Why OMG Foodie Fest? Because every few seconds, I would tell Husband “OMG, we have to get in line for <insert name of food truck here>…”
After our LA Street Food Fest experience, I was a bit iffy about attending another food truck festival. While yes, it’s a convenient way to sample various trucks without hunting them down via Twitter, waiting in line in the sun for over an hour wasn’t my cup of tea. Fortunately, I caved and bought tickets. There were too many trucks on the list I wanted to try to pass up this opportunity. Plus, the proceeds went to kid charities and I’m a sucker for anything to do with less fortunate children.
Thanks to the VIP tickets, Husband and I were able to enter the Fest a half hour earlier than general attendees. That actually made a HUGE difference and we were able to hit up quite a few trucks without having to hassle with lines.
First truck stop – Nom Nom Truck. We tried them a while back when they were at T-Lofts for a Haiti Relief charity drive. At that time, they were out of banh mi but their tacos rocked both my and Husband’s palettes. With their appearance on The Great Food Truck Race, I really wanted to try their banh mi. I got a 6″ grilled pork with pate for $5 and Husband got their grilled pork taco plain ($1). This was banh mi heaven for me. Their grilled pork is packed with flavor. The veggies were nicely pickled and crunchy. The bread…ooh la la. For me, the bread can be what makes or breaks a banh mi. If it doesn’t have the right amount of crustiness, the whole sandwich gets thrown off. Nom Nom’s baguettes were spot on.
Husband wanted to try Crepes Bonaparte, another Great Food Truck Race contender. I didn’t want to get filled up so I opted to share his ham, cheddar and egg crepe. A simple, breakfast-y choice, this was really quite good, better than I expected. Husband thought it was one of the best things he ate at the Fest.
We made our way to LudoTruck for some LFC (Ludo Fried Chicken). Oh yes…juicy, fried, tender balls of chicken, the best ever, in my opinion. Served with some fries and Ludo slaw or lavender biscuit, this was one of the best things at the Fest. In fact, it was so good, the truck sold out by around 3pm. I rather enjoyed the Ludo slaw and the lavender biscuit as well. The slaw had a nice vinegary tang and the biscuit with honey was a nice sweet touch.
Next, we stopped at The Lime Truck, an OC-based food truck that serves California Beach Cuisine. Well, I stopped. Husband made a bee-line for Coolhaus. I purchased Lime Truck’s crab, lobster and scallop ceviche with freshly made chips. This was a light refreshing bite but I wished there was a little more…zip to it…more lime juice perhaps? I did like the use of corn and the chips were nicely fried without being oily. Husband returned with a messy brown butter bacon ice cream sammie which I took a few bites of. Mmmmm…ice cream…bacon…
Next door was Frysmith, a truck I had been lusting over for quite a while since I LOOOOOOVE french fries. Sadly, this truck was my biggest disappointment. I ordered their Truffle Poutine – fries smothered in truffle gravy and cheese curds. My order came out cold which really killed it. Kat of Kat’s 9 Lives also got an order that was a bit warmer and the hotter temperature definitely helped the dish.
At this point, I was fairly full and the sun was starting to come out. Husband wanted to check out the VIP tent and get something to drink (read: booze!) so we took a break from the eats. We were joined by our friend, J, at this point as well. At the tent, however, select vendors were rotating in and out with free samples of one of their items. I got to try White Rabbit’s beef (?) tacos with mango salsa. I’m not sure where the Filipino aspect came into this dish but it was okay.
We wandered back outside and came across Yatta, a sushi truck. I had read about them on Gastronomy’s blog and enamored with their amusing signs, decided to make my own roll. What was really nifty was their method of creating rolls. Baskets of colored sticks sit before you, signifying different ingredients like salmon, shrimp tempura, cucumber, burdock root. You select the sticks and hand them to the cashier. I opted for salmon, cucumber and daikon sprouts. The roll was good, fresh tasting and simple, clean flavors. I didn’t spot a ninja around though…darn.
We stopped at Lee’s Philly, another Korean fusion truck. Instead of tacos, they use Korean BBQed meats in Philly cheese steak sandwiches. We didn’t order anything due to fullness levels reaching critical levels but chatted with the lady and studied the menu a bit. The smell was pretty mouth-watering though…
We swung LudoTruck for J, trying to convince him to get in line for balls. Chef Ludo and his wife, Krissy, were there and we got to chat with them for a little bit. All I can say is, I’m estatic that there’s going to be a LudoBites 6.0 in a few months.
We wandered some more and kept finding new trucks. There was another ice cream truck, Longboard’s. This truck served up ice cream pops that are dipped in either milk or dark Ghiradelli chocolate and dusted with some sort of topping. I opted for strawberry dipped in dark, covered with pretzels. Sweet n’ salty! I have to say, this was a great combo. The ice cream is on the harder end but the flavor was good and I didn’t have any issue with it melting on me despite the heat. Either I gobbled it down before it had a chance to melt or they have some sort of anti-melt built into the bar.
The sun was starting to get to us again so we retreated back to the VIP tent. I have to say, VIP was worth it just for the shade alone! :D Komodo was handing out samples of their pork meatballs with romesco sauce. These were awesome! For such a small bite, there was a ton of flavor and the sauce packed a little heat to it. Komodo, while a truck I had heard about since the start of the trend, was not one that really piqued my interest till now. Those two meatballs have me wondering what other goodies Komodo truck has stowed away.
Finally, the time came when Dogzilla handed out samples. Ever since I saw them at the LA Street Food Fest, I have stalked them, wanting to try their Japanese-style hot-dog. Interestingly enough, one of my coworker’s brothers is friends with the masterminds behind Dogzilla. Small world…. Anyways, I picked up a sample of a dog in a Hawaiian sweet roll, topped with avocado, bacon, sauteed onions, Japanese mayo and furikake. Serious goodness. I was sad to learn that they had to change their logo from a hot-dog wielding Godzilla to…erm…some Gumby looking thing? But with a truck in their possession, Dogzilla will finally be hitting the streets. No more having to wait for some sort of festival in Little Tokyo!
Piaggio, an OC-based Argentine truck, gave out samples of their beef empanadas. Holy cow, Batman, these were possibly THE best eats I had at the Fest. On first bite, I literally went “WOW!” While I’m easy to please, it’s a rare dish that will make me stop mid-chew and flabbergast me by how good it is. I wanted to run back over to the sample table and snag the giant warming tray. I did have to tell the guy behind the counter though, that those were the best empanadas I had ever had. He seemed quite happy with that!
During all this, J had run out to the LudoTruck and was luckily the 2nd to last person in line to get LFC. He also stopped at Lee’s Philly and picked us up a gogi cheese steak. The gogi cheese steak had been sitting for a little bit on the table as we munched our way thru the Dogzilla and empanadas. When I took a bite, the bread was soggy which killed it for me. While the gogi with onions and kimchi mixed in was really tasty, I couldn’t deal with the texture of the bread. If the bread had been more like Nom Nom’s, that sandwich wouldn’t have stood a chance. Perhaps the bread had been more toasted initially so I can’t say if it’s normal or a product of us letting it sit and “steam” for a bit.
There were quite a few food trucks we passed by that I wanted to try but by that point, the lines were too long and I was just too stuffed. Ahn Joo, The Shrimp Guys, Barcelona, Don Chow, Dan Dan, Dumpling Station and more will just have to wait…
OC Foodie Fest also had craft vendors and we passed by this lovely lady who was selling the cutest handmade dino plushies ever! They had a jingly bell in them, too. I walked away with a stegosaurus for my BFF’s newborn son. She said she’s working on making triceratops…
The OC Foodie Fest was an amazing event, one that made me very full and also helped raise $10K for Child SHARE and Pretend City. It was a greatly organized event and even though there were over 8500 people in attendance, it never felt like it was crowded. The way the trucks were lined up and spaced gave each truck adequate area for their lines and prevented any confusion as to what the line was for. Tables had been set up so people could sit and eat their food; the only thing that was amiss was a shortage of trash cans. We kept having to hunt one down to dispose of our plates. Not really a big deal when you look at the big picture. Kudos to the organizers and all the volunteers for an awesome first ever OC Foodie Fest!
I definitely will be back next year! With hopefully a second stomach…
More photos can be seen on my Facebook page.