South Beach Wine & Food Festival 2012 “Trucks on the Beach” closing party – Event Recap

When I found out there was going to be a food truck event at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival this year, I knew I had to go. It was my first time making plans to attend the festival and since I was not able to get down to Miami until the end of the weekend, I missed most of the festival’s food, Burger Bash 2012, chef demonstrations, and a lot more. My schedule did work out perfectly to attend the “Trucks on the Beach” closing party hosted by Andrew Zimmern, so it was the event that I was meant to be at.

 

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The “Trucks on the Beach” closing party had 20 food trucks total, 18 from Miami, one from New York City and one from Orlando. They were hand selected by a team from Food Network and festival coordinators. Each food truck served dishes that would give attendees a bite of their food trucks’ style of food. There was also a contest for “Best Food Truck” which was determined by party attendees to vote for their favorite that evening. Congrats to Ms. Cheezious food truck for winning the crowd favorite honors.

 

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Walking into the “Trucks on the Beach” party, you definitely sensed the Miami South Beach vibe with a nightclub feel from the colored lights and the sand at your feet. It was very busy, lines of people waiting at each truck for food, I just worked my way through the crowd to the main stage. It was a challenge to take photos of the food trucks themselves so I photographed what I could.

 

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The main stage had a live band performing and people were jamming to the music. I turned around and the next photo shows the shot of the crowd and food trucks…

 

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There was a lot of people and food trucks under this tent. People eating, drinking, dancing, waiting in line for food… THIS was a food Truck party! It was said 2000 people attended this event and it felt like 90% of them were under this tent for most of the night.

 

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The party host, Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods), speaking about food trucks becoming part of the festival. He thanked sponsors, event coordinators, and his team who manned his booth where chefs teamed up to cook and serve a dish. I never made it to his station but they were serving a Capretto sausage with broccoli rabe pesto and giardiniera.

Another thing Zimmern mentioned on stage was that one of his favorite bites from a food truck was the Reuben sandwich from the C&S Brisket Bus. He said he went back multiple times and really enjoyed the brisket they were serving. Nice job Brisket Bus on representing for Orlando!

Exploring the food trucks…

Long lines and the large crowd kind of hindered my chances of getting a photo of each food truck, each dish being served, and tasting all of the food. Here’s what I got…

 

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CUBANCUBE – their dish was one of my favorites of the party. I wish I went back for more.

 

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CUBANCUBE – Freedom Tower – tower of sweet plantain mash, Cuban marinated pork, cassava mash, fried sweet potato, and tropical chimichurri.

 

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CoolHaus Miami – served a pair of ice cream sandwiches with 3 combinations to choose from.

 

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Coolhaus Miami – my selections (both were awesome):

Potato Chip Cookie/Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream aka the Burger Beast ice cream sandwich

Vegan Coconut Almond Cookie/Sour Cherry Ricotta Ice Cream

 

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C&S Brisket Bus – the only truck from Orlando and a favorite of host Andrew Zimmern, who actually stopped by the food truck and complimented the Brisket Bus team on their pastrami. Congrats guys!

 

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C&S Brisket Bus – Brisket Bus Reuben House cured pastrami on Old Hearth rye, swiss, sauerkraut and horseradish russian

 

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BC Tacos

 

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Dim Ssam a Gogo

 

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The Rolling Stove

 

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The Rolling Stove – Braised Jerk Pork Sandwich – w/ coleslaw, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and jalapeño jelly on a potato roll

 

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Big Gay Ice Cream came all the way from New York City to a be part of this event.

 

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Big Gay Ice Cream – Paletas (a Latin American style ice pop) flavors of Pineapple-Mint (Mojito) and White Sangria Paletas

Both Paletas were packed with refreshing fruit flavors. The Big Gay Ice Cream does serve their famous ice cream on the streets of NYC but no chance to order it at this party.

 

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Outside of the festival tent: more people, more lines, more food.

 

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Mr. Good Stuff w/ owner Alfredo

 

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Mr. Good Stuff – 4 Cheezy-My-Neezy on Roids White cornmeal with mozzarella, provolone, cheddar and blu cheese, then fried into a mouthful disk topped with Carolina pulled BBQ pork and garlic slaw

 

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About an hour before the party closed, some of the food trucks did start to run out of food, with multiple servings to guests clearing out the menu items per truck. Several people recommended the Pan-Seared Scallop at Bite Gastrotruck, but they ran out before I got there.

 

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Mangia Mia served a Mangia Ball “Smasher” sandwich but towards the end was serving the meatball by itself.

 

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Mangia MiaHomemade all beef meatball in homemade marinara sauce

I literally got THE LAST meatball on the truck and it was delicious.

 

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C&S Brisket Bus had a long line throughout the evening and was one of the few food trucks still serving a little after closing. They were moving sandwiches like crazy all night and they prepped so much food they could have served for another hour at least. The line had to be cut off and the festival was closing down. Everyone was tired so it was time to go home.

 

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A great experience for all attendees and the food trucks. When you see a food truck event as the closing party at the end of Food Network’s Wine and Food Festival, you know the food trucks are here to stay and will be back next year. I look forward to attending more SOBEWFF events next year and let’s see how much more the food trucks will be involved with their food through out the festival. It was a successful event and I hope only to see it grow and hopefully have some more Orlando food trucks there next year. Big thanks to fellow food blogger Burger Beast for hanging out at the event and giving me the inside scoop on Miami’s food trucks.

 

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On my way out, I saw this food truck Clarabelle’s Cupcakes. They were serving an assortment of mini cupcakes and I think they were one of the first ones to run out of food and close their window. I’ll have to taste their cupcakes during my next trip to Miami.

 

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Yes that is me being a tourist (left) and getting my photo in front of the festival sign. Shout outs to the Florida International University (FIU) Hospitality student volunteers for helping make this event happen and for taking my photo.

Did anyone else go to this SOBEWFF closing party? What was your favorite plates or food trucks? tell me what you thought about the event overall… Leave a comment below and let’s hear your experience. I definitely want to attend this event next year so let’s all coordinate!

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Words and photos by Julius Mayo Jr.
Content and photos © Droolius.com 2012

 

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