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?
Who was missing from previous weeks?
Was there music?
What was new?
NEW TRUCK ALERT: Effortlessly Healthy made their way in from Rochester.
Toni, Katrina and I rolled up around noon knowing that we had to be back to the office at 12:30 p.m. (Katrina had a meeting.). This meant taking food back to the office for us, which was fine because the thick crowd meant that seats were at a premium. We immediately noticed the brightly-colored Effortlessly Healthy truck on the fringe of the Rodeo. As we entered the circle, I ran into Michael John Haggerty, founder of No Excuses and one of the Rodeo organizers. We chatted for a few minutes and he talked up the new deal that would have Rochester trucks making a weekly visit on Wednesdays (anytime The Meatball Truck wants to make a visit, I’ll be waiting), as well as some new local trucks coming on. I also got the tip that the health inspectors were on site rousting the vendors.
I was unsuccessful in my search for Tortilla Jack’s, so my first stop was Oompa Loompyas. She was just finishing her visit with the health department (pictured above) as I ordered my loompyas. I’m not a big fan of the kickin’ chicken, so I mixed up the spinach-artichoke, beef and, her new flavor, shrimp and crab. It would turn out to be my first of two trips to see this stand. Whereas the other flavors are shaped like mini eggrolls, the shrimp and crab feature a wrapper stuffed with crabmeat that has been folded around the head of a tail-on shrimp. These have easily risen to the top of the loompya top four:
THE OFFICIAL AL DENTE LOOMPYA RANKINGS
- Shrimp and crab
- Spinach and artichoke
- Kickin’ chicken
In between visits to Oompa Loompyas, I made it to the Rochesterian import. The menu is paleo with hints of Rochester. Chicken, bacon, and avocado, pulled pork, chicken, and veggies are available in wraps or in a “Trash Plate,” the trademark-friendly adaptation of Nick Tahou’s Garbage Plate. The traditional plate comes served atop fries and macaroni salad. Effortlessly Healthy uses cole slaw and roasted sweet potatoes. The Trash Plate comes with an avocado cream drizzle or the traditional spicy meat sauce for $1 more.
My paper boat came with a bed of slaw and potatoes and topped with about 5 oz. of pork. My $8 plate was not only gluten and dairy free, but an excellent value for the price. The flavor was very good and my only quibble was that everything could use a pinch more salt. Otherwise, this truck has their game down tight. Had we stayed longer, I would have indulged in a couple of watermelon slices from EH.
Toni went with her standby grilled cheese from PB&J’s Lunchbox, while Katrina opted for a pizza at Toss ‘N’ Fire.
The crowds kept coming and coming as we departed. The late lunch rush was very nice to see.
Words of compliment and/or grievance?
There’s a rumor that a Carvel truck would be joining the mix for the evening’s Flicks Al Fresco. While I would love soft serve during the lunchtime session, my fear is that a Carvel truck would lead Toni and me to relocate our workspaces to a card table near that truck.