Last night, I had the good fortune to attend the second annual Choice Streets Food Truck Tasting on Pier 86, an event featuring 25 food trucks hand-picked by the crack food team at the Village Voice. There were a lot of familiar names there, like Wafles & Dinges and Coolhaus, but I also saw several trucks I had never heard of before, like the excellently-named Miami Food Machine. The lines were long and a lot of the popular trucks ran out of food before they could serve everyone, but you could still get a taste of most of what was available if you were willing to wait it out, which wasn’t too hard given the perfect spring weather. Here, a recap of my evening in pictures:
The line to get in to Choice Streets was long and slow-moving, but we were treated to a pretty spectacular view of the Intrepid while we waited.
Once wrist-banded and through security, we encountered more lines at the individual trucks. The line at Palenque Homemade Colombian Food seemed doable, and the corn arepa with chicken and portobella mushrooms was pretty good, although I couldn’t find any chicken in mine.
There were a lot of taco options. The line for the Korean taco at Seoul Food Truck was endless and not moving, so I opted instead for a pork taco from Mexcio Blvd.
A solid pork taco (extra spicy, obviously).
Seoul Food Truck and its preposterously long line just wasn’t in the cards. Same goes for Mac Truck, which was slinging mac & cheese topped with pork shoulder. Those trucks and Rhong Tiam had the consistently longest lines of the evening. Speaking of preposterous, the size of the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship that was the backdrop for the festivities (and whether there were enough lifeboats) was discussed a lot.
As usual, Solber Pupusas represented Brooklyn hard. If you have never been out to Red Hook in the summer to get one of these you are missing out.
Seriously, this chicken and cheese pupusa is one of the two best things I ate all night. These guys basically started the food truck movement, and they are still better at it than most who have come since.
A falafel flauta from Mike N Willies was a new twist on some old favorites, but the flavor was somewhat bland.
I waited for what felt like an hour at Rhong-Tiam for what a guy I met in another line said was the best burger he’d ever had in his life. By the time I got to the front, the Korean BBQ burger was gone but the regular burger, which I was pleased to discover tasted a lot like Shake Shack, remained.
The portabello, spinach and mozzarella mini empanada from Nuchas was one of the more disappointing items of the night. That’s it at the top. No, that’s not a special kind of dough, it was just served burnt.
Desi Food Truck was serving up delicious Puri Bhaji with just the right amount of kick. Really made me wish they hadn’t run out of biryani before I got there.
Neapolitan Express had the most tricked out truck at the event, with double wide picture windows so you could see all the action, which at one point included the harried staff doing a shot together.
I’ve always kind of wondered whether food truck pizza is worth it when there is a decent slice shop on just about every corner in NYC, but this Bufala pizza was damn tasty.
The other best thing I ate all night (aside from the pupusa) was the Coolhaus snickerdoodle cookie and salted caramel ice cream sandwich. I really can’t say enough about it and I almost braved the crazy line a second time to try the Cinnamon Toast Crunch cookie and mint chocolate chip ice cream option.
The crowds started to dissipate after dark, but the lines were still going strong. Seoul Food and Mac Truck ran out of food, but now I know who to stalk on tweat.it during my lunch hour.
Great recap! That Puri Bhaji from Desi Food Truck looks crazy good. If you’re interested in posting any of those pics on the trucks’ Voice Places pages, we’d love to have them! Here’s COOLHAUS’ page, for example: http://www.voiceplaces.com/coolhaus-new-york-34010408-l/