Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Mobile Food Rodeo – Interbay, Seattle

Posted on: Monday 19 September 2011

I had a question mark next to the Mobile Food Rodeo on my calendar as Mr S was returning from a three week work trip on the same day. I hesitated when the lovely Carol offered me a spare ticket but Mr S assured me he would be sleeping off jet lag so I happily accepted.

It was cool and cloudy as we joined the queue just before midday. VIP ticket holders were to have an extra hour before general admission but they were delayed by the fire marshal inspection and thus had a cascading effect on us. Hungry and windswept, we finally entered just before one o’clock.

A barren bitumen block enclosed by a barbwire fence, about a dozen food trucks ringed the perimeter and there were a couple of canopies with stacked hay bales for seating.

The bright graffiti on the Skillet Street Food van greeted us.

We spotted a retro Jeep Fleetvan painted in Whole Foods Market green selling cold beverages. It reminded me of the British television series Heartbeat!

Next to the petite Whole Foods truck was Maximus Minimus, a pig with attitude in sunglasses!

Our first food truck was Curry Now. By the time we got our wristbands, I was shivering and in need of sustenance.

We shared a small chicken curry with rice and topped with cilantro. We ate this quickly and appreciated the spiciness.

Street Treats was adjacent and we peeked at the menu. Although tempted by ice cream cookie sandwiches we opted to purchase a salted brown butter crispy bar for later. We split this in the car and it was a sticky treat of sweet nuttiness.

A regular at Queen Anne Farmers Market, Parfait Organic Artisan Ice Cream was another sweet truck present. Street Donuts was there too.

When we were outside the line was moving steadily until we paused at Fusion on the Run. We noticed a menu leaning against a window and were intrigued by the coconut ginger chicken bánh mì.

As we were waiting for our bánh mì, a guy picked up his tacos order. On the left is ono, kalua pork with mango salsa and surfer sauce. The other two are KV fusion, marinated short rib with cilantro and onions.

A crusty baguette was filled with julienned and pickled carrots and daikon, lettuce, cilantro, sesame seeds and coconut ginger chicken. Each bite of the bánh mì was crunchy and juicy, the sour vegetables tempered the richness of the marinated chicken. This was the highlight of the Mobile Food Rodeo!

By now the crowds have at least quadrupled since we got in. Groups were huddled together, balancing plates and trays while standing. Those perched on hay bales were elbow to elbow.

We continued our rotation and walked by Lumpia World, Where Ya At and Kaosamai. After the bánh mì, we skipped burgers, sliders and sandwiches at Bistro Box, Buns on Wheels and Charlie’s Buns N’ Stuff.

The pig shaped chalkboard at The Box caught our attention! A recent addition to the fleet of local food trucks, they’re based in Kirkland.

We ordered a pork belly hum bao each and these were speedily assembled. Slow braised in soy and mirin, a generous slice of pork belly with a scattering of coleslaw was wedged between a steamed bun. The fresh and zingy slaw was a textural contrast to the yielding pork belly and the soft bun soaked up the tasty marinade.

A band entertained the crowds and later, Mayor McGinn appeared on the stage and a cupcake eating contest was held.

The sun had emerged and the atmosphere had livened up. There were some long queues so Carol lined up at Bigfood and I went searching for fries.

I was keen to try poutine, the Québec specialty. Surprised by only a handful of people lingering at Skillet, I joined the short queue just in time for the announcement that they were sold out.

Disappointed, I returned to the area where Bigfood was parked and caught a glimpse of the Happy Grillmore menu. Yukon gold fries with garlic and Parmesan? Yes please!

Unfortunately I was defeated by the wait time. The two chefs were cooking at a frantic pace but they were limited by space. The size of the event overwhelmed the charm of food trucks.

A jungle themed food truck, Bigfood also had a long queue but we were determined to try their grilled flatbreads.

On the left is sasquatch, spicy pulled pork shoulder with green mango chutney and coleslaw. On the right is yeti, braised beef with curried fruit and coleslaw. Colourful ingredients rested on fluffy flatbreads with perfect grill marks! These were tender and luscious, the grilled flatbread was a sturdy utensil for the shredded meat and fruity condiments.

And finally, a red velvet muffin. We scraped off the buttercream and halved the dense and buttery muffin.

Another new food truck, Snout & Co. has ‘soulful food from Cuba to South Carolina’.

As we exited, we were thankful that we arrived early and mostly avoided queuing by the dozens. Hopefully the organisation will improve for next year but it is a fun event to sample the diverse food trucks of Seattle and Portland.

Mobile Food Rodeo was a fundraiser for Solid Ground.

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7 Responses to "Mobile Food Rodeo – Interbay, Seattle"

Great idea to go with a friend–more samples divided by 2 equals more room to keep eating. Hope it happens next year-improved organization but lots of trucks!

Indeed it was. And we could each line up and reconvene to share – less time in queues, more food to sample!

We would like to thank everybody who attended the Mobile Food Rodeo on September 17th. If you have any suggestions for next year’s event please contact us at http://mobilefoodrodeo.wordpress.com.

Once again thank you for making this such a huge success. We have a bunch of new adjustments and attractions coming next year

I emailed my feedback to MFRfeedback@gmail.com last week. Congratulations on raising $3,126 for Solid Ground!

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