Harriet Battle Roy-ally

2014-09-03 13_11_42-Youth Link Food Truck Battle & Rally _ Harriet Brewing - Internet Explorer

http://www.youthlinkmn.org/food-truck-battle/

So apparently Harriet Brewing is hosting a full-on Food Truck Battle on the Saturday of September 13th… and I’m gonna be working during it! Ohhhhhh the humanities!

For those like me who haven’t heard about it yet, Youthlink’s First Ever (indicating possibly more events year to year) ‘Gilded Spatula’, with a portion of the profit going to help homeless youth. The battle itself start at Noon and goes ’til Three, with each of the 8 trucks making a completely New Entrée dish, never seen before, to be judged by a panel. Entry fee during this time frame is $45, which not only allows one to watch the proceedings but to also sample each and every contestants’ food yourself along with two, count them, two of Harriet’s Beers to keep yourself amused while waiting.

Of course, if you don’t mind not being there when the judgment is called, not being able to sample the creations, or waiting a little longer in the day to start, these mobile contestants will be sticking around the parking lot until 7pm for a Free-to-Enter Rally after the show. Bands and music will of course be playing all day as-is Harriet’s custom, and beer will now need to be purchased, but it’s all gonna be a grand ole’ time like usual.

Competing Trucks will be: Cupcake Social, Big Brother Almighty BBQ, Brava on Wheels, Cave Café, GastroTruck, Gogi Brothers, Scratch Food (I’m laying my bets on them, GOOO Scratch! -holds up foam finger-), and Tru Pizza.

Tickets can be purchased Here, along with extra donations if you’re able.

Black Friday Podcast

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http://foodtruckempire.com/podcast/twin-cities/  

                It’s finally here, the podcast interview between me and Brett is out! And on Black Friday of all days… I feel like there might be a symbolism there but I don’t want to figure it out.

                Brett is of course the guy I hung out with at the Fall Rally and the owner/creator of the Food Truck Empire Podcast/Blog. Here we chat a bit about the food truck scene, the concept of trend and some of my favorites. Apologies to all of my favorite trucks, I wish I could have talked about so many of my favorites, so many awesome trucks that deserve conversation about, but I only ended up mentioning some of the older guys (at least Brett was able to give a shout out to Motley’s in his re-done intro).

                Sadly, I should warn, due to my almost-international distance from the States on the day of the interview, a very large chunk of our conversation had to be cut out because of a not so good connection (you can still hear some of the issues with what’s left… that and my frequent umms and stuttering. I’m not good with interviews!!!). Which is why at one point it actually cuts off while I’m answering one question and starts partway through another without hearing the next question; I swear, that is NOT me going off on a giant tangent, even with my personality! I do that enough with other things.

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                So all in all a 45+ minutes phone call turned into a little over 12 minutes of me nervously discussing my favorite topics. But either way it was still a fun experience to be had, and I thank Brett very much for the chance to appear on his awesome site! Hopefully we’ll have the chance to do it again and hash out some other fun topics of Truck-related convo, or at least grab another bite at the next Rally event.

                A sincere and firm Good Luck to him in his many many new Truck Casts and Adventures in the coming year, and Good Eating to those readers and listeners to both of our blog. Thank you for your attentions, we both hope our efforts have been able to cause at least a bit more inspiration to try our local street foods.

Fall Feast Food Truck Rally

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              Tonight (probably already started) is the much anticipated Zombie Pub Crawl, 9 years in the running and now featuring a “Food Truck Court” somewhere within the main Quarantine area (which I found out only yesterday since no other site has advertised or provided details on the Trucks taking part).

                But as far as I’m concerned, the real party comes in a week as the MN Food Truck Association launch the Second of their Food Truck Rallies, the “Fall Feast.”

                After a couple months of waiting, a swarm of trucks are returning once more to Harriet Brewery to stand guard and provide their beloved fares to the crowd. Set from Noon to 7pm, these will of course be joined by various bands in the Harriet Taproom, and a ready supply of their fan-favorite beers. The full schedule of Music can be found on their sites of course.

As opposed to last time, the number of Trucks has increased to 15 (though we’ll see how many of them show up this time), and will include: Lulu’s Street Food, Cafe Racer, Tiki Tims, AZ Canteen, Motley Crews, Stanley’s, Brava, Eat At Sandy’s, Hibachi Daruma, A Cupcake Social, Hot Indian Foods, The MidNord Empanada Truck, Moral Omnivore, Gastrotruck, and The Red Pig & Truffle. Though the trucks cost money, entrance is still free, unless one plans to go to the “afterparty” ($5) at Bigtree Bonsai at 8pm.

                I definitely plan on going again to see how this event fares compared to the last; I’ll admit I’m a bit surprised that they decided to do the Rally at the same location, especially with how long of a wait we’ve had since their first (maybe it’s more of a seasonal Rally than a quick yearly grouping…). I hope to see you there, and Good Luck and Good Eating until then!

http://mnfoodtruckassociation.org/events/

http://www.harrietbrewing.com/event/fall-feast-food-truck-rally/  

Rally Recap

With a busy weekend and class, it’s been a few days since I was able to get to my posts, so I apologize for the slow update.

 

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            Well, the 1st of what hope to be many MN Food Truck Association Rallies have come and gone, and to quite the success in my opinion!

            The overall day itself wasn’t the best; they claimed beforehand that they’d stick out rain or shine, and it seemed the former decided to put them to the test. I know I speak for all those out on the streets that day in expressing my flustered surprise at the blanket of grey clouds on what was supposed to be a fully dry, sunny day. Luckily it didn’t rain too hard, though the medium drizzles and lighter WERE quite persistently on-and-off wherever I seemed to go.

            But the Trucks got through this easily, much like the happy crowd who was able to come out. This led to the first appreciated surprise of the day; the crowds weren’t actually CROWDS. Despite the plethora of Trucks shoved into one parking lot, the actual lines coming out of them were… well, in many cases inexistent, or at least small; very much unlike the past 2 experiences at the yearly “Food Truck Fair.” That is not to say there was nobody there and eating, just that they weren’t all jammed in front of the iron behemoths.

            Though whether this was due to the actual plans and strategies of the Association or if the rain simply segued attendance enough so the crowd-issue didn’t appear, either way the result of the day was a much calmer, easier, actually ENJOYABLE event for us to take advantage of. Success is finally here for the large Truck Gatherings, and it wasn’t purely from chance.

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            Despite the relatively small space, as opposed to the blocks that Food Truck Fair uses, the overall lot still boasted a decent square footage, enough for them to actually plant tables and a tent in the middle. This allowed people to not only escape from the rain but actually sit DOWN with their Beer and Food; that is, when they weren’t heading back to the actual tap room area to sit and listen to music. The actual strategy here marks the first success in reducing those annoying lines; by giving multiple places for people to actually move to and spend time, we don’t have EVERYONE just hopping from one Truck Line to another, creating those crowds which garner the psychological need to get in there as soon as possible (even with food one just purchased somewhere else) to eat before closing.

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            Which is another thing; this was a nice, lengthy 10-hour event, double the time of the 5-hour Fairs of past. Though I didn’t stick around the whole time, or even arrive when opened, I’m quite sure there were many who came and went throughout the prescribed times. I’m sure the whole list of different bands helped with this as well, along with their sweet sweet siren music of course.

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            As for the Trucks themselves, having more is always better; even with my worry of the number in this enclosed space, one can’t help but argue that a number of trucks allows lines to divide and shorten for the customers which go; which once again have been much reduced in a minute-to-minute factor from the previous two discussed reasons.

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            Though we didn’t exactly have as many as wanted… which leads to my only annoyance of the event. It seems 4 of the Trucks decided to cancel either last-minute or the day beforehand, including that one at the top of my current Hunting List A La Plancha (the other 3 to cancel were Moral, Bloomy’s, and House of Hunger). The reason, supposedly, is that all or most of them decided that they weren’t capable of handling a 10-hour event like this, whether it was due to amount of product they had or simply the labor effort of staying out that long. Which leads me to 2 very important things I would like to say in response: first off, if you’re going to cancel on an event like this, THEN TELL US! Not a single one of these trucks actually updated Facebook or Twitter on the fact that they WEREN’T coming to the Rally they said they would. And that’s another thing; all of these Trucks officially said they would do this at least 1-2 weeks in advance (otherwise the Association, which they are PART of, wouldn’t have put them on the list of 12 trucks I’m sure); you should KNOW ahead of time exactly what kind of event it’s going to be, as well as what your general schedule is like (look at a Taproom’s truck schedule, it’s usually filled at least a month in advance). If your truck is unable to handle that sort of event, then you shouldn’t have agreed to it in the first place; and if you DO agree, then suck it up and go; if you run out you run out, if you have to end early then you do, at least you went and tried. Of course, special circumstances that force one unable to get on the streets is understandable, but that seemingly wasn’t the case here, so a rant is where I go.

            I should probably apologize a bit, I’m sure part of why I’m a touch more annoyed than usual is due to a last-minute cancelling of Tollefson Family’s Cart at Fulton, which I had drove to earlier to finally try and get them. And now my hunt for them continues…

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            As for the Trucks that did make it, we of course had AZ Canteen, R.A. Mac Sammies, Midnord Empanada, Potter’s Pasties, Lulu’s Street Food, Gogi Bros., Brava on Wheels, and Hot Indian Foods, all lined up around the edge like a delicious cage. I myself got the chance to try Gogi’s Tiger Balls!

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            Damn those are big balls… sticky too (I need to stop…). I thought they were quite yummy and tasty, with a nice, rich spice to them from the sauce, and of course a crispy crust and soft, tender inside. I only wish there was more Kimchi though… I’m sure they probably got a lot of the “flavor” of it in, but if you say “kimchi rice balls” then I sort of expect a lot of those actual fermented veggies just stuffing the mixture. Not that I’m gonna complain about the gooey pepperjack center and pork studding it, but the kimchi (from a visual perspective) seems not just an afterthought, but nonexistent. Still delicious though.

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            Oh, and they got the decal on their van! Wooh!

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            Where to go next was actually a tough decision for me, but I settled on Hot Indian; not only haven’t I actually HAD a full burrito yet, I still hadn’t tried the Spinach Paneer… so I took care of both of those! And wow, I thought the Roti was just for the tacos; they make big ones for the burritos too, awesome! Yeah, these guys are still total Food Truck personified. And of course it’s delicious; I think I actually enjoyed it more than their meat-based stews, which isn’t surprising, Veggie-based Indian dishes are always so good.

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            No beer for me that day, sadly; maybe if I was able to stick around longer, but the person I was meeting that day had to cancel and I had to get somewhere afterwards. Speaking of which, I didn’t actually see any specific items listed to pair well with the beers… maybe you had to ask about it, but oh well, I myself didn’t mind that too much. Though I saw the band play for a bit and took a look at the fun menu they had. Speaking of which, snapped a couple picks of some truck menus that did a little changy and update since last I saw them.

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            Whether they dodged a bullet due to bad weather or enjoyed success from actual planning, the MN Food Truck Association kicked off their first Rally in a noticeably positive way, and I myself can’t wait for the next one. Whether the weather is the same or better (or worse), I’m sure they shall be there, as shall I to report their attempts at these odds-defying gatherings.

            Until then, Good Luck and Good Eating to all, I hope those who went enjoyed the Rally as much as I did!

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            Also, for a separate and also well-done report on the event, see Here.

1st Annual Great MN Food Truck Rally!

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http://mnfoodtruckassociation.org/events/

http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2013/07/1st_annual_mn_food_truck_rally.php

http://www.harrietbrewing.com/event/the-1st-annual-great-minnesota-food-truck-rally/  

            We’ve all felt it at least once in the past two years; that aching sense of disappointment garnered by the poorly planned, clusterf@#% of the giant Food Truck events. Though it seems some of us have finally had just about enough of sitting around being sad and moved to actually stand up and show what these events could be!

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            That’s right, I’m talking about the very first event of the Great MN Food Truck Rally, set up and organized by our own MN Food Truck Association as a new annual phenomena. Though of course it’s not just annually; described as a “series” of Food Truck Rallies throughout the Twin Cities Metro, it sounds like we can expect more than just the one special gathering in the coming month… you know, so long as they aren’t just putting us on (like that one girl in my chemistry class… -cough-).

            The First and only-listed actual event will be held exactly 7 days from now (… July 27th… a Saturday) from Noon to 10pm (with some/all Trucks supposedly starting service at 2? At least that’s what it says on Harriet’s site) over with their friends and partners at Harriet Brewing! Really turning this into a dual event, this beginning rally will really stand as a showcase to that amazing symbiotic relationship our Trucks and Breweries have created and expanded upon. With food serving, beer pouring and music blasting (oh yes, there SHALL be bands… I mean it’s Harriet after all), each Truck has then set out to highlight/create one special dish to specifically pair well with one of Harriet’s Brews! So if you’re having trouble deciding what to eat, or drink, just see which option/s match your Food or Beer (whichever you grabbed first).

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            Oh, and of course it’s Free to Attend (just need to verify age for a Drinking-wristband); though the Food and Beer are a different story. So don’t be afraid to spend extra money on amazingly delicious drink and dishes, especially since part of the proceeds will be Donated to the Second Harvest Heartland charity.

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            The attending 12 trucks will be: AZ Canteen, R.A. Mac Sammies (god, I haven’t seen them in a while), Midnord Empanada, Potter’s Pasties, Bloomy’s Roast Beef, Lulu’s Street Food, House of Hunger, Gogi Bros., Brava on Wheels, Moral Omnivore, Hot Indian Foods, and A La Plancha (who I am VERY much looking forward to visiting for a review!). A very large and very impressive lineup, one can’t help but feel a bit excited just in seeing who’s there!

            However, this does lead me to my one worry about the event. Anyone who’s familiar with both past-truck-fair experiences and/or the brewery seen has probably caught onto it already, but… Harriet’s not that big of a place. Sure it’s not a small brewery by any means, they even got their own little patio thing set up, but as far as Events go they still come a little under Indeed and 612 as far as space goes. With most of the Trucks, I’m assuming, lining the Street NEXT to Harriet, they may be able to better spread things out, leaving any of the “cluster” for the actual brewery… but there’s still much potential for bad shit going down.

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            And don’t get me started on traffic and parking! I think I heard something about a second lot available for use, but even then I’m still scared to think about how I’ll have to get down there and park…

            But either way, I’ll be there! I’ve got a Truck to review, and I missed the last Fair, so I’m obligated to at least report on this one! And of course I shall do my best to try and keep updated on any of the other upcoming Rallies for us all.

            Until then, Good Luck, Good Eating, and I’ll see you at the Rally!

Lobby Day 2013

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Two Thursdays from now, on April 18th, join many others on the Capital Lawn to show your support for the Freedom of Marriage and LGBT rights! Bring friends, family, etc, and have the chance to meet and talk with your representative and senator about this important issues.
Musical guest Mason Jennings will be there, and they’ll also have a line-up of some of our favorite trucks to keep the supporters of this rally well fed! This will include, but hopefully not be limited to: Tot Boss, Nate Dogs, Fork In The Road, Potter’s Pastie’s, GastroTruck, and Sassy Spoon.
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To learn more about the Event, follow the link to the website. Whether I’m able to go myself I am quite unsure, but if I can I’m hoping to see you there as well. While I can, I wish the entire Lobby Day all the support I can and hope it turns out well, as well as thanking the Food Trucks for all their support of this event.
As always, have a nice rest of your week, and good eating.
http://mnunited.org/events/lobby-day-2013/
https://twitter.com/MN4allfamilies