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Gourmet on Wheels: the OC Foodie Fest PDF Print E-mail

Words and Photos by Mark Masker

OC Foodie Fest
Beef or pork—the eternal barbecue quandary. Luckily, Barbie's Q
offered both. Their truck carries ribs, greens, and mac n' cheese too.

“Did you hear about the food trucks in OC?” Olga asked me. An awkward silence later, she was still one punch line short of a full joke. For those of you who don't know Olga, she's the statuesque Russian blond who waits tables at one of my regular haunts here in Los Angeles.

I prompted her with a cocked eyebrow. “Does that joke have an ending?”

“Nonono. It's a show at the Honda Center—a bunch of food trucks. You can go there next Saturday and sample them all.”

Hmm. This was worth looking into. If this were just a bunch of standard roach coaches, no one would give a fig, let alone score space at a large venue like Anaheim's Honda Center. As fate had it, Olga was onto something—the First Annual OC Foodie Fest ("OC" stands for "Orange County," where the Foodie Fest took place). More than fifty gourmet food trucks, hawking everything from barbecue sliders to fusion cuisine and ice cream, showed up at the center on Saturday, August 28.

Throngs of the curious attended the OC Foodie Fest

Feta & Honey Fries

Curious eaters thronged the First Annual OC Foodie Fest in Southern California, where gourmet food trucks were on a roll.
Fries with feta cheese and honey, just one of the culinary wonders to be found at the OC Foodie Fest

Over the last several years, gourmet food trucks have grown into a “thing” in

The Maui Wowi Food Truck
The Maui Wowi Gourmet Food Truck.
This ain't your traditional roach coach.

cities across the country. Fans can even follow their favorite trucks live on Twitter, Facebook, and the trucks’ individual sites. If the show producers knew how much gluttony I can commit on a budget, they might have charged more. As it was, most of the trucks charged $1-$5 for taste-sized versions of their unique fare. Cart for a Cause offered a special menu created by Deborah Schneider, Executive Chef of SOL Cocina in Newport Beach, with all of its proceeds benefiting St. Vincent's Meals on Wheels.

With culinary fun like fries in feta cheese and honey, it's no wonder the place was absolutely packed by noon. Lines grew at each truck in direct proportion to attendee enthusiasm, which was abundant.

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OC Foodie Fest fans
The food trucks weren't the only things that were cute and colorful.

Ask any Vegas buffet vet and they'll tell you the key to sustained gluttony is pacing. Eat a little here and there, take an occasional break, then go back, repeat as necessary or until thrown out. Luckily, there was a handy beer garden under a nice tent for just such a timeout. Moreover, music Ezine Everyday Noise brought an eclectic roster of live bands to the show for entertainment.

Overall, the inaugural OC Foodie Fest was a smashing success. All of the tickets sold out and that's a good thing, since a portion of the ticket proceeds were donated to local charities Child S.HA.R.E. and Pretend City Children’s Museum. For more information, check out www.ocfoodiefest.com.

How Not to Gag on Two Feet of Meat
White Rabbit Filipino Fusion Food Truck upped the ante with its burrito challenge: pay twenty bucks, and if you eat one of their burritos in thirty minutes or less, you got a refund, a limited edition staff t-shirt, and a 50% discount at the truck for life. Seemed simple enough. At least until you saw the thing—6 eggs, 6 garlic rice scoops, 12 slices of cheese, and 1 lb of meat packed into 12 tortillas. It weighs in at 6 pounds, with 2 feet of reach.

The contestant steps up
Battling the beast
The contestant steps up for the burrito challenge. Digging into two feet of food.
Is the burrito winning? The winner!
A titanic struggle ensues. Burrito gone, the winner with his prize.

This young cat, who identified himself only as "Joe," rose to the occasion; and while Evil Mark hoped for him to toss his cookies on camera, Good Mark was really happy when he won. Way to stick it to the Man, er, Rabbit. You can follow White Rabbit on Twitter, Facebook, or at their website, www.whiterabbittruck.com.

Mark Masker is a freelance journalist based out of Los Angeles. Ten years ago he fooled the motorcycle industry into thinking he could write and shoot photos. He's now trying that same trick with the culinary arts.

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