Sunday, September 12, 2010

Parked: Food Truck Festival

Over Labor Day weekend, I headed downtown with my picnic blanket and took the free ferry over to Governors Island to enjoy some treats from the Parked: Food Truck Festival.  It was a gorgeous, breezy day (thanks to Hurricane Earl), perfect for laying in the grass.  Unfortunately, the combination of the nice weather and the festival caused the island to be rather crowded.  My friend proclaimed, "The reason we don't do anything cool, is because it is always crowded."  This is true, but I tried to keep a positive attitude as we approached the island.  Plus there were some great food vendors to look forward to, such as Rick Shaw Dumplings, The Cinnamon Snail, and Red Hook Lobster Pound.
I had envisioned the food trucks to be placed around the small island, but to my dismay, all the trucks were parked in a circle on a large patch of dying grass.  Some vendors did not even bring their trucks, but just set up tents.  Long lines soon ensued, and a tangle of people we created in the center of the circle.  It got me to wondering what I was getting myself into.  My friend and I ended up picking the Desi Food Truck (Indian cuisine) to eat from, because it was the best decorated.
While he stood in line at Desi, I stopped by Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream truck to give it my third and final try (see my previous review here).  Fortunately, the line went moderately quick, and the service was very friendly.  I chose their two most popular flavors - hazelnut and espresso ice cream.  I was disappointed for the third and final time.  At first lick, the hazlenut ice cream really screamed hazelnut, but by the fifth lick I started to notice the icy texture, and lack of flavor.  The espresso on the other hand, actually was creamy and tasted delicious, although you could get a pint of Haagen-Dazs and have better.  I will say that is was a nice way to waste some time, as my friend had moved about 5 feet from the spot I had seen him last.
By the time an hour went by, yes an HOUR, we had made friends with the guys in front of us.  We discussed and demonstrated the various ways to prevent people from walking through us in order to get to another line.  Dancing, elbows, lunges, and shoulder-to-shoulder action are all ways to do this somewhat successfully.  At least it entertained us.  Then by the time we had made it to the upper quarter of the line, the owner of the truck past out some menus.  This is when I realized the food truck was on 27th and Fifth Avenue, literally a block away from my office.  UGGHHHH - I knew this truck looked familar.  Finally after an hour and a half, we made it to the front of the line, only to be told they were out of the aloo masala kati roll, my food of choice.  A mixture of devastation and anger filled my body, I had to walk away from the truck, as my friend ordered the chicken tiki masala and the last paneer masala kati roll.
New friends photographing their iPhone timer, clocking at 1.5 hours.
So the verdict - was the food worth an hour and a half?  Absolutely not.  My friend said the chicken tiki masala was alright, but my kati roll was actually pretty tasty.  Besides the disappointing Food Truck Festival, the rest of the day was nice and relaxing.  I definitely recommend going to Governors Island before it closes for the winter, and instead of attending a food truck festival, visit your favorite food trucks in their usual locations.  Lucky for us, we made up for our food faux-pas by eating at Cafe Havana in the evening.  More on that later :)

Last year around this time, I posted about Torta Barozzi, the most amazing chocolate cake ever.  If you have a little time, you must make it!


  1. Van Leeuwen ice cream IS really overrated! Their fancy european airs and artisan presentation (which I love) hide the less than delicious quality of their ice cream.

  2. I know! The adorable truck is so deceiving!

  3. when are you going to blog about my pumpkin?