This past Saturday evening, I had the great pleasure of attending the 4th Annual Food Truck Fiesta right here in Hernando County! The county's Greater Chamber of Commerce hosted the rally, and it took place in Anderson Snow Park in Spring Hill. Parking was a little hectic, but there seemed to be enough space to accommodate everyone. A special thanks to the Hernando County Sheriff's Department. The presence of their deputies helped keep traffic flowing smoothly on Anderson Snow Road during the event, and helped keep everyone who attended safe and sound!
There was an amazing turn out, despite the threat of rain yet again. The event had originally been scheduled back in May; unfortunately, it had to be rescheduled due to heavy thunderstorms that ended up taking over the skies the day of the event. Luckily, this time around , the Food Truck Fiesta remained mostly unaffected by the weather, despite heavy rain in other parts of the county. This was much to the delight of the throngs of folks who showed up not only to taste the amazing offerings of food trucks, but to enjoy the 2nd Annual "Hernando's Got Talent" show, which was taking place simultaneously during the truck rally. In addition to the trucks and the talent show, several local vendors and businesses set up booths to make their services and wares available.
While food trucks aren't uncommon here, they don't often gather in large numbers like they do in Tampa and some of the more urban areas. It was nice to have such a selection from which to choose a delicious treat!
And what a selection there was! Everything from lobster to BBQ to Mexican to desserts, and more was available on site. Some of the trucks that participated included Slider City, Got Lobstah?, Kona Ice, Mmmm Delicious Cupcakes, Tropical Tribe Acai Bowls, Waffles & Things LLC, R&R Coffee Cafe & More, Cajun in a Truck, Craving Donuts, Sarge's Smokehouse BBQ, Mr. C's Grilled Cheese, Poppy's Food Truck, and more.
The only drawback to the large crowds were the long lines. Since most food trucks do cook to order, ensuring the freshest and tastiest food for their customers, it does sometimes take a little bit longer to order and receive your food. When we arrived a little past 6:30, it was apparent by the lines that the crowds were clearly favoring Got Lobstah?, Slider City, and Mr. C's Grilled Cheese. Although I did want to sample some yummy lobster, we decided to head over to Cajun in a Truck for our first dish. The line was still considerable, but a bit more modest than those for lobster or gourmet grilled cheese.
We still ended up waiting somewhere between a half hour to 45 minutes, and in the interim, Got Lobstah? sadly ran out of food before we could get a chance to taste their goodies. But the delightful food served by Cajun in a Truck more than made up for any disappointment I may have experienced.
I ordered a shrimp po'boy; I adore po'boys - they might be my favorite kind of sandwich. Cajun in a Truck certainly knows their way around a po'boy. The bread is always a critical component for me, since it's the base and delivery mechanism of the sandwich. The roll on which my po'boy was served was soft and fresh, but sturdy enough to stand up to the wetness of the toppings. The shrimp were hot, crispy, a little spicy, and fried to absolute golden perfection, and they did not skimp on them, either! Instead of the traditional shredded lettuce, CIAT topped their sandwich with a delicious remoulade-dressed cabbage slaw, which added even more texture and provided a nice, cooling contrast to the spice of the shrimp. Ripe red tomato slices and a few extra splashes of hot sauce completed my heavenly sandwich experience. It was messy, spicy, and packed with flavor - a true representation of Cajun cuisine!
After my incredible po'boy, I was craving something sweet to complete my food truck experience. What better place to satisfy it than Craving Donuts? As anyone who's entered a Krispy Kreme can attest, the smell of freshly fried and topped donuts is maddeningly good, so once I smelled the donut deliciousness, I was hooked! There were a surprising amount of flavors to choose from, like traditional glazed, apple pie, and Chocolate Heaven. In addition to the regular menu flavors, they also had 3 "Craving of the Day" flavors that included flavors like cookies and cream. I ordered a caramel and bacon, as well as a chocolate raspberry. Only a few minutes later and my patience was rewarded with two steaming vanilla cake donuts slathered with fresh toppings. I have to say, this is the first time I've ever eaten a donut with a fork, but it was well worth it. The sweetness of the caramel was balanced by the savory saltiness of the bacon; the donut itself practically melted in my mouth. If I had any suggestions for the wonderful crew of this truck, it would be that maybe there could have been a smidge more caramel, and the bacon could have been a touch crispier. Other than that, the pillowy confection was simply delicious. You can see I got excited and forgot to take a photo until I had already dug in!
I found myself too full to finish my chocolate raspberry donut, so I took it home with me. I wrapped it up in plastic and let it sit on the counter overnight. The next morning, I zapped it in the microwave for 15 seconds and it was perfectly heated through. The chocolate and raspberry sauces had absorbed a bit into the cake donut, so it wasn't as gooey as it would have been if I had eaten it while fresh, but it was still soft and moist, and very flavorful. It wasn't the least bit stale, either. Sunday's latte was ever so much more enjoyable with my tasty breakfast treat!
It was really great to see so many people to come out to enjoy the event. Families with little ones in face paint, couples strolling hand in hand, friends and neighbors digging in and sharing a meal - food really does bring people together. And although the lines did get long, people smiled and waited patiently for the most part. All in all, I would call this a very successful and well-organized event, and am very much hoping that the Chamber will be hosting the 5th Annual Food Truck Fiesta next year!