Roundup! Food Truck Rodeo #10

NOTE: The Syracuse Food Truck Association and No Excuses Syracuse are sponsoring weekly Food Truck Rodeos in the parking lot of the Cosmopolitan Building on West Fayette Street from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays. Since that’s right around the corner from my office, I plan to make this my midweek lunch plan. As a service to you, dear reader, I’ll round them up and report back. The STFA has since added a Rodeo in the rear parking lot of Missio Church on West Genesee Street from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays. Depending on the week, you might catch me there “off the clock.”

Who made a repeat appearance?

Unity Coffee Company, The Chicken Bandit, That’s What’s Up, Shattuck’s Paddy WagonPB&J Lunchbox, Toss ‘N’ Fire Pizza

Who was missing from previous weeks?

Sarita’sMami’s KitchenTortilla Jack’s and Oompa Loompyas.

Was there music?

No. But there were significantly more dogs than there have ever been.

What was new?

NEW TRUCKS ALERT: Byblos Street Grill and Carvel’s.

Photo Jun 24, 11 52 08 AM

Recap it:

Toni and I made our last appearance at the Rodeo for what will be a few weeks. In the next three weeks, I’m either off from work, traveling for work, or on vacation in Delaware. Toni is off next week and will probably cheat on me. Maybe I’ll have her fill in for me on the Roundups while I’m gone. 

So, two trucks entered the ring and two departed. First, let’s have a moment of silence for Oompa Loompyas and Tortilla Jack’s. Both announced via Facebook that they would not be returning to the Wednesday Rodeos though neither stated a specific reason why. Oompa is now doing a dinnertime appearance at a local farmer’s market. TJ’s teased a new venture but said little more. Oh well.

Filling their space effortlessly were Byblos and Carvel.

Photo Jun 24, 11 47 52 AM

Byblos Street Grill is the food truck extension of Fady Khabbaz’s Lebanese food empire in the Salt City. Fady and I went to high school together and, though we weren’t friends, we had a number of mutual friends and it’s been awesome to see him succeed in bringing authentic Middle Eastern food to the city. The Byblos menu is simple: traditional lamb or chicken gyros, hummus wraps, spanakopita, and baklava. The truck was producing gyros with ease and quickness, offering them with the traditional lettuce and tomato, as well as a choice of tzatziki or a spicy red sauce that — as the girl at the counter said — has caught fire in Brooklyn street food circles. I opted for spanakopita.

Photo Jun 24, 11 50 46 AM

For $3, Byblos offered a generous wedge of phyllo, spinach and feta on a plate. It was an exceptional combination of salt, savory and cheese. I imagine Fady will bring the truck back, as people were lined up most of the day at the window and coming away double fisting gyros.

Photo Jun 24, 11 58 19 AM

I ended up back over at Toss ‘N’ Fire for lunch. Something said pizza today, though I was a little disappointed that the Cheeky Monkey (spicy tomato oil and meatballs) was not available. I opted for the margherita over their new green pizza of broccoli, spinach, ricotta, herbs and mozzarella. It was n0 different than anything else I have had from TNF in the past: great.

Toni lined up for the always excellent Korean BBQ taco at The Chicken Bandit and falafel tots from Shattuck’s Paddy Wagon. My boss, Cathy, had been jonesing the grilled PB&J from PB&J’s since seeing me write about it a few weeks ago. She walked away with a piece of baklava from Byblos for the road.

Toni and I opted for Carvel’s, which brought a limited menu of flying saucers, hot fudge sundaes and premade Brown Bonnets. We both opted for plain vanilla soft serve with the chocolate crunchies because those little crunchies are all one needs to get by. There was, however, no sighting of Fudgie The Whale.

Words of compliment and/or grievance?

I was sad to see the departed trucks go, but people have their reasons. I wonder whether it’s an issue of location, in that people are not apt to chug all the way from Downtown to the Near Westside. That said, the bomb threat at the county office building led to dozens of county employees taking a longer lunch journey. I have to wonder if today’s crowd with the bonus rush of county employees would have been enough to keep people around a little while longer. 


  • Drew Meier says:

    Keep the great write-ups of the Rodeos coming. You should check out the Oktoberfest at Long Branch park on Aug 15 and 16. They usually have 2 or 3 Spaten beers on draft, great German food and cherry strudel desserts. Bring a picnic blanket and sit and listen to the live polka music.

  • Drew Meier says:

    Round up #12 info from Wed 7/8. Tossin’ Fire, Byblos, Chicken Bandit, Unity Coffee, That’s What’s Up, Shattuck’s Paddy Wagon.

    Byblos had falafel wraps this week. I love falafel but have failed 3 times to make it at home. They fell apart when I deep fried them and trying to oven bake them in a muffin pan didn’t get the edges/interior nice and crispy. Byblos added a bit of radish for a peppery kick to the usual lettuce and tomato but I think it needed some cucumber and red onion to reach perfection. The spanakopita was great too. I could eat it instead of chocolate cake for dessert which is high praise from someone who grew up not liking spinach.

    Turn out was good with the cafeteria tables almost full at 11:45.

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