Food Truck Friday frenzy
For those of you who only venture off campus at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings to stuff your face with fresh Dough to Door (I know I am not alone in this), it is about time you embrace a new gastronomic experience. I, of course, am not suggesting that you give up Dough to Door, but perhaps you should add some variety to your palette (without shelling out too much money) by attending next month’s Food Truck Friday at Tower Grove Park.
As the latest (some may say hipster) craze sweeping the nation, food trucks arrived in St. Louis two years ago with the opening of the Pi food truck. Today, more than 33 food trucks roam around St. Louis, and 19 of these vehicles park in the southwest corner of Tower Grove Park on the second Friday of each month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a food truck frenzy.
After my friends and I gorged ourselves last Friday, here are some of the culinary highlights:
Lulu’s Local Eatery
Inspired by their time in Australia and New Zealand “Wwoofing” (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), the couple that founded Lulu’s is all about local food and green practices. Perhaps the most stereotypical cart you would expect to find amongst the bearded, tight pant, big-glasses-wearing folk wandering the park Friday, it is also one of the most scrumptious options available. The sweet potato falafel, which received rave reviews by both Sauce magazine and that one girl who recommended it to me on my way into the park, was the epitome of a vegetarian’s wet dream. Warm sweet potato falafel balls, onions, spinach, cucumber and homemade tzatziki sauce all wrapped in toasted pita, it is the best option if you are looking for a healthy, filling and comfortingly tasty meal.
Some of the most well-known food trucks around the U.S. are those that serve tacos and Mexican food. Hot Aztec follows suit, specializing in chicken, shrimp and pork tacos while also selling specialty hot dogs. The Hot Az Dog, a hot dog wrapped in bacon, topped with pork, Chihuahua cheese, jalapeno, green peppers, mayonnaise and Aztec hot sauce is not for those with sensitive taste buds. Explosively spicy, this hot dog should be accompanied by a Jarrito or a Schlaffly beer to avoid overwhelming mouth burning. Try the $2 pumpkin empanadas while you are over there for an early taste of fall.
2 Girls 4 Wheels
I am not quite sure if the owners of this meant for the name of their stand to play off the infamous “Two Girls One Cup” video (look it up if you don’t know what I’m talking about, preferably in a private setting), but that is immediately what came to mind when first approaching this truck. Although not the most pleasant image to have in mind when ordering my food, thankfully the grilled cheese I ordered did not taste like anything consumed by the two girls in that video. Sold to me by the women behind the cash register as the “most bestest awesomest grilled cheese you will ever have,” the grilled cheese did not quite live up to its reputation. However, it was quite satisfying with pleasantly sweet pieces of dates inside. If you’re looking for a slight twist on a classic, hit this spot up and try to avoid the imagery that the truck name may invoke.
To those of you who sobbed the day you heard “Arrested Development” was going off the air and then cried tears of joy after hearing they were returning with another season and a full length movie, Holy Crepe’s “Bluth pops” must not be passed up. These “Banana Stand”-style frozen bananas covered in chocolate are better than the variety of crepes sold out of this transformed school bus. According to my friend, it was the best thing she has ever put in her mouth. If only George Michael had been the one to hand it over to her.
These are only four of the numerous food trucks selling foods ranging in category from sushi to grilled cheese to beer to Korean tacos to gyros and more. The best food trucks will have the longest lines, so if you are feeling overwhelmed by options, follow the crowds. Mostly filled with dogs, families with young children and college-aged hipsters, Tower Grove Park is a welcoming and mostly relaxing environment to spend the evening. And if you are lucky, you may even spot that rare weirdo amidst the crowd, double fisting beers and screaming offers for free love advice as you wander the park, savoring each bite of your freshly made food.
The next (and last!) Food Truck Friday will be Oct. 12 at Tower Grove Park.