I’ve known for a while that a food truck phenomenon was sweeping the nation. I’ve also known that a Charlotte food truck contingent existed, although I wasn’t all that interested in chasing them down. Until recently, however, I also didn’t know what I was missing. Enter my friend Jenn who, a couple weeks ago, offered to take me to the South End Gourmet Food Trucks for a belated birthday celebration.
Charlotte’s South End is a historic, but urban/funky neighborhood adjacent to Charlotte’s Uptown. Apparently, every Friday night in South End is known as Food Truck Friday. Who knew?!? (I seriously have to get out more.) Each Friday, 4-5 of Charlotte’s food trucks park directly across the street from the Phat Burrito and serve deliciousness from 5:30-9:00p or until they are out of food, which ever comes first.
With so much deliciousness to choose from right there in one spot, it was impossible to choose just one. So, we made the rounds. Not being her first visit to the food trucks, Jenn, in her infinite wisdom, suggested that we hit the cupcake truck first because “They always sell out and if we have any hope of getting cupcakes for dessert we need to get them now.” So, first stop…the Southern Cake Queen truck…a mobile cupcakery!!
The cupcakes were $3.00 each, or 4 for $10. I ask you – how’s a girl supposed to pass up that kind of a deal, especially for a belated birthday celebration? I mean, you’ve GOT to have cake at birthday celebration! We got one Turtle cupcake, one 14 Karat cupcake, one Crimson & Creme, and one Lemon Drop.
Dessert – CHECK! Now onto the main course. Stop number two – The TIN Kitchen.
For $9 each we got two tacos and a side. Jenn ordered the Pork Carnitas tacos with red rice…
while I chose the Porchini Grilled Steak tacos with chips and salsa.
The two taco serving size made sharing and sampling one of each very convenient. They were both delicious, but I’m here to tell you those steak tacos were OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD!!!
Main course – CHECK! Now, it’s true that sides came with our delectable entrees, but Jenn and I had both noticed something of interest from while menu browsing. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Truffle Parmesan fries…
from The Herban Legend, our third (and final) stop.
There are no words.
We did not hit the food trucks on a corresponding South End Gallery Crawl night which was a little disappointing, but totally fine at the same time because we were then able to take our food truck fare to the South End location of the Common Market, get a couple of draft brews, and enjoy our dinner on the patio with a little music while chatting the night away and taking in the local culture. Jenn’s Pale Ale is captured in the fry picture above. But I went with something a little darker…
A Saison Black to be exact. You’ll have to forgive me because 1) I was apparently too busy salivating over my brew…or the cupcakes…or both to bother focusing my shot and 2) because I’ve forgotten the brewery name. Trust me though, it was delish! And a perfect pairing for the steak tacos! We managed to polish off every crumb of our tacos, sides, and fries, plus the Turtle and 14 Karat cupcakes. Lucky for him, I got to take the remaining two cupcakes home to the The Mr.
Of course…they were cupcakes for MY birthday…so we cut each of the remaining two in half and shared. Of the four, the Crimson & Creme (red velvet with creme cheese icing) was my favorite.
The Mr. and I had a LONG day the next day with a ridiculously overdue “clean-out-the garage-day.” After dropping off two car loads of donations at the Salvation Army, The Mr. didn’t have to ask twice as to whether or not I wanted a beer. Since we were in the neighborhood we ended up at the Plaza Midwood Common Market location. (You know, where we had so much fun at the Southern Tier beer tasting last year, and heard the first rumblings of the NoDa Brewing Company.)
Speaking of NoDa Brewing Company, we grew a little peckish while sipping our brews and just happened to notice via Facebook that the Maki Taco food truck was currently parked in its side lot. I was keen to introduce The Mr. to the joy that is the food truck, so we jumped in our cars and headed towards NoDa. There we grabbed a couple tacos
The tacos were yummy, but they were a little skimpy on the shrimp for my taste. We enjoyed our tacos on NoDa’s patio and chatted up the brewery owner, Todd, for quite a while as he personally zested limes for their NoDable Series NoDajito brew.
The Mr. chose this mojito inspired barley pop to pair with his tacos
while I sipped the Monks Trunks. What can I say? I’m sucker for Belgian.
So, in a matter of 24 hrs, I hit 4 out of Charlotte’s 8 food trucks. The weather in Charlotte has been perfect for dining al fresco lately. Naturally, I repeated the process the following Friday. The Mr. was out with the boys so, once again, he did not get the South End experience. But, never fear, he’ll get his chance. As for me, if you are looking for me on a Friday night, I’m probably truckin’!