of the smaller ones around the area, I’ve developed some favorites and usually end up grabbing food from only a small subsection of the trucks. This time I made a concerted effort to try out some places I hadn’t visited yet and ate my way through 3 new spots along the way. First off was a no name trailer and a man with a sign advertising shrimp gumbo. This definitely met my criteria since they aren’t one of the big guns and, even though they were regularly at the Rodeos last year, this was my first time trying their food. I went with their cup of shrimp gumbo and a hunk of cornbread since they were pushing it hard that evening. A decent dish but one that was much closer to a soup like jambalaya than an actual gumbo. Although the overall dish was a bit overblown and unbalanced, salad shrimp gave the broth some brininess and some cajun mainstays (sausage, okra, celery) rounded out the salty broth. I spoke to the owner, Jim Easly, who is catering and serving at the Rodeos as a hobby and I hope to see him working on his food and making improvements to it.

Rodeo 2014-06 Slogies Brisket

I had heard a lot about Slogie’s BBQ from the @RocFoodTrucks gentleman who also doubles as a Kansas City BBQ judge  so I was optimistic when I grabbed one of their brisket sandwiches. Unfortunately what I ended up with was small chunks of dried out brisket on a roll with a braising liquid instead of tender slabs of smoked meat. I think the meat may have been smoked earlier but it was finished in a liquid and was some of the driest brisket I’ve had in a while. It was very disappointing after hearing such good things about them and I can only hope that their competition food is much better than what I was served.

Rodeo 2014-06 Poutine Lemon

To clean out my palette, I went for a lemon bar and ginger soda from Le Petit Poutine. The lemon bar was decent version; creamy with just little citrus kick at the end and a pleasant crust. A little extra heat and sweetness would have made the ginger soda pop a bit more but it was subtle and enjoyable as it was.

Just because I didn’t want to close out the evening with a bad BBQ taste in my mind, I got a BBQ pulled pork wrap to go from Bukkwheats Country Cravins to tackle once my appetite returned. Although this wasn’t some revelatory sandwich, I was happy with the relatively sweet and tangy sauce and all the veg (lettuce, tomatoes, green onions) were fresh. The meat was plenty tender and I ended up with a tasty home cooked dish. Probably the best thing I had for the evening.

Overall Thoughts

Veering off the beaten path was the name of the game and with that I went through some ups and downs. I definitely needed the change of pace to keep the Rodeo concept fresh to me being a regular attendant and with some of the big hitters not there. I’m hoping to see some more new trucks on the scene next month that push the boundaries and offer some creative foods to everyone!

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