On Saturday, July 14, Worcester was invaded... BY FOOD TRUCKS! The food truck craze is sweeping the nation and Worcester refuses to be left in the dust. While we don't have the population to warrant a regular fleet of food-trucky goodness, Worcester was an ideal venue for the Food Truck Festivals of New England Tour. Yes, this is a real tour. It's numbers are rivaling this summer's Springsteen sales... obviously I am kidding. But, the buzz around the Worcester Food Truck Festival was definitely sizable.
As a former DC resident and having a husband and close friends who work in Boston, I am no stranger to the glories of the food truck. I've actually been quite jealous of the plethora of food trucks available to those close to me when they venture from their office buildings for a quick lunch. I've grumbled at their enthusiasm over all of the options and the surprising quality of food truck fare. I've been feeling pretty excluded from this particular trend.
So, imagine my enthusiasm when I read about the Food Truck Festivals of New England coming to Elm Park!! Not only will I be able to enjoy and blog about this event, but it is in walking distance of my house. I would be able to partake in the festivities AND be able to arrive authentically... on foot. I chalked it all up to serendipity and made plans to mosey on over with a friend for the 11AM start that Saturday morning.
When we arrived, it was a little before the advertised start time and everything seemed a bit disorganized. There were about 8-12 trucks set up and three booths to purchase food tickets. Not really knowing how hungry we would be, we opted out of pre-ordering our tickets online and situated ourselves in line to purchase an appropriate amount. It was about $1.15 for a 1 ticket which could be used at any of the trucks. The average cost of a menu item was between 6 and 10 tickets.
We decided not to make any hasty food purchases. We lapped the trucks twice before we had mapped out a menu plan. First, we split half of a jumbo hot-dog from one of the trucks. It was delicious, but it turns out (whether is was the speed at which we consumed the hot-dog or the hot-dog itself I'm not sure) we both were instantly nauseous. A ridiculously unfortunate turn of events considering our plan was to spend the next 2.5 hours eating! We quickly purchased a light beverage and found a seat to attempt to settle our stomachs.
Luckily our illness was brief. After roughly 20 minutes, we decided we were recovered enough to continue our adventure. Our next purchase was a pulled pork soft taco filled with coleslaw and some sweet BBQ sauce. It was delicious, though the pork was decidedly not what we traditionally consider pulled pork, but it was slow cooked. We were not disappointed and luckily our stomachs were more appreciative of this particular cuisine.
After finishing our taco, we wandered again. We knew we need to digest a bit before continuing on, so we started to plan out our dessert choices. I was sold on a jumbo cookie ice cream sandwich, whereas my companion was deciding between a variety of cookies or a frozen treat. Having made up her mind, we wandered to find our last agreed upon entree selection... CLAM CHOWDER.
This was a wise decision. We shared a small bowl of delicious and super satisfying clam chowder that was full of large chunks of clam. The chowder itself was the perfect consistency, not too runny nor heavy. We had to pat ourselves on the back for such a superior decision. (I was contemplating a Lobster roll, however because they were the most expensive item of the day and my friend was not a fan of lobster, I decided against it.)
Finishing our "lunch" items, we made our way to three different trucks to purchase our desserts. I believe the number of sweet trucks was equivalent to the savory trucks. At this point in the afternoon we were particularly glad we had already plotted out our dessert course because the crowd had grown significantly and the lines for savory items and tickets were noticeably lengthy. We made our purchases and continued merrily on our way. We snapped a few photos and then took our leave. We ambled back towards my apartment noting just how popular and thus successful the event was.
Here are some more photos taken by Maria:
It was a grand Saturday afternoon in the park amongst the food trucks. I was sad to see them depart and wish Worcester was able to sustain their presence on a daily basis. Maybe someday... sigh.... As far a Worcester events go, this was a great success and completely family friendly, yay!
Until next time,