Food Truck Rodeo wrangles up variety of options
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Participating food trucks
Refuelers Mobile Cafe
King of Pops
The Creole Food Truck
Auto-Banh Food Truck
Hello My Name is BBQ
Outta My Huevos
Geechee Island Mobile Kitchen
The Magic Cheese Truck
Jack’s Cosmic Dogs
Cast Iron Food Truck
If you go
What: Food Truck Rodeo
When: 3-10 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Post and Courier parking lot, 134 Columbus St.
Price: Free admission
For more info: www.postandcourieradvertising.com/foodtruckrodeo
Editor’s note: Saturday’s Food Truck Rodeo is part of a series of events presented by The Post and Courier and Charleston Scene.
By Abigail Darlington
If Charleston’s food truck phenomenon has shown us anything, it’s that “fast food” doesn’t have to mean greasy cheeseburgers and an almost-certain case of heartburn. With more food trucks popping up on the street corners, eating on the go has become easier, healthier and much more diverse.
The Food Truck Rodeo in The Post and Courier parking lot Saturday will showcase just how much the new industry has grown. Participating are 16 locally owned food trucks with specialties that run the gamut of cuisine.
Jessie Stament, owner of Refuelers Mobile Cafe, said he’ll be serving the same authentic Filipino food he grew up eating. Stament’s parents met in the Philippines, where his father was based during his service in the Air Force.
“I was born on the Air Force base in the Philippines, so I’ve eaten this stuff all my life,” he said.
Stament followed in his father’s footsteps and served as an in-flight refueler with the Air Force for about five years.
“A refueler’s mission with the Air Force is to refuel airplanes while they’re in flight so they can complete their mission without having to land,” he said.
His work with the Air Force helped inspire the concept for his Filipino food truck. When his time with the Air Force ended, Stament said he wanted to try refueling people instead of airplanes.
“Our whole mission with Refuelers is to refuel you so you can go about your daily mission,” he said.
Saturday’s menu items will include lumpia, which Stament explained is like a Filipino version of an egg roll. They’ll also have fried rice, cheese steaks and adobo, one of the truck’s most popular dishes.
The base of adobo is a soy, vinegar and bay leaf broth with steamed rice and a choice of pulled pork or shredded chicken. Stament adds a boiled egg, and once it’s soaked up enough broth, he mashes it all together and tops it with fried chicken skin.
“Adobo is a very traditional Filipino dish. It took a while for people to catch on, but it sells pretty quickly,” Stament said.
“A lot of people don’t know much about Filipino food, so it’s fun to introduce it to people in Charleston.”
The Magic Cheese Truck’s focus is a little more domestic. It specializes in the age-old American favorite: the grilled cheese.
Popular options include the buffalo chicken melt or the turkey artichoke parmesan, but co-owner Martha Walters said her favorite sandwich is the pimiento cheese with bacon.
“(Co-owner Devon Stence) and I eat our food almost every day. It’s just so good,” Walters said.
Patrons can order sides of homemade tomato basil soup to go along with their sandwiches.
It may sound simple, but it wouldn’t be easy to replicate. Walters said their recipe for the popular soup includes a secret blend of spices.
They also offer a kids’ basket, which includes an American grilled cheese, chips and a lollipop.
“The great thing about our truck is that we can feed the whole family,” Walters said.
Saturday will be the ninth Food Truck Rodeo event The Magic Cheese Truck will participate in. Walters said the rodeos are one of the main perks to owning a food truck.
“The rodeos are great because there’s something there for everyone,” she said. “It’s a great event for the community, and we’re so grateful for The Post and Courier hosting all of us.”
This will be the second Food Truck Rodeo event for Claire Masingill and Tim Logan, co-owners of Outta My Huevos.
They’ve been in business for about three months, so Masingill said they hope Saturday’s rodeo earns them some exposure.
The truck mostly serves brunch favorites such as waffles, biscuits and breakfast burritos, but Masingill said they also feature a few lunch options including hamburgers and BLT’s.
“We wanted to make it all fresh, homemade food,” Masingill said. “We make everything ourselves, down to the English muffins or the chorizo for the breakfast burritos.”
Masingill and Logan met at McCrady’s where they serve tables. The food truck is a first stab at entrepreneurship for both of them.
“We’ve picked up some things working in a restaurant and seeing how it all works,” Masingill said. “We decided that we were ready to do our own thing and start our own business. We both love to cook and we love food, so we were like, ‘let’s start a food truck.’ ”
A main component of their business plan is to include as many local ingredients in their food as possible.
Masingill’s favorite menu item is the veggie wrap, which contains goat cheese from Split Creek Farms, veggies from Ambrose Farms and eggs from chickens raised by locals Celeste and John Albers.
“We have really great local products with all the flourishing farms around town, so why not take advantage of that?” Masingill said.
The Dulce Truck, owned and operated by Ericka Kalinowski, also likes to showcase Charleston products. In addition to her homemade gourmet deserts, Kalinowski serves tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation.
“In keeping with my theme to use local ingredients whenever I can, I decided to do sweet tea since Charleston is home to America’s only (working) tea plantation,” she said.
Kalinowski likes to feature inventive teas on her menu, such as blueberry basil tea and lemon lavender tea.
As for her desert, Kalinowski said she recommends her vanilla bean cheesecake, which is topped with a bacon caramel sauce, chocolate sauce or an orange cranberry sauce.
She’ll also feature a seasonal pumpkin pie, a six-layer coconut cake, chocolate mousse and other gourmet baked goods on Saturday’s menu.
“I’m just excited to get people to taste my deserts,” she said. “I can’t wait to see their reactions.”
The Food Truck Rodeo is an opportune time to get acquainted with Charleston’s food trucks, but that’s not all there is to enjoy about the event. Four local bands will perform throughout the day, so guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and stick around.
Just like the food at the event, the music will include something for everyone. Eddie Bush and The Mayhem will perform Southern rock and country originals, Old You will play their special brand of blues rock, Tidal Jive will perform groovy funk and the Jefferson Coker Band will play their blend of Americana and folk-rock.
Beer and wine will be available during the event, but guests are asked to leave coolers at home.
The Food Truck Rodeo is a family-friendly event, and pets on leashes are welcome.