StrEATs Food in FriscoMay 01, 2016 ● By Christine Perrenot
Typical spring weather in Texas (sudden clouds paired with on and off rain storms) set the stage for the gathering of a large crowd of people who were eager to taste test some of the most unique flavors to “hit the streets” of the metroplex. The smell of marinated meats cooking and outstanding dishes being prepared filled the air as the highly anticipated food trucks began to arrive on the scene. Booths and tents with local businesspeople and organizations lined the parking lot behind the School of Rock. Live music performed by Patrick Casey, Matthew Schaffer, Rich Ellis, Iron Horse Express, Philipaloosa and Moving Colors provided upbeat sounds in the background that immediately livened up the scene. Although the live music was cut short (due to the rain), the exciting atmosphere persisted!
The Frisco STYLE team walked the lengthy row of food trucks countless times sampling all kinds of new foods and beverages. Right at noon, I was off to the races, ready to sample some food (I had purposely skipped breakfast to leave room for all the items I already knew I wanted to try)!
My first stop was at the Bobaddiction truck. A large, colorful menu of beverage options covered the side of the vehicle right next to the window where you place your order. Bobaddiction specializes in Taiwanese boba tea and shaved snow. Boba, an ingredient found in many of the truck’s concoctions, is a sweet tapioca ball generally found in Asian desserts and drinks. All of the drinks Bobaddiciton offers feature natural and fragrant flavors created by combining fresh teas, fruits and flowers. The shaved snow tastes like a mix between ice cream and a snow cone, and each serving is covered in fresh fruits and creamy milk. I decided to try the Taro Milk Tea. The drink’s ingredients were mixed and it became a purple/pink colored beverage. Cute! The beverage consisted of taro extract, fresh taro, coconut milk and rock sugar. The boba teas are refreshing and smooth and can help cool you down on a warm afternoon! The combination of flavors and textures in the drink were somewhat unfamiliar to me, but it tasted wonderful, unlike anything I have had before! I would definitely recommend trying a treat from Bobaddiction, especially if you enjoy authentic, sweet combinations from other cultures.
The next stop I planned to make was at Spin Sushi, which specializes in Asian fusion cuisine with a twist. The friendly truck owner offered us the Dynamite Roll, which includes spicy tuna, jalapeno and cream cheese. It was panko-fried and topped with spicy mayo, teriyaki, sriracha and sesame. Hot, hot, hot! We also tried the Cyoza, which consists of pot stickers with spicy dream dressing. Sushi has to be prepared just right to have any profound impact on my taste buds, and the combinations at Spin Sushi did not disappoint! Had I not been on the move, wanting to sample a few bites from so many different places, I would not have left without trying the California Crunch Roll or the Spicy Garlic Edamame.
Further down the line was SsahmBBQ, which features gourmet Korean tacos and other unique cultural dishes (the word “ssahm” means “to wrap” in Korean). The crew brought us a helping of the Kimchee Fries, with an extra flair of toppings! These were not like your typical, greasy, bar menu cheese fries … not at all! Instead, the hand-cut potatoes were smothered in onions, cilantro and spicy mayonnaise. The fries also feature caramelized kimchee (a traditional Korean side made of vegetables and a variety of seasonings). The fries were crispy and blended spiciness with the coolness of the cilantro. Other menu items of note, that sounded absolutely mouthwatering and delicious, were the tacos (your choice of meats and sesame soy vinaigrette salad), the ssahmDawg (featuring a bacon-wrapped hotdog) and the rice bowl (with jasmine rice and meat).
One of the brightest and most festive looking trucks at the festival was the Kona Ice truck. Decked out in neon colors with a Hawaiian theme and covered in images of fun characters, the truck uniquely features an attached flavor bar, known as the “flavorwave.” The flavorwave is equipped with10 popular flavors to choose from to create a personalized snow cone. How cool! My 10-year-old self would have been blown away by this. Let’s be honest … my 27-year-old self was too! Delicious classic and new flavors can be mixed on top of the ice to the patron’s liking. The flavorwave features flavors like Pina Colada, Orange Sunshine, Godzilla, Tiger’s Blood, Lemon Lime-A-Licious and so much more. The cutest part of the whole presentation was the Hawaiian lei wrapped around the drink for the customer. With music playing from the truck and plenty of excitement to go around, Kona Ice really helped kick the festivities into gear.
At this point, it was time for a temporary break from all of the food, so I checked out all of the other vendors who were selling everything from clothing and jewelry to old fashioned soda and ice cold beer. Side note: There are so many things for family members of all ages to do and see at Frisco StrEATs! Attendees can meet and mingle with neighbors and learn more about some of the local businesses that are expanding and offering their services to the community. It is an exciting time for all! This year, kids could get their faces painted, luxury cars were on display, families could get free photos taken and so much more. Did I mention that dogs are allowed to join in on the fun? There were so many adorable furry friends in attendance.
After a little break, Food Truck Azucar totally lured me in with its hot pink, yellow and turquoise covered vehicle. After checking out the menu, which features authentic Latin American cuisine, it was obvious that no matter what I chose to order, it would be something tasty. I love spicy foods, and as it turns out, this was the perfect destination for me! After learning more about the menu items from the friendly and informative crew, they recommended I try the Mayan Taco, which is their most popular, award-winning dish. It is not like your typical taco at all. The Mayan Taco is served on top of a crispy, fried, taco-shell-like bread with spicy pork,lettuce, white cheese and a special sauce. The spicy ingredients were out of this world! While it was messy (many paper towels were required while attempting to walk, talk and eat), every bite was completely worth it.
The Gaylord Texan Smoke Bandits provided the afternoon’s lingering smell of delicious barbecue. Not to mention, the truck was located very close to the Frisco STYLE booth, enticing those of us with growling stomachs. It did not take long for someone to cave and get in line. The Smoked Brisket Pupusa included tender, moist brisket and crunchy coleslaw topped with a barbecue sauce that added the perfect tang and sweetness to the dish. (A pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick corn tortilla). The Braised Lamb Taco featured cooked-to-perfection lamb meat with onion, cilantro and a tangy mango sauce. Judging by the constant line, this food truck’s ability to combine sweet and spicy flavors made it a choice destination for many barbecue aficionados on this particular afternoon.
Unfortunately, there was not enough time in the day (or enough room in my stomach) to try something from each and every food truck, but I am confident I will be back for another round of taste testing next year. If you did not make it out to this year’s event, be sure you mark your calendar for next year. The number and variety of food trucks increases with the growing number of attendees, making each event even more fun than the last. I guarantee you will have a great time, and admission is FREE. You will learn about new kinds of foods and maybe even find a new favorite food truck to track down in the future!