First-annual Great Minnesota Food Truck Rally a great success

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Joy Summers
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.

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Joy Summers
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.

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Joy Summers
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.

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Joy Summers
Nice balls

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.

Location Info

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Harriet Brewing

3036 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis, MN

Category: General

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9 comments
DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

The St Paul Saints Food Truck Monster Rally event the last two years had more trucks, charged no admission (provided you were alerted when the game ended) and included fireworks...for $15 extra, you got to see a baseball game.

Also, from those reddit comments below...this dude sounds like an epic shithead.

frankwalters1977
frankwalters1977

One of the organizers of the Minnesota Food Truck Fair referred to in the story  (not related to the Great Minnesota Food Truck Rally reviewed in this story) promoted his Midwest Tomato Fest on reddit.com a few weeks ago. He's still unapologetic and responded to a critic with "my failure is and will be bigger and more relevant than any success you will ever have."

Thread - http://www.reddit.com/r/twincitiessocial/comments/1hxp11/anyone_want_to_meet_up_for_the_largest/

Comment snapshot (in case he deletes it) - http://www.redditlog.com/snapshot/14625/19174

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

This event was a whole lotta fun!  Food was easy to get and a short wait, Harriets beer is great (so great that they ran out of the woden and the pils).  Never seen the Butanes before, but they were awesome...those old guys rocked it!

Joey LeMay
Joey LeMay

Shame on them for not catering to my obnoxious, over-the-top grammar pet peeves.

Joey LeMay
Joey LeMay

First annual? The little things, guys. The little things.

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