Literally. I’m on fire. Who turned on the sun? It’s incredibly hot out here.
These were the ginger thoughts running through my head during the Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo a few weekends back. It was a beautiful day… accompanied by 100 degree weather. Classic NC. The exceptional news is I got to spend the day filming with 3 Hungry Guys.
If you’ve never checked it out, 3 Hungry Guys is a YouTube food series that focuses on local restaurants, festivals, and bars in and around the Triangle. I would liken it to a local version of Diner, Drive-ins, and Dives, except you’re spared from having to listen to Guy Fieri. Check out their channel here.
Episodes air the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month. Each episode stars the host, Mike, and two guest co-hosts (thus “3 Hungry Guys”). It’s a cool look into local restaurants and usually features some one on one time with the owner of the spotlight establishment.
I’ve had the chance to film two episodes with Mike and the crew over the past few weeks. Blog post to come on the first, Pho Pho Pho. For the most recent episode I filmed, we hit up the Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo and tried a BUNCH of different trucks. Given the number of trucks I now have under my belt, I wanted to do a write up on some of my favorites.
// My Picks //
First off, let me do the consolation bit for those not mentioned where I say that we are just sooooo lucky to have so many fabulous trucks in the Triangle. We really are, but it sounds so cheesy to even type. With that out of the way, let’s dive in to some of my personal faves.
/ Baguettaboutit /
I’m kicking off my list with a truck I think everyone should be able to get behind: Baguettaboutit. I would say bread and meat are pretty straightforward, but this truck hits the next level when you realize you are ordering a delicious sausage + toppings, baked into a loaf of crispy french bread. Perfection.
We ordered The Monster, which is a sausage of your choosing + pimento cheese + a sauce. It was phenomenal. I’m also dying to try to The Buffalo. Definitely next on my list.
I would also like to note that this is an eye-catching truck. Look for a bright blue truck with yellow and red paint splatters. I tend to do the opposite of what we are all told as a child and judge every books by its cover. The same goes for food trucks and paint jobs.
/ Q’spresso /
This is one of the new trucks I tried with 3 Hungry Guys. As I stated above, I judge a truck by its flashy paint job. In the case of Q’spresso, I probably would not have given it a chance. The small green truck was sitting unassumingly at the very end of the rodeo. If you didn’t walk all the way down Fayetteville, you would have missed it.
You know what they say when you judge a truck by its paint job… you miss out on a delicious cuban-inspired sandwhich. Check it.
Q’spresso focuses on cuban and latin fusion sammies. We had the cochinita pibil, a pit-roasted pork sandwich with flavorful toppings.
I honestly cannot remember what that pink stuff was on top, but just trust me on this one, the toppings barely matter when you’re eating this kind of pork. The flavors were amazing and it was cooked perfectly. This sammie takes a standard Cuban and kicks it up many a notch.
/ American Meltdown /
Is the way to my heart grilled cheese? Yes. Don’t ask stupid questions to which you already know the answer.
American Meltdown came to my office building a few months ago and it was love at first “you have a buffalo chicken grilled cheese.” Similar to the love you see in movies, and much realer than love at first sight.
I tried it again at the rodeo and it did not disappoint. We asked for a surprise sandwich and ended up with the Mother of Dragons Melt.
I was already in love due to the name, but decided to go ahead and try the sandwich as well. This melt featured chorizo, mustard greens, and Monterey jack cheese. Again, another delicious and solid menu item from the folks at American Meltdown, though I am still partial to the buffalo. The brussels sprouts were also phenomenal. They were deep fried without breading, giving you all that delicious sprout taste, but with extra crisp. Obsessed.
Tip: American Meltdown has a physical location in Durham if you don’t want to follow the food truck schedule.
/ Chirba Chirba /
I have tried Chirba Chirba in the past, but I do not have a picture. I know, I’m terrible. Even with no picture, I HAD to include them on this list. They dish out amazing dumplings.
Zach and I spent part of our honeymoon in San Francisco. We headed over to Chinatown for an afternoon and ate our weight in dumplings. Once we got back to Raleigh we were dying to find somewhere with delicious dumplings. Lo and behold, this truck came into our lives right we needed it. God really does provide. Go ahead and order anything on their menu and enjoy.
/ Ice Cream /
One of my favorite food truck picks is ice cream. You cannot go wrong with anything frozen when it comes to the food truck rodeos since they usually happen in the summer and it is sweltering.
/ Two Roosters/
My go-to ice cream truck is Two Roosters.
You guys have seen me post about them on my Instagram, but I honestly cannot get enough. They rotate flavors constantly (I just saw where they’re working on a Fireball flavor?!? Say whattt??). Zach and I tried pizza flavor at Hopscotch last year and it was incredibly bizarre. Half the fun of a truck like this is seeing what they will do next. If you want to play it safe, you cannot go wrong with the Lucky Charms, Sola Mini Doughnut, or Coffee flavors.
/ Fresh. Local Ice Cream /
I’m a new fan of Fresh. Local Ice Cream, which we tried at the rodeo. If you are a lover of basic, good ice cream, this is your go to. Definitely no frills here, but they do not need it given how delicious the product is. You can tell everything is fresh (well-named) and real. It is au naturale.
We tried a combo plate of four different ice creams. My favorite for a little jazz was the strawberry cheesecake. Otherwise, basic vanilla was just plain perfect.
/ Conclusion /
Obviously, we are lucky in Raleigh because we have a ton of amazing food trucks, but there are clearly some stand outs. I would love to get more recommendations for delicious trucks (particularly the unassuming kind that I may otherwise ignore).
I cannot wait to let everyone know when my episodes of 3 Hungry Guys are up! Stay tuned.
// Freakin’ Weekend //
It’s almost here ya’ll. It’s been awhile since I have fulfilled my blogging duties and given you guys a heads up about some local events for the weekend. Here are some of my pics.
/ Friday / June 24, 2016 /
- PNC has started its downtown movie series. FREE outdoor movies every Friday night in City Plaza. Tomorrow night is Sister Act (awww yeaaa). Get more info here. Note: more importantly, next Friday is The Sandlot.
/ Saturday / June 25, 2016 /
- The 15th Annual Kirby Derby is happening on Saturday afternoon/night. This event is an absolute local treasure. Start of the day with pine car races, watch the parade, and then check out, or participate in, the actual soap box derby. This year is fairytale themed, so gear up. Get more information here.
- Head to the NC Museum of Art on Saturday night for what sounds like a completely made up event, but is 100% real. Cirque de Vol is performing a fire show, followed by a performance by punk bank The Hell No, then followed by a screening of Mad Max: Fury Road. Cosplay is encouraged. I honestly do not know how people will make it home from this because I would be SO amped up. Get more info here.
- Note: Chirba Chirba, American Meltdown, AND Two Roosters will be there. Perfect if you want to try out a bunch of trucks on my best of list.
Once again, looking forward to another great weekend in DTR. Zach and I are heading 21 Marbles tomorrow night. Blog post to come!