So this year’s OC Foodie Fest came and went with a drip drip drip… the sound of my beads of sweat rolling down my forehead and hitting the concrete. I could almost hear the sizzle as it touched the asphalt. Oh, I sweat. A lot. But have you seen someone pour a bucket of water over their head? Um, yeah. That’s what I looked like.
The organizers promised a vast improvement from last year’s debacle. They said they learned their lesson–so they moved to a larger venue, from the parking lot of Honda Center to… the parking lot of Anaheim Stadium. They promised lots of seating and lots of shade. They really did. I was there and heard them say it emphatically in person. Nobody can control the 95+ weather at the end of August right in the middle of summer. Of course not. But you CAN control the amount of seating and shade, especially on a huge concrete parking lot.
From the FAQ section from the website:
Q: Can I bring my own seating?
A: No need, we will have much more seating areas providing shade and comfort!
Hmm. Out of the entire event, there were probably about 10 tables and maybe about half of them had umbrellas. That’s what, about 50 people at the most who had seating in the shade? C’mon, OC Foodie Fest organizers, for what you’re charging customers… you’re better than that.
Anyway, I wanted to highlight some of the food trucks that I tried, before I went home and slapped a cold wet towel on my forehead and went into a mini coma for the rest of the afternoon.
We first tried the $10 combo from Ta Bom, a Brazilian LA-based food truck. It came with 1 coxinha, 1 pastel, and 2 tacos. By far, the winner was the coxinha (upper portion of picture) — fat teardrop-shaped, deep-fried to a golden brown, stuffed with shredded chicken and oozing cream cheese. It’s fried food at its best. The loser is that big yellow pastry that you see dominating the picture — it was greasy, bland, and filled with a miniscule amount of shredded chicken inside.
The chorizo tacos were well executed, with bold flavors and aggressive seasoning. Too bad I had to end up scooping all the bits and pieces from the plate. Since they only used one thin corn tortilla, everything fell apart after the first bite. I get it, they probably wanted to stretch every bit of dollar. But c’mon, everyone knows to double-tortilla your tacos. It’s just common sense.
Next up, Border Grill, by far the best food truck we tried. They are LA-based, so it’s not often they head down to OC, so we had to take advantage. Again, I had to go for their “Master’s Meal” combo for $10. It came with quinoa fritters, which were very good. Moist on the inside, nice and crisp on the outside. The steak quesadillas were nothing extraordinary — the tortilla could’ve used an extra minute on the grill. But the steak inside was tender and flavorful.
The star of the show — churro tots. It tastes exactly what it sounds like. Imagine if a churro and a tater tot got busy in a wild and crazy night. These suckers would be the end result. Dulce de leche on the inside, cinnamon and sugar on the outside. They even took the time to make their own whipped cream. Heck, if they used Cool Whip, I would’ve been cool with that.
So what’s for dessert? Lobsticles from the Slapfish truck. Well not quite a dessert, but these skinny-lobster-on-a-stick disappeared in about 9.786 seconds. I couldn’t really taste much of the meat — no hint of sweetness or that natural taste of the ocean. All I could taste were the chipotle aioli and champagne vinaigrette, which completely overpowered the poor lobster. Honestly, it felt like I was eating an overgrown shrimp on a stick for $8.
That was it. I think we spent about $20 alone just on drinks, to keep ourselves from dying of dehydration during the event. In some ways, I sort of felt bad for some of the food trucks who didn’t really have any customers. They probably expected long lines and purchased way too much food. But that’s the nature of the food truck world. You roll with the punches.
And nope, no BBQ food trucks worth trying.