While last Saturday’s temperature soared to 95 degrees, the Fillmore flowed with over 40 craft brews.
With that sweet combination of heat and beer, it was only a matter of time before I headed over to sample the food truck offerings. As I walked outside, the sun was setting behind three glorious meals on wheels.
I decided to try all of them in celebration of our beautiful Queen City.
I first encountered JJ’s hot dogs at the SOCO Gallery opening in early May and every time I see that little red stand, I get excited in that 7-year-old-at-a-baseball-stadium kind of way. Considering the fact that I was born in a Yankees jersey, this is saying a lot.
The menu boasted three hot dog topping combinations and a Build Your Own Hot Dog option with all kinds of fun toppings. The key in all of JJ’s offerings are those iconic Sahlen’s Smokehouse Hot Dogs from New York state. (Little Known Fact: Sahlen’s is the Official Hot Dog of the Charlotte Knights.) It made my Chili Cheese Coney ($4) all the more delicious – as if you could go wrong with a hot dog in the summer.
It’s hard not to love a huge food truck named, “Big Red,” that comes equipped with a wood-fired pizza oven. It has that farm-to-fork je ne sais quoi that is all the food scene rage, in addition to some pretty delectable items.
I selected the 7” Bacon & Egg Pizza ($8) and wasn’t left disappointed. The pizza arrived shortly after placing my order and was topped with applewood-smoked bacon, roasted potatoes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and a fried egg. Certainly not for the heart patients out there, but it was a welcome, warm bite during a beer festival.
At this point in the game, I had surrendered to the fact that I would be working this food truck field day off for the next two weeks at the very least. My tastebuds were singing and I was dangerously near my comfort food capacity. However, duty calls and the final selection for the evening was ready.
In case you are wondering, Papi Queso specializes in the beautiful lovechild (think Shiloh Jolie-Pitt) of a grilled cheese sandwich and mac & cheese.
Dear Papi Queso, where were you when I was in college?
While everything on the menu looked out of this world, I finally went with the Pig Mac ($8). It’s an overnight pork shoulder, pulled into tender pieces and melted together with caramelized bourbon onions and mac & cheese. I had to take a moment to savor the first bite and dissecting all of the layers of fat, sweet, saltiness. The side of kettle chips ($3) were crunchy and a great addition, but wholly unnecessary considering how explosive the flavors were in the Pig Mac Sandwich.
There is a high likelihood that I will be stalking this food truck on my cheat days – next time I am trying the Mushroom Gruyere, since it sold out before I got there!