Trying saying that three times fast.
This past week I found myself back home in Indy and geared up for my very first First Friday. I’d heard advertisements on the radio for the First Friday Food Truck Festival (FFFTF) and didn’t have to think twice about my dinner plans for the night. To my surprise all my friends were already planning to go, which sweetened the whole deal for me.
Located in the parking lot of the Old National Center (aka the Murat), admission was the best five dollars I’ve ever spent. There was over thirty food trucks lining the perimeter of the parking lot and corn hole games set-up in the middle. With drink stations featuring Leinenkugel and Oliver Winery ciders sprinkled throughout, this was a summer oasis if I’ve ever seen one.
Despite the insane heat of a mid-summer evening, my friends and I weren’t deterred from trying warm eats from various trucks. The twelve bottles of water we consumed might have helped our cause. Although I’m craving to try each food truck, especially the ones I always hear raves about, it was the ones I’ve never heard of that really sparked my interest.We frequented five trucks and a popsicle stand before we called it a night. If you plan on attending future FFFTF I would suggest going with friends. It was so fun sharing various foods among the group, sharing our opinions and sampling a bigger variety of foods.
Maybe it was the combination of great company and tasty eats, but FFFTF has me anxious to get back home to Indy for future First Fridays.
Ate: Grandma’s Old Timer, sans mustard and onions
Of Note: I really wanted to try the Southern Belle Rosemary Chicken, which was served at the 2012 Superbowl Tailgate, but wasn’t braves enough to have it topped with the sweet-tart Alabama white sauce (which I’ve heard raves about).
Hoosier Fat Daddy
Ate: Tatertot Casserole (yes, you read that right) with ketchup at suggestion of the chef
Of Note: Although they are famous for their rib tips, turkey legs, polish sausages and jerk chicken wings, my mind couldn’t get past the tatertot casserole. The display sign showing it on their menu for the night stopped me dead in my tracks. This was, by far, the best thing we tasted all night, and personally, the best thing I’ve tasted in years.
Chuck Wagon Deli
Ate: Turkey Sandwich, with my normal modifications – meats, cheese, mayo, lettuce and tomatoes only
Of Note: Of all the food trucks we stopped at, I was most impressed with Chuck Wagon. I have a certain affinity for turkey sandwiches and this one did not disappoint. In fact, I could be one of the top five sandwiches I’ve ever tasted. Upon first bite I could tell the tomatoes were home-grown and freshly sliced and the quality ingredients that made up the rest of it made me sad I agreed to share. The next day it was all I was craving.
In a Pita
Ate: Honey Cinnamon Sugar Pita Bites & Watermelon
Of Note: The pita chips (not pictured) were almost too hard to bite into, but the little dessert did not disappoint. The portion was large, taste delicious and my friends toted them throughout the night nibbling a bit here and there.
Ate: Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
Of Note: Wow. Talk about a plethora of gourmet bites of everyone’s favorite food, this truck lived up to all the hype I’d heard about. We split this three ways, maybe five bites each, and still had enough to take home and share with the neighbors. Come sleet, snow, hail or rain, I would track down the genies through anything to enjoy their delicious, comforting goodness.
Ate: Pineapple Basil Popsicle
Of Note: Creative flavors, all-natural ingredients and vegan friendly options, this was the last (but definitely not least) stop on our food truck tour. Everywhere we turned people were walking by with amazing looking popsicles. Being somewhat of a popsicle connoisseur and inventor (I’m convinced I was the first to make gatorade popsicles), I was thrilled to find this cute, family ran cart and give it a whirl. My choice was based on my love of the Tiki Room at Disneyland and it did not disappoint. A nice ending to a yummy night.
A challenging part of being a Cincinnati newbie is the lack of information about city events. It’s tough enough to find information about the food trucks here and I’ve never heard of anything like a food truck festival taking place. If you don’t know people who know things, it’s tough to find where to eat and what to do. I’ll admit I’m probably biased about Indy being great providing the public with information about events, but it seems effortless, even for someone who doesn’t live in the city any longer. While hanging out at FFFTF, a nice man informed us about a new website and app, Do317, that provides daily activities city-wide. Genius. Cincinnati, may I please get one of these for the 513?!