© 2014 by Ken Peng & Ken Eats, LLC. Title image courtesy of Jesse Adrian Scanlon Media.

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Gainesville Food Truck Rally

May 19, 2013

Let me preface this by saying that I applaud both High Dive and Glory Days Presents for their valiant and tremendous efforts in organizing food truck events in Gainesville. It is not easy to do what they did, especially High Dive, who were gracious enough to open this up to the public for free. I think food truck rallies are great, they are cost effective and fun ways for chefs share their food with the public. What I am about to say is no reflection on them.

The food was awful. For the masses who turned out and thought this was some sort of fantastic showing of culinary goodness, you were very very wrong. Not to sound like Amy from Amy's Baking Company, but if you thought that was good, I feel sorry for you. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the excellent food truck scene in South Florida, but this was weak. Even the two that came up from Orlando.

None of the menu items stood out to me. Every dish just seemed like a bunch of stoners got together, smoked a bowl, and threw a bunch of things together. Monsta Lobsta (Orlando) was the most overpriced food truck I've ever seen, Kona Dog (Orlando) served up pre-packed hotdogs with mango sauce and called it Hawaiian, and another truck served up a greasy mess they called Spicy Pad Thai. Even the King of Gainesville food trucks, Pelican Brothers, were serving up soggy and undercooked waffles with their Chicken & Waffles Sandwich. Nothing else even stood out to me. Grilled cheese, wraps, and snow cones...SO MANY SNOW CONES.

The beauty of food trucks is supposed to be in the irony. A mobile kitchen that serves up creative and fantastic dishes on the side of a road, where gourmet becomes fast food, and where $5 gets you a $15 meal. Andrew Zimmern's "AZ Canteen" serves up veal tongue sliders and pork belly papaya salad, Roy Choi's "Kogi" sells Korean inspired tacos, and Hott Mess in Tampa has something called the Hott Chihuahua (look it up).

What I'm trying to say is this; bring some creativity to the table. This is a challenge to Gainesville food trucks to step it up. Grilled cheese, tater tots with cheese and bacon, snow cones, and pizza? Come on guys, we can do better than that.

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