The forecast of cooler temps and cloudy skies had me very excited about last Saturday’s Main Street Food Truck Festival in downtown Little Rock. Unfortunately, those clouds turned into sprinkles, and sprinkles turned into wind, thunder, and heavy rain. The bad weather cut short what was to be a glorious food day.
I did, however, get to partake in a full hour of downtown food truck crawling before the skies opened up. Trucks and stands of all shapes and sizes were scattered along Main Street. I was able to try a handful of spots, including: Haute Wheels, Red River Catering, Taqueria Jalisco San Juan, and Philly’s. I decided to skip places like Banana Leaf and The Southern Gourmasian, in favor of these unchartered mobile eateries.
The latter, for example, was a food cart rather than a truck. This small, one-man grill churned out my favorite item of the day: a Philly cheese steak sandwich ($7), loaded with steak, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and provolone cheese. The sandwich went from grill to a foil wrap-up to my mouth, all in a matter of seconds.
My $2 tiny taco from Taqueria Jalisco was packed with flavor, but was way too small, even with a relatively cheap price tag. The chicken tamale (also $2) was both sizable and delicious. I also found the tamale’s chicken to masa ratio to be perfect.
Red River Catering’s had a nice showing with their bbq nachos ($4). I decided on the half order, which consisted of thick tortilla chips drenched in a mildly spicy cheese sauce, then topped with tender pulled pork and sweet and tangy barbecue sauce.
I was a tad disappointed with Haute Wheels’ Cuban sandwich ($4), but only because of the bread. Everything between the slices was great, but I found the bread needed more time on the grill to give it that classic Cuban sandwich taste.
Finally, food is one thing, but when it comes to festivals, logistics is another. Granted, I arrived at the event early and the weather did thin out crowds, but I found the entire event to be well run. It was very easy to purchase tickets (which were used as currency) and each truck/cart had our food out within minutes. Everyone I dealt with during my brief time was extremely friendly and courteous.
What annoyed me with this festival, as with any festival I attend, are the high prices. I understand the overhead involved with such events, but high prices for small portions never puts me in a great mood.
…And neither does rain.