For those on a budget, spend an evening with the Fullerton food trucks
Food columnist Anna Frost explores a trendy alternative to a normal restaurant: A parking lot of food truks in Fullerton called "Too Fat, Too Furious Fridays." | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES
Despite dark and slightly damp conditions on the evening of Jan. 25, I arrived at a smorgasbord in the Best Buy parking lot in Fullerton at 6:30 p.m. Ten food trucks lined up side by side, casting lights on their diverse menus and blaring various genres of music, offering to serve me a myriad of delicious dinners. The challenge: I had to choose one.
For a fairly indecisive foodie like myself, the options at this “Too Fat, Too Furious Friday” were exciting and overwhelming. Unable to decide what exactly I was in the mood for, I wandered up and down the row to examine each truck’s menu. To make matters worse, and by worse I mean better, the majority of the meals are under $10. This college student’s dream come true: check.
This resulted in a five-minute argument with myself as I tried to justify splurging on The Slummin’ Gourmet truck’s kobe beef slider or a tantalizing item involving calamari, both of which were surprisingly only between $10 and $15. However, my inner voice of reason, or thought of my already light wallet, intervened and I moved on.
The Lime Truck and White Rabbit both offered Mexican food with Asian flair. White Rabbit’s menu is solely Filipino-influenced, while Lime Truck pulls from eclectic mix of Asian cuisines. Both trucks bring different flavors and styles of cooking from Asian dishes and incorporate them into beloved Southern California Mexican favorites, like burritos, nachos or tacos. The smell of White Rabbit serving savory chicken adobo tacos was quite tempting. I resisted, however, as I am determinedly saving my first food truck fusion experience for Kogi, Los Angeles’ legendary Mexican-Korean fusion truck, which sadly was not present.
Kala Truck promised mouth-watering Mexican dishes full of slow-cooked pork, chorizo, cheese and spices. Their menu, packed full of tacos, enchiladas and salsas, offered to lift up taco shop favorites without breaching the line of blasphemous Americanization. Next time I venture to this wonderful gathering of trucks, this is where I will eat.
Three trucks transformed the humble hot dog and banal burger into works of art: Dogzilla Hot Dogs, Stuff It Burgers and the aptly-named Sexy Burger Truck.
I stood in fear of Dogzilla. Pictures of hot dogs loaded with a monstrous amount of Japanese-inspired toppings on the menu rendered images of food sliding onto my favorite shirt as I tried to eat standing up, the only downside to food truck dining. If you are more ambitious or less attached to your clothing than I am, I highly recommend taking on the challenge.
Judging from the crowd around Sexy Burger Truck, their creative burgers live up to their name. One featuring fried cheese, The Sexy Burger, appeared to be the most popular among customers. I wasn’t sure how I felt about fried cheese and decided to remain curious, at least for that day.
StuffNIt Burgers received rave reviews from my dining companions, which is the classy name for the friends I persuaded to join me on an outdoor food trip on that rainy evening. This truck puts the burger toppings inside the patty, which results in extreme delight while eating. One girl went so far as to vow to marry the Porky’s, a burger stuffed with pulled pork that dripped with barbeque sauce, after the first bite. Their fries were fluffy and flavorful, though they did not stay crisp for long since they are a thicker cut.
In the end, I decided to stick to simple and American grub: barbeque. The menus for Shortstop BBQ and The Tailgate Truck appeared quite similar, so it was the classic rock tunes at The Tailgate Truck that pulled me in. It was then that I saw “BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich” scrawled across the handwritten menu. I ordered it with a side of fries and we lived happily ever after. At least I did. The fries rocked as hard as the Guns N’ Roses recording of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” coming from the truck. A self-serve pump filled with at least a gallon of their barbeque sauce sat by the window, giving them bonus points in my book.
Oh, and the sandwich, you ask? Topped with crunchy coleslaw and layers of tender, thinly shredded pulled pork on a soft bun soaked through with house-made barbeque sauce, this sandwich was my southern food soulmate.
I cannot stress enough the utmost importance of making a trip to Food Truck Fridays at least once this semester. While you may not find all of the same trucks as I did since they tend to change each week for variety, this event lived up to the hype once and I am confident that they will continue to attract trucks that make fantastic food.
Don’t hesitate until the semester has buried you in papers and projects. Grab the first Alexander Hamilton after your wallet recovers from book-buying shock and make a beeline for Fullerton on any Friday evening.
Fullerton Food Truck Fridays are from 5:30 - 9 p.m. in the Best Buy parking lot.