NASHVILLE, TN – A year ago, the “Food on the Move” trend arrived in Nashville in a big way. Seemingly overnight, the culinary landscape transformed, as a mighty fleet of sleek mobile eateries rolled in, offering a host of sweets and savories.
These days, the trend is going strong, and still growing, the rumble and hum settling into an easy rhythm. A real community of vendors has formed, often gathering together at select spots around town. It’s a case of more is better, affording diners that chance to sample a variety.
Today’s review visits a few of the mobile food courts that have popped up, and some of the newer trucks there. Spring is a great time to be outside, actively engaged in the community, enjoying these multiple moveable feasts.
Wanderland Urban Food Park
Weekends have it going on at West End’s Elmington Park. Since February (and now committed through June), five different food trucks have been setting up in the parking lot facing the rolling green of West End Middle School.
Welcome to Wanderland Urban Food Park, one of many food truck events that organizer Holley Seals assembles and promotes throughout the city.
On any given Saturday or Sunday, the trucks lift their windows from lunchtime through the afternoon to supper, serving up a tasty array. The beauty is, there’s something for everyone, be it barbecue, burgers, hot chicken, Mexican, Cajun or Thai. Sweet treats, too: milkshakes, shaved ice, cupcakes.
Picnic tables fill with families and friends from the surrounding neighborhoods. The lawn is perfect for play.
Highlights of one Saturday visit include the “Ho-cake Ho-down,” a specialty from W.C. Gore’s Rollin’ and Smokin.’ It’s a rich open-face sandwich that has a kernel-laden buttermilk corncake as its base. Gore and company mound it with creamy mac and cheese, and your choice of smoked meat and house sauces. The brisket is exceptional — lean, juicy slices are gently charred and smoke-kissed, retaining beefy richness.
At the other end of the flavor spectrum, the Toasted Sweet Chili Sauce stir-fry from Deg Thai will wake up your palate. Fresh cilantro and mint are laced throughout the sweet-hot sauté, along with flakes of red chili. The folks at Deg Thai will prepare it at whatever level heat you’d like. A mélange of vegetables and batons of tofu, their edges caramel-crisp, are served over jasmine rice — a perfect vegetarian meal. Aromatic Thai basil and a distinctive hit of fish sauce dress the Tiger Tear Salad: tomatoes, cucumbers, carrot and stir-fried beef strewn over romaine.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Dixie Belle’s Cupcakes. Inside her little truck, Nashvillian Tammy Fisher sits by the window on her cupcake-fabric covered cushion, ready to tempt you with her confections.
For chocolate lovers, there’s Night and Day, a bittersweet chocolate cake topped with vanilla buttercream. Fruit lovers will delight in Lemon Blossom, a tangy cake swirled with lemon buttercream, sprinkled with zest and graham cracker crumbs.
Food Truck Tuesdays
B.J. Lofback, president of the newly formed Nashville Food Trucks Association and co-owner of Riffs Fine Street Food, started this lunchtime gathering last fall in the lot at Second Harvest Food Bank.
Second Harvest has both its indoor cafe and patio seating, and vendors donate 10 percent of sales to the food bank. Terrific food, terrific cause.
Find the entire article by Nancy Vienneau at the tennessean.com <here>