This guest blog was written by a friend of mine Dena Pham. She blogs on her food blog Dena Loves Food in Tampa. As many of you know, I am currently studying abroad in South Korea and I really appreciate her writing up a post for my readers on a very important food event in Tampa. If you like what you see, like her blog on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dena-Loves-Food/181586071852396. Stay tuned for more Tampa blogs as many are being finalized at the moment and don’t forget to checkout The Taco Bus Wednesday on Man Vs. Food. 🙂
Food trucks have been on the rise lately, especially with Food Network’s show called The Great Food Truck Race. Tampa may be a bit behind with the new “In” but we are catching up pretty fast. Last Saturday, Tampa had their first Food Truck Rally and it went a little too well! Sponsored by 352 Media Group and Tasting Tampa, they were only expecting 1,000 people, but shockingly around 5,000 were able to experience the first food truck rally in Tampa.
Food trucks have been popular for quite some time, but what makes these new food trucks so different is that they serve legitimate food. You can get your dessert, snacks, gourmet meals and more at a reasonable price now from these food trucks. Everyday they park in a different location all around town and update their fans via Facebook, Twitter and other online media outlets.
There was around 10 different food trucks and vendors that attended the food truck rally. They all served different food for any and all taste buds. From Tex-Mex, sweets, and smoothies to seafood, bowls, sandwiches and so much more.
Here is a list of the trucks that attended: Wicked Wiches, Killer Samich, 3 Ballers, Fire monkey, Michelle Faedo’s, Coconut Bo’s, Fat Tortillas, The Cuppin Cake, Nelly Nels, and Buddy Brew Coffee.
There were massively long lines and wait times which was expected, but I was very surprised when an hour and a half went by from their opening time that many trucks have already started erasing and crossing items off their menus. Nelly Nel’s was the first to officially close their window before the 2 hour mark, but they reopened a couple hours later serving pork and chicken bowls. It was impossible to try food from all trucks so I did what I could do since each truck was a minimum of 1-2 hour wait in line.
I was able to try smoothies from Coconut Bo’s, two different crab cakes from Michelle Faedo’s and food from Wicked Wiches. The smoothies from Coconut Bo’s wasn’t great enough for me to be tempted to find where their truck is everyday, but their food off their menu looked interesting and healthy.
The crab cakes from Michelle Faedo’s truck would probably be my favorite thing I ate at the whole event. The cakes were loaded with crab meat and they were also crispy on the outside and extremely moist in the inside. Their crab cake also has a nice tangy citrus kick which made them really addicting.
The last spot I was able to get food from was Wicked Wiches’ truck. They are known for their creative twist on sandwiches and I must give them props because their food is really unique and full of flavor. I was able to try most of the items off their menu that was available at that time. We ended up ordering their Moroccan smashballs, Dr. Pepper Dancing chicken, Big Lebrowski, Cheeseburger egg roll, Sloppy Mary kota and a fried ham & cheese sandwich. I also got their Lychee Mango Limeade and that was one of my favorite drink, I never had anything like it which makes it an even more plus on my list!
Overall, the food was really good and the event was fun. There was some frustration with long lines, heat and food running out, but I’m sure the next event on Oct. 22 will be much better. There will be around 20 trucks for this next event and also many will now have some food truck rally experience to know what to expect.
4 responses to “Tampa’s First Food Truck Rally”
We waited in line for smoothies and Hulu Wraps at Coconut Bo’s for over an hour. They said it was their first event. I don’t think I’ll hunt down their truck either. I should’ve gone with my first instinct, Wicked Wiches. Sounds like my kind of food. I think I will look for them around town. I’m hoping some of these food trucks come to St. Pete from time to time. I also hope the organizers take the advice of their attendees so the 2nd rally will go smoother.
Yeah I think you have to cut the trucks some slack since it’s their first time. I’m sure it was hard for the trucks in Miami and Orlando too when they were first setting up, but practice makes perfect. When I went on the Tapas Trail in Ybor City earlier this year some restaurants ran out of food too, it really depends on how much they are willing to spend on the event and it honestly looks bad on something like that when people pay for an experience ahead of time and can’t have it. I’m sure if Tampa becomes successful it will spread out to St. Pete as well 🙂
I was there at 11 and Coconut Bo’s was my first to hit up because it was super hot and I wanted something cold. Waited a super long time almost an hour for just a smoothie. I noticed they had some younger kids inside the truck and there was only 2 or so working on the smoothies. I honestly don’t think their smoothies is all that great but hope that they can step it up if they are going to the next food rally event. Also the whole st. pete issue is kind of a mess since is a little more difficult to have food trucks in the area with all their rules and regulations. 😦 Sad I know!
Coconut Bo’s ran into some serious technical issues that day. It started when we were moved from our original set up spot and lost about 30 min. of our prep time. Within the first 5 min of being set up at the new spot half the electric went out in our half our truck. So we were unable to run most of our equipment. On top of all that we were two adults short for the day as there was a hospital emergency with them on Friday. So we went into this as our fist event will all the cards stacked against us and faced all the hurtles thrown at us as best we could. I think in the end we were still the last truck standing selling food and smoothies. We hope everyone comes out to the the next event or does look us up for a weekly sandwich or smoothy we get loads of love from or weekly people.