|Super spicy green papaya salad from AZ Canteen|
A light drizzle did nothing to deter food-truck fans. The first-annual Great Food Truck Rally rolled into Harriet Brewing on Saturday. The first food-truck event thrown by the Minnesota Food Truck Association proved that with a little planning, such events need not be mired in high ticket prices, long lines, and inventory issues that have plagued others. This day was filled with food, music, and local craft beer.
|Fast moving, short lines and plenty of beer at this food truck event|
The rain was just enough to be annoying, but light enough to largely ignore. There would be breaks in the sky, when the sun would peek from behind the persistent clouds, but eventually, the little droplets would return. There was a large tent available for taking shelter, as well as plenty of room inside the brewery.
Unlike other events that have gathered the trucks, there was no admission fee. Attendees only needed to show their IDs at the door to obtain a hot-pink bracelet proclaiming them of legal drinking age.
It's possible the event went so smoothly because it was organized by the trucks. No one knows their customers like they do. Part of what makes following the trucks so much fun is the spontaneity of the business. Engines can break down, generators can blow, people can usurp your favorite parking meter, or the weather can turn sour -- you never know what's around the next corner. One of the truck owners and a member of the Minnesota Food Truck Association expressed what they love about serving at Harriet Brewing, "They just make everything so easy -- they really get it. Not that the other breweries aren't great, we just love Harriet Brewing." Their fans love them, too; it was the second-best sales day Harriet has had.
Trucks in attendance included the AZ Canteen, Lulu's Street Food, MidNord Empanada, RA Mac Sammy's, Messy Giuseppe's, Hot Indian Foods, Gogi Brother's, Potter's Pasties, and Brava on Wheels.
|Harriet Brewing serves up their best|
We sampled the spicy green papaya salad from AZ Canteen with fried pork belly graced with a just-set fried egg. The yolk burst and coated the ribbons of crunchy papaya. The dish was paired with Harriet's Wodan Weizen, the German-style hefeweizen. The tropical notes of banana and clove in the beer paired beautifully with the heat of the salad.
The Cuban empanadas from MidNord Empanada Truck were stuffed with creamy, tender plantains, rich braised pork, and roasted poblano peppers wrapped in their chewy, crisp shell. Doused in the bright citrus mojo sauce, they paired wonderfully with the hoppy Sol Boch's bright orange flavor notes.
The music beckoned from inside the brewery, but first we had to try the Gogi Brother's tiger balls. Smaller than a baseball, twice the size of a golf ball, these crunchy treats are made from rice and pork wrapped around gooey cheese drizzled with a creamy, spicy sauce.
Lines were minimal and well-managed, beer flowed like a sudsy, sunshine-colored river, and good times were abundant. Attendees ranged from the sippy-cup set to joggers still in their gear, hipsters, and a few who might qualify for AARP. All aged faces were graced with smiles. Now, this is how you throw a food-truck party.
3036 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis, MN