Recap Day 2 – 2014 Mobile Food Rodeo (Fremont)

The second day of the annual Mobile Food Rodeo has come to an end.  The Rodeo in the International District was quite the adventure.  It was the wettest, rainiest Rodeo I have been to.  No matter, I had a good time and got to see a few trucks before having to leave unexpectedly.  This post is a recap of May 4th in Fremont.  For a recap of May 3rd in the ID, click here.   Find more photos on my Flickr page

2014 Mobile Food Rodeo (Day 2) – Fremont

The Rodeo returned to its home in Fremont, not only the Center of the Universe but from my perspective, the undisputed home of Seattle food trucks.  Out of all the sets in Fremont, I think this was the best.  Each time, the set has been tweaked a bit and the improvements have led to a better overall experience.  The Fremont Sunday Market was in full swing, as it is all year round.  The trucks were scattered at the Market beginning at the halfway point on the South side of the street.  I think this was brilliant and allowed integration of existing Market traffic (a loyal following) with more trucks than on the average Sunday.  On N. 35th, west of Phinney Ave. N., it was all food trucks and sponsors on both sides of the street.  This is by far the best arrangement that I’ve seen over the years.

Sponsors make many things happen from being able to give out swag to setting up tents and tables for hungry foodies.  University VW Audi has been a loyal sponsor for years and their staff members are super friendly.  They also give out the best grocery shopping bags that are slightly bigger than your average bag.  If you fancy, they always have a car or two on hand for you to check out.

If the beer garden is your jam, it’s located where Fremont Outdoor Movies are shown.  They typically have 2-3 food trucks inside the beer garden for your convenience.

The Very Important Foodie (VIF) check-in was at Fremont Mischief, which I think is an ideal location.  They were giving out free cups of coffee and Top Pot Doughnuts this morning.  Following my own tips, I had zero problems finding parking and getting to the Rodeo on time.

Stop 1: Jemil’s Big Easy.  Jemil’s entered the Taco Libre Showdown with cajun tacos.  Just the smell of the spices made my mouth water.  The complex flavors were worth savoring bite by bite.  They won 3rd place with this entry.  Congrats!

Jemil’s Big Easy – Cajun Taco

Stop 2My Sweet lil Cakes.  I’ve had the chicken and waffles here before and yes, you should get them.  The quality of the chicken is very clear.  Also, they have a beautiful peppery taste that gives it a bit of a kick.  This time, I tried the blueberry lemon ricotta with large blueberries that were a bit caramelized from the grill and oh-so-sweet!  

My Sweet lil Cakes – Blueberry Lemon Ricotta

Stop 3BeanFish.  I think I started seeing BeanFish around their 2nd week at Fremont Sunday Market.  We’re so lucky to have taiyaki available on a regular basis.  Innovative, creative, and tasty, I see BeanFish every time I’m at the Market (which is fairly often).  Today was no exception…their special was Kobe beef with Japanese coleslaw with 7 spice.  The beef was so tender and that spice was a real kick in the pants!  The crunch of the coleslaw added a perfect balance of texture.  Yum! 

BeanFish – Kobe Beef Special (foreground)

Stop 4: The Ultimate Melt.  This was my first time at the truck.  I’ve tweeted a bit back and forth with them and was happy to see Seattle’s 3rd grilled cheese truck (it’s technically the 4th but Monte Cristo left town awhile back).  I had the carne asada fiesta.  Staff members were just as friendly in person as they were online.  The sandwich was made of high quality bread, seemed to have the cheese slices melted to each side of the bread and was filled with queso fresco, carne asada beef, guacamole, and grilled onions.  The meat was soft…so soft.  Overall it was a good sandwich.  

The Ultimate Melt – Carne Asada Fiesta

Stop 5: Waffle Wagon.  I’ve eaten both sweet and savory waffles here before.  Today, I got their $5 special – chicken and waffle in syrup.  I thought it was a nice size and the waffle was prepared well.  The chicken is worth talking about.  The quality was very clear – meaty, well seasoned, and obviously a very good cut.  Stack that on top of syrup and you’ve got yourself a treat! 

Waffle Wagon – $5 Chicken and Waffle Special

Stop 6: Lumpia World.  Derrick and Eleanor are the cutest couple and make great food together! I’ve been eating their lumpia since they were catering in Renton years ago, made deliveries, and popped up at special events like The Bite.  Today, I got my all time favorites – ground pork and RPL.  the ground pork is seasoned with sauteed garlic, onions and veggies.  The RPL is a Thai coconut jasmine rice pudding lumpia.  Aside from that wonderful rice pudding in the middle, it’s topped with sauce, toasted coconut, and powdered sugar.  It’s decadent and so good without being over the top. 

Lumpia World – RPL Lumpia

Stop 7: Brown Bag Baguette.  I’ve been aware of this truck for awhile but haven’t stopped by.  I live in a neighborhood where there is a lot of bahn mi.  I also spend a lot of time in the International District and I tend to eat a lot of it there as well.  It was $9 for a bahn mi.  I’ve never seen one that costs more than $6.  From what I understand, they use good ingredients.  I’ve had many fantastic bahn mi so I was curious about the difference it would make.  Not wanting to drop $9 on one, I opted for $5 for half of one, which was a special.  It was okay but I’m still not sure why it was so expensive.  

Brown Bag Baguette – $5 Bahn Mi Special
Anchorhead Coffee Stand

Stop 8: Anchorhead Coffee.  The special for the Rodeo was a horchata latte for $3.  Sounds like a deal to me!  My concern was that they didn’t make their own horchata.  I loved that they addressed my concerns and openly said they would make me something else if I didn’t like it.  That took the risk out of my decision and I have to say, it was good.  Coffee and horchata is not something that I think about as a pairing but it was a nice way to kickstart my afternoon before grabbing more food.  

Stop 9: Thai-U-Up.  This truck is typically in West Seattle so I haven’t been to it until now.  I ordered two $5 specials: crispy garlic chicken and volcanic chicken.  Both were fried crispy and stayed crispy, which I loved.  I also loved that each had a character of its own.  Sauces really make the difference!  

Thai-U-Up – $5 Crispy Garlic Chicken Special

Stop 10: Marination Mobile.  Big Blue will always have a soft spot in my heart.  It was one of the first trucks I used to chase around before the days of, which makes it much easier. I remember taking the bus around town during my lunch hour trying to get my hands on kim chi fried rice.  This was also before they opened Marination Station and Marination Ma Kai, both bricks locations.  Today, a Spam slider and kalbi taco were at the top of the list.  Excellent, as always and cheap!  

Marination Mobile – Spam Slider and Kalbi Taco

Stop 11NOSH.  Fried rabbit confit gets me.  Sometimes, I’ll be craving it and nothing else will do.  The salty, crispy coating sticks so well to the rabbit.  Rabbit is lean and muscular but they get it nice and soft.  It’s got to be the buttermilk. So good!  Today, the truck was also competing in the Taco Libre Showdown.  They prepared Taco De Lengua – braised beef tongue taco, red cabbage with Granny Smiths, salsa verde, and cilantro creme.  I have to say, beef tongue is not high on my list.  I will also tell you that Harvey has never steered me wrong and from my perspective, this is one of the best newer trucks I’ve eaten at over the last few years.  Everything I’ve tried has been excellent!  The tacos were no exception.  I appreciate that they push me to open my taste buds to something new.  

NOSH – Taco De Lengua

This year’s 2 day Rodeo was a success!  The weather could have been better but hey, you can’t control that.  I got great food over the course of 2 days.  I did a cleanse to prepare for this weekend and think I’ll probably have to do another one soon.  Stay tuned over the next week – I’ll be posting all my photos from this exciting weekend!!! See my Recap Day 1 – 2014 Mobile Food Rodeo (International District) here


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