Having been to every Mobile Food Rodeo in Seattle, I’ve enjoyed watching the evolution of the event over the years. I go to a lot of food trucks on the regular but the Rodeo offers an opportunity to see a large variety of trucks at once. This year not only marked the first two day event, but one that was held in two neighborhoods – International District (May 3rd) and Fremont (May 4th). This post is a recap of May 3rd in the ID. Find more photos on my Flickr page.
Unlike previous Rodeos, this one was not blessed with sunny, gorgeous weather. Die hards like me will go, regardless of weather. It’s important to support small business, which almost all truck owners are. Also, this is Seattle. It rains.
Following my own tips, I got to the ID, parked, and was at the Rodeo before the 5pm start time. Things were going so well that I didn’t pick up my VIF (Very Important Foodie) Pass right away.
How did the VIF Pass work? Very well. The check-in was at Hing Hay Park which I think was really smart since it wasn’t a high traffic area. You get a pass on a lanyard and a corresponding wristband to ensure that you don’t give your VIF Pass to anyone else. Both are required for the VIF lines. I was at the Rodeo for around 3 hours. Things picked up and while I saw 15-20 people standing in regular lines, there was never more than 3 people in front of me in the VIF line. Also, lines were much clearer than before – they had stanchions in front of each truck and a food truck wrangler to ensure people were in the right lines. Brilliant! Money well spent, as always.
Stop 1: Street Donuts. I always stop here first. Never miss. Why? If you haven’t tasted their mini-donuts, then you simply don’t understand. My all time favorite is cinnamon caramel. That light cinnamon sprinkled donuts topped with caramel sauce makes me weak in the knees. Tonight, I tried habanero chocolate. It was a nice amount of spice and I liked the consistency of the chocolate.
Stop 2: Bumbu Truck. I’ve been meaning to catch the truck around town and finally got a chance today. The curry beef lumpia is one of my favorites! An order of 3 costs $5 and it’s a great deal. The curry beef is lightly spiced and flavorful. The wrap is fried until golden brown and is a nice package to hold the lovely meat. Top with the dipping sauce and a bit of sriracha, and life is good. Today, they had nasi padang – steamed rice, chicken dry curry, collard green curry, and a hard boiled egg in red chili sauce. I asked for “spicy” and it didn’t disappoint. The chicken was tender and seasoned well. I’m not used to having greens prepared this way but it was good. Overall, there were a lot of flavors that I hadn’t tasted before but I liked them all.
Stop 3: Jemil’s Big Easy. If you know me, then you know I go to Jemil’s a lot. If I’m not mistaken, I’m the Duke of Jemil’s on Yelp. I have a problem – I like cajun food! Tonight, I had jambalaya and tipsy bread pudding. I love the spice of the jambalaya. Often, folks are afraid to put a little spice in food because some customers don’t like it. I love it! The bread pudding is my second favorite dessert from Jemil’s (my absolute fave are beignets). It’s hearty, sweet, and has just a little bit of tipsy in it to send you on your way. Overall, I love Jemil’s and go as often as I can! The staff (Jemil, Julie, Candace, etc.) is so friendly and fun, it’s hard to stay away!
Stop 4: Six Strawberries. I’ve been a fan since they first hit the streets. The first time I tried their ice pops, I was hooked. It was a hot summer day and Vanessa was riding the bike around Ballard. I used the phone app (not sure they still use it) and Twitter to chat with Will to track her down. My first ice pop was blueberry lemonade and has been my favorite ever since. Last year, I went to their summer launch and had a fantastic time! Today, I topped off my savory foods with a sweet ice pop for dessert (blueberry lemonade, of course). It’s as good as the first time I tried it.
Stop 5: Crisp Creperie. I’ve been a fan of Crisp since the first time I tried their food around their 2nd week on the road. Tonight, they were selling desserts, and Jon was wearing his California Raisins shirt. If I’m not mistaken, he’s worn it for the last 2 Rodeos, perhaps the last 3. It’s a cool shirt and he’s a cool guy. Evan was his ever smiling self and they were busy as ever. I got the dark cherry + chocolate + ricotta. I love the hearty cherries and chunks of chocolate. The batter is one of my favorites. The way that the crepe is prepared with a bit of crisp is one of the reasons I continue to come back. Also, the rosemary lemonade is to die for! I typically just drink water but I swear, I can drink gallons of this.
Lucha Libre Vocanica – I’ve got to give them credit; I honestly thought they were going to cancel due to rain but the show went on. It was fun entertainment to watch and kids (and kids at heart) had a great time, even in the rain.
I didn’t get to see everyone I planned on seeing so I’m grateful for another chance tomorrow morning in Fremont. See my Recap Day 2 – 2014 Mobile Food Rodeo (Fremont) here.