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Food Heaven on Wheels

Food trucks aren’t the ‘roach coaches’ of decades past. Today, I can't imagine how I lived without them.

 

Editor's note: This article was authored by blogger Jacqui Dobens' friend and food truck wing woman, D. McCall.

Food trucks aren’t the "roach coaches" of decades past. I’ve seen a few of these featured on television foods shows and wondered how they were in practice. 

Today, I learned, how did I live without this?

Thank you to for an easy-to-find-with-lots-of-parking venue. The trucks were lined up and organized allowing for good crowd flow. The DJ was excellent and great background for a fun day.  

The VIP tickets got you early admission, a covered seated eating area with complimentary sodas, water and drinks along with tangerines. The shade and a seat were welcome by noon.

Who knew there were so many food choices in a truck? Frappacinos, cupcakes, sushi, pizza from a flame oven, soul food, Cajun and lobster along with foods from Argentina, Tuscany and Native America. These folks had you covered. 

Talk about choices! A few were misses as the product was unclear, and they offered no free sample to entice your taste buds, but the busier trucks had a "hook," like the potato tornado -- a spiral cut potato on a stick.  The pricing averaged $7-10 with some desserts at $1-2.

My favorite was "After School Special." Their slogan is "Mom food, chef driven." Their menu includes Mary’s Fried Chicken Torpedo, Ana’s Meatloaf Burger and Betty’s Pot Roast Dip. They offered "extra credit," -- aka sides, drinks and Kool-Aid on tap. Yes, Kool-Aid. Today’s flavor was purple. 

James enticed us with the mac-n-cheese cupcake.  I didn’t expect much from mac-n-cheese in a cupcake liner. It seems to have become a staple on every menu, including a five-star restaurant. Oh my! It was baked, so it was firm, not sloppy and wet. The cheese was stringy but not enough to wrap around your nose. And it had a crunchy top. It was the best mac-n-cheese I’ve ever had.

My friend and I shared the chicken sandwich and the pot roast sandwich. The pot roast was tasty, moist with horseradish, mashed potatoes and lemony arugula on homemade bread. Simple and yummy. 

The fried chicken sandwich was not overly fried or breaded with radish, pickled red onion and jalapeno country slaw on the bun. I prefer my sandwiches plain, so I was leery of the additions, especially the slaw. 

The flavors and textures complimented each other without being overwhelming. James is right. This is the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had. "After School Special" is a tasty comfort food on a bun.

Going today, I had no expectations about eating from a food truck. After today, I have high expectations and look forward to this event again next year.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Your Neighbor April 14, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Got there at 1pm, left soon after, without sampling any of the trucks. Sure, if you got there at 10am with VIP tickets you could probably grab a bite - but Pechanga WAY oversold the event/venue by selling 30,000 tickets for a 40-truck event. By the time we got there it was a zoo with trash cans overflowing and hour plus long lines at each truck. Nice write up, glad you got there early but not the experience most people enjoyed there.
Temecula/Crowne Hill Resident April 16, 2012 at 07:08 PM
We also got there about 1pm and had a similar experience... Over crowded indeed, and thus some lines were an hour and a half long. We also thought that for a festival like this, the trucks should maybe offer smaller versions of their food offerings, and at lower prices, so that event goers are able to sample several different things to eat, instead of having to choose just one. Then again, it all goes back to the over crowded issue, as I couldn't see waiting for over a hour in 3 or 4 different lines. We also left after basically just walking past all of the trucks, and stopping long enough to at least see what they had to offer. My son then suggested that we should go get $1.00 street tacos (you can actually make 2 for a dollar) at the Mexican Take Out in the Pechanga Mart Gas Station, which we did, and they were great!!! And, my wife and I, our 2 sons, and a friend of theirs, all ate for $12.00. I think we'll just go there next time, not to mention that we can go there any time we want, and they don’t charge a ridiculous entry fee for visiting them!!!
Jacqui Dobens April 20, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Yeah, I realized we were rather fortunate! 30k really? This may be a case of an event being too successful. I guess it's all relative. I recently attended another food truck event in a different city and must admit I preferred the one hosted at Pechanga. No, not because I arrived at 10 with VIP tickets. In comparison the other one was held on an uneven rocky dirt lot with no shade at all! The trucks were difficult to see let alone visit. Perhaps the powers that be at Pechanga will take your account under advisement. Still not bad for their first time at bat imo! Thanks for chiming in neighbor!:~)
Jacqui Dobens April 20, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Now, T/CH Resident I have to agree with you on the portion sizes and lower prices. The other food truck event I attended had that part right on the money (pun intended). As a result we were able to sample a few things without breaking the bank! I don't know the answer of course. I do know that I'd LOVE to attend another. Well, there is Taste Of Temecula coming up. I attended last year and discovered a couple of my new fave local eateries there. Can't promise anything....however it might be worth your while for you and your family!:~) Thx for raising your hand and commenting.

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