Saturday, April 23, 2011

Second C-Town Chow Down

Last weekend, area food trucks gathered once again for the second installment of the C-Town Chow Down. As you well know, the first time this event took place there were some logistical issues and many complaints from attendees. I, too, had some problems with the event but wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt since it was the first one. I give them credit for a fantastic concept, and who knew that they would experience crushing crowds. We Clevelanders just love our food, especially fun food! Well, our patience and understanding paid off this time because things certainly ran smoother last Sunday. April's Chow Down did experience a lower attendance in my opinion, but the trucks also seemed better prepared. Some offered two order windows, like JiBARO, which allowed them to take orders and serve food quickly and efficiently. We arrived early again (10:45 a.m.), but when we were finally leaving the area around 1:30 p.m. the trucks were still serving and lines were manageable. It was cold and windy (again), but that didn't keep people away! I am just looking forward to the first Chow Down on a warm, sunny day.

So, here's what we ate...

Unfortunately, we started off on a high note and the food we sampled slowly went downhill from there. First up, was a Cheesesteak from Chef Rocco Whalen's Fahrenheit truck. Last time, Rocco ran out of food so we weren't chancing it this time. I've had this sandwich at other food festivals, such as the Taste of Tremont, in the past and it never disappoints.Then, we headed to Umami Moto for a Bahn Mi with pulled pork, mayo, diakon-carrot pickle, cilantro and jalapenos on a French baguette ($6).
It was a little dry, but other than that we had no complaints. The flavor was mild, but nice, and the cool vegetables added a crisp freshness to each bite. We also appreciated them (and Rocco) slicing the sandwich in half so that we could easily share.

Then we moved on to JiBARO for some seafood bisque and fried plantain chips. The plantains were dry and bland, and were only saved by the dipping sauce. I was looking forward to sampling their seafood bisque after several people raved about it at the last Chow Down. However, when I went to take my first spoonful we discovered a long, dark hair. I couldn't pretend that it was mine and keep eating because the soup had been sealed when served to us. Darn! Needless to say, that went in the trash.

To sum it up, the second Chow Down flowed much easier. I think the trucks were better prepared, and knew how to handle the event for the most part. A couple of new trucks even joined this time, including Pranzo Pizza and a hot dog truck. They haven't announced the May date yet, but keep your eye on their Facebook page because rumor has it that it will be a monthly occurrence. I know that we'll certainly be ready to "chow down" again after a much better experience this time around.


Unknown said...

Too many cooks spoil the broth.
- English proverb

Thank you for your blog we appreciate your honesty. We will only get better with feedback :-) Will not happen again ~ JIBARO

Alana said...

I can't wait to check one of these Chow Downs out.

Ew, I can't eat around hair either!

Green Dog Wine said...

Yay! I'm glad they made some changes, sounds like they'll get better and better with each one! :)
It's funny that you said that Bahn Mi sandwich was dry - as soon as I saw the picture (before I read your review about it) - I thought oh that's dry I would need Frank's ;P Glad you guys had a good time and hopefully I can make the May event!

Unknown said...

Glad to hear it was improved this time around. Hopefully I can make it out to the May one even though my Sundays in May are getting busy.

Kristian said...

Thanks for the post. Had the same experience with the Bahn Mi and ended up only being happy with the Polish Boy.