Saturday, October 26, 2013

Food Truck Friday (Charlotte, NC)

This Friday I decided to venture out to Food Truck Friday, a delightful gathering of foodie folks in a field surrounded by food trucks with tasty, yet, affordable offerings. 

Charlotte, North Carolina, is an up and coming city with so much to offer. Food Truck Friday is one of those lovely events that seem to catapult this Southern city into the same realm of culinary exploits of New York City or LA. I personally haven't eaten street food since my journey to Seoul, South Korea. Food Truck Friday, at the corner of Camden and South Tryon, across from Phat Burrito, goes beyond street food. Think gourmet on the go! 

I like that! 

Not only did I get a chance to sample the scrumptious cuisine, but I decided to showcase a few of the incredible chefs behind this food truck sensation. I flashed my best smile, and asked the chefs to grant me an interview. Two of them were gracious enough to speak to an up and coming fantasy author with a secret obsession with good food. 

What was the result? 

A spectacular look at what drives these amazing men and what their patrons might not see. These chefs are taking food to another level, and I was thrilled to learn a few of the secrets!

The Plated Palette specializes in southern fusion. Self-taught chef, Joe Tull, is the owner of this remarkable food truck. From Fort Mill, South Carolina, Tull previously worked in the airline industry and just this May, he decided to try his hand at pleasing people's palettes. 

What's the verdict? 

Can he do it? 

Oh yes, sir or madam. He surely can! I tried his famous London broil and cheese sandwich with a side of corn and edamame salad. Holy Moly! It was delicious. The London broil was super tender
and the bread was grilled to perfection. The corn salad with edamame is the definition of "southern fusion." The corn was fresh and the edamame was an excellent touch.
I truly enjoyed my foodie experience with The Plated Palette and look forward to frequenting them whenever they are at Food Truck Friday, or when they serve lunch to the people of uptown Charlotte on weekdays!

After nibbling on a half of that yummy sandwich, I still had room for more! I strolled over to Belly Backers and tried my mother's order of brisket and Parmesan fries. 

Who could say no? Not I! Let's just taste buds were not satisfied with only one bite! Alas, I had work to do, and more food to eat. 

Therefore, I made my way to Root Down, a food truck specializing in Creole, southern food, and street food. With my charms and grace, I somehow got the amazing Chef Dano Holcomb to agree to take time out of his busy night serving up flavorful local finds to speak to me. Hooray! 

What a find! 

Chef Holcomb was such a pleasure. Chef Dano Holcomb had always been into food and the males in his family ignited a passion within him to learn all that he could about cooking.
Once a soccer coach for 15 years, Holcomb decided to follow his dreams and pursue a career in the culinary arts. After Katrina, Delgado Community College, was one of the few schools open to train aspiring chefs. After attending their culinary program he went on to work for a few notable chefs such as Frank Brigsten's of Brigsten's, and Aaron Burgau and Marcus Woodham of Restaurant Patois! 

I was thoroughly impressed. Not only does Holcomb have the training, he uses local and regional ingredients in his cuisine. How does a little local rabbit and duck sound to you? Sounds divine to me! Their most popular dish is a pulled pork and pimento cheese pecan smoked sandwich. Whoa! They differ from others because they don't use mayonnaise, but pickle juice...that they make themselves!! They aren't about cutting corners. No way. Root Down also makes their own Boudin, a popular creole dish, composed of Cajun rice and sausage put into ball formed and...wait for it...DEEP FRIED! 

You had me at Cajun rice! 

I tried a new addition to their menu, which is the pork loin and collard greens. A burst of flavor and the perfect amount of crunch from the fried pork loin, and the collard greens had a tangy vinegar taste that surely delighted my taste buds. The collard greens also had tons of pork floating around, blessing the concoction with its smoky flavor.
These guys are from Statesville and come to the Food Truck Friday in Charlotte a couple times a month, but you can also find them at the Davidson Farmer's Market in Lake Norman.

If you ever find yourself in Charlotte, North Carolina on a Friday, you can find Food Truck Friday set up year round, rain or shine! My tiny tummy couldn't get around to trying everyone's food, but I will be back again. It was pretty cold on that October night, but that didn't stop people from bringing their dogs, bundled up children, and folding chairs and camping out in the center of the field that the food trucks are set up upon. And guess can buy beer and spirits from the local Common Market and enjoy your libations on site! Just don't try to take them off the property. No bueno!

For more on The Plated Palette:
Telephone (803) 818-7106

For more on Root Down:
Creole, Southern, Soul, Streetfood
Telephone (704) 881-3819

For More on Charlotte's Food Truck Friday:
 1616 Camden road
Charlotte, North Carolina
"A gathering of some of Charlotte's best food trucks. Offering different styles of cuisine. Trucks will change from week to week depending on availability.Alcohol available from The Common Market and may be consumed on the lot but not taken off property."