The Great Food Truck Race in Nashville: Day 1 Wrap-up

The food truck caravan from The Food Network's Great Food Truck Race made its way along I-40 to Nashville last week for the competition this weekend. I'd speculated that the local challenge may have to do with hot chicken but, it turns out, that the first part of the competition wasn't in Nashville at all. Saturday morning, the trucks headed down to Pottsville, Tennessee for the Bib & Buckle Fest. I've never heard of the festival, but poking around the website, I recognized the on-site restaurant, Marcy Jo's Mealhouse from an ad (odd tie-in, right?), so I'm guessing someone down there's got a friend in the media somewhere.

Anyway, the challenge being an hour away meant that the trucks that made their way back up to Nashville missed the lunch crowds (and we missed them). So they started popping up mid-afternoon based on tips from bloggers and local food trucks and restaurants.

Lined up for Seoul Sausage. These guys did an incredible job of getting fans to come out.

The guys from Seoul Sausage set up at the Green Wagon's Block Party around 4pm. They had a long line filled with fest-goers as well as a strong showing from the local Korean community. These guys were spotted by Beth at Manna last week and apparently stirred up some interest. Very smart. On the menu was a burger, their "flaming balls" filled with pork and kimchi plus a strawberry lemonade and what they call a K-Pop soda--cherry cola and ice cream topped with Pop Rocks. I (obviously) didn't get to try any of their food, but the balls got enthusiastic thumbs up (as did the burger) from Mr. Eats and the rest of the crowd.

They were nice guys, too!
Alexandra of Sweet Betweens got some flaming balls for her husband. Loved the roasted banana/salty caramel whoopie pie!

Around the corner and near 3 Crow Bar, the girls from Nonna's Kitchenette set up in hopes of getting some interest from the usual Five Points crowd. Either they didn't do as much outreach in the community or it was just too hard to get the local Italians across the river into East Nashville (which was more difficult than usual because of interstate and bridge closures). On their menu was meatball sliders (with sauce from Lazzaroli's), pizzelle ice cream sandwiches and root beer floats. I got the ice cream sandwich (those pizzelles were truck-made and very good). Tom and Debbie got the sliders which he said were great, but noted that the local bread just isn't like what you can get up north so it just kind of fell apart. Welcome to the south, ladies--we like our rolls soft, apparently.

The Italians didn't cross the river to support their own. Or maybe they came later. Bummer. These girls were awesome. Mini Eats entertained them, too after loading up on pizzelle ice cream sandwich.
Tom Lazzaro gets interviewed by Food Network about Nonna's Kitchenette's meatball sliders.

Mama's Grizzly Grub teamed up with The Cupcake Collection for some help and first set up downtown in LoBro and later for the Art Crawl. I didn't get a chance to visit their truck, so I don't know what was on the menu and didn't see much about them on Twitter. [Spoiler alert!] The fourth truck, Pop A Waffle, stayed down in Pottsville for the remainder of the day since they won the morning's challenge of creating a picnic meal.

We spent much of the day chasing the food trucks and though we didn't see them in Elmington Park, I had some great veggie tacos from Yayo'sOMG (Mr. Eats had one shrimp taco and one fish taco and raved about both). For dinner, clearly I was out of luck from the competing food trucks, but in addition to my ice cream sandwich, I indulged in a roasted banana and salty caramel whoopie pie from Sweet Betweens (set up inside The Green Wagon) and a garden salad of local produce and cheese from the Bloomy Rind from the tent that the Eat Well Market had on-site at the street festival. So thankful Cristy was set up there so I didn't have to go hungry!

We're going to try to catch up with Nonna's again today and see if we can find Pop A Waffle and maybe make our way over to The Cupcake Collection to check out Mama's Grizzly Grub. More later!

3 thoughts on “The Great Food Truck Race in Nashville: Day 1 Wrap-up

  1. Wallace

    It was great to meet you yesterday.

    I agree with Tom about the bread on the meatball slider, it couldn't stand up to the sauce. I went to the roller derby bout last night, so I stopped by the Grizzly Grub truck on the way. They had a buffalo chicken taco, a raspberry lemonade, and a chocolate truffle. (I posted a picture of their menu on twitter) I thought the taco was good and my girlfriend really liked the lemonade, but it was too sweet for me.

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