Monday Foodie Porn: Food Truck Social | chicago foodie girl

8.27.2012

Monday Foodie Porn: Food Truck Social

*Tap, tap, tap* Is this thing on? Ahem.

As I mentioned on my facebook page (follow me over there for bonus content!), I didn't mean to disappear. I spent much of the last week and a half walking around in a major state of zombie-ness. My new job is quite lovely and there are a lot of fantastic people, but between getting up an hour earlier than normal, a 1.5 hour commute (each way!) to navigate, a wicked case of insomnia, and a billion new students/classes, I'm was totally out of it. Thankfully, my insomnia broke just in time for the weekend - I slept a glorious nine hours on Thursday night (versus the 2-3 I was sleeping), spent Saturday evening at Ravinia, and braved the pissing rain on Sunday for an afternoon of deliciousness at the Food Truck Social.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before or not, but I am slightly obsessed with food trucks - I have been known to plan an entire outing around a food truck stalking session. :-) While food trucks are common in many other major cities, the trend is a fairly recent phenomenon in Chicago, thanks to some strict legislation that made it difficult for them to operate in the city. After a recent surge in food trucks and a lot of push from the owners, the city finally amended the original food truck ordinance. The new ordinance still has some major limitations (for instance food trucks are not allowed to park within 200 feet of a competing brick-and-mortar restaurant), but it is a step in the right direction (they can finally apply for a license to actually prepare food on board - up until a few months ago, all food had to be pre-prepared/cooked). They city has received almost 50 mobile food preparer license applications over the last two months, which means one really great thing for me... more food trucks with awesome food! Hooray!

Diana and I attended the second annual Food Truck Social yesterday and had a magically delicious time (despite the abysmal weather). The FTS is the perfect opportunity to both learn about new food trucks and to track down some of the seemingly elusive trucks. There were fifteen trucks parked in a giant lot in West Town with a bunch of tables/tents and live music. Not only did we eat so much fantastic food, but also, thanks to the rain, we had the opportunity to talk to many of the food truck owners without hordes of hungry, angry people trying to push us out of the way to get to front. I can't wait until next year's social, which is already rumored to be twice as big!

(please excuse the quality of some of these photos - it's not all that easy to take photos in the rain while balancing various plates of goodies)

Free Almond & Coconut bars from the KIND truck!

Hanging out next to the adorable Beavers Coffee + Donuts truck. Beavers is one of the more popular food trucks in the area (they're the only one that serves freshly made gourmet donuts) and one of the few that can often be found parked on the north side. After sampling their awesomeness, I can firmly say I am on the Beavers bandwagon - their popularity definitely well deserved!


Mini donuts from Beavers:
 Strawberry Bella and Nutella Dream. The donuts are crispy on the outside, and light & fluffy on the inside... they just melt in your mouth. Let's not forget the fact that they're totally adorable! :-)


ChiTown Bomber
:
aka the urban food truck assault vehicle. I'd heard nothing but good things about their food, but found them impossible to track down. I was so happy to finally encounter them at the social - the food was definitely worth the wait!


Takoyaki (octopus beignets) from ChiTown Bomber
: While there was some tough competition, this was my absolute favorite dish. The octopus was perfectly cooked and the sauce had just the right balance of sweet/sour/heat. I usually don't care much for octopus (too chewy!), but this was incredible. It's hard to believe that such a perfect dish came out of a truck!

Left: Cabo Bacon Cheddar Sausage from Haute Sausage (bacon sausage with roasted poblano, corn guacamole, and Merkts cheddar)
Right: Sheboygan Brat (Wisconsin beer brat with mustard seed sauerkraut and Merkts cheddar

Menus from ChiTown Bomber, ice3, and Beyond Borders

BBQ Pork Shoulder Sandwich from Beyond Borders

Chicken Tikka Paratha from Latitude 20: This food truck hit the streets for the first time at the beginning of August, making them the youngest truck at the social. The chicken tikka was some of the best I've ever had - spicy, but not overwhelming. I love the idea of mobile Indian food & can't wait to find them again!

Hands down, ice3 is the coolest ice cream truck rolling around Chicago. They carry a variety of sweet and savory options and serve their ice cream in mini takeout containers. So awesome... and soooo delicious!

Left: Black Velvet from ice3 (Black Onyx ice cream with 60% dark chocolate brownie, cream cheese ribbon, and smoky scotch caramel)
Right: Sweet Georgia Brown (Peach Brown Sugar ice cream with buttered rum swirl, and spiced stewed peaches)  

There was even a cute little food truck for doggies!

Sweet Ride: What's there not to love about a pink cupcake truck with flames? :-)

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11 comments

  1. I had the best time! Download that app and let's start staking some trucks!!! :)

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  2. Suddenly, I'm starving!

    Our city has yet to learn much about food trucks. We've just barely (or is it Bearly) gotten to the place of having carts on sidewalks.

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  3. @Rob-bear: We don't even have carts here! Chicago has been anti-food cart/truck for years - they've just started to bend a little with trucks, but I don't see the cart thing happening here anytime soon. :-(

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  4. First of all, I'm amazed that Chicago has been anti-food truck/cart. Doesn't make sense in a city where most people prefer to walk/use public transportation instead of hitting up drive-thrus. Grand Rapids has embraced the food-truck craze! When we played at the downtown Farmer's Market, there were 4 food trucks and a couple of food-carts there! Love it. So much better than "fast-food".

    Looks like this was a really fun event to attend! Great post! I'm STARVING after reading it though. ;D

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  5. I am a Truck Food junkie also. Have been wanting to hit one of these gatherings and have not been able to. Oh, and the Kind bars, try the dark chocolate and seat salt flavor. So good!!

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  6. @Kelli: I know! I think it's ridiculous that the downtown area isn't crawling with food carts - I've been to smaller/less crowded cities with 10x the food options for the non-driving crowd.

    @Jacky: We should totally have a big food truck social blogger meet-up next year! :-) I'm definitely going to check out the dark chocolate/sea salt Kind bars - cannot resist that flavor combo!

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  7. I cannot believe you got Takoyaki from the food truck!!! I need that food truck here! I have Takoyaki grill but so lazy to make it. That and the BBQ pork shoulder sandwich... I'm so there... Wish I can be in Chicago for this lunch time!!!

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  8. @Nami: I know! I am SO excited about that truck - I've been obsessively stalking it on twitter!

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