photo by michael corrigan
All across the country, food trucks navigate city streets in search of empty stomachs to satisfy with their on-the-go grub. Conveniently located outside of your office or alongside the nearest park, trucks of all kinds—from ones that solely offer scoops of cookie dough to ones that revolve around unusual combinations involving a specific food, such as tater tots or grilled cheese—unleash irresistible aromas.
Whether you see them every day or every now and then, a rush of excitement instantly overcomes you once you recognize a line of food trucks in the distance. Imagine that rush of excitement doubled or even tripled. Food truck festivals exist as solid proof that dreams really do come true. In Minnesota, food truck festivals bring truckloads of good eats to foodies in three cities during the summer: Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Anoka.
If you missed the Uptown Food Truck Festival’s return to the Minneapolis neighborhood, you have two more chances to get your food fest on. Festivals put on by the same organizers as the Uptown fest will invade Downtown Anoka for the first time July 22 and return to St. Paul’s Mears Park August 19. Devour local delicacies with a cold beverage (or two) in hand, join in on games including a giant Connect Four, enter giveaways, and immerse yourself in live music.
Each festival brings in a different number of food trucks, some vendors popping up at all three, and others appearing at only one or two. Vendors attending the Anoka festival revealed to us their favorite dish from their trucks, and we have compiled them so you can arrive hungry and prepared for the magical taste-bud experience you deserve.
Note: More than 25 trucks will be at the festival, and vendors are subject to change. Learn more.
Photo by Michael Corrigan
Tot boss Dan Docken’s favorite menu item is the Loaded Tots—crispy, golden tots covered in cheddar cheese sauce and bacon crumbles with sour cream and chives on top. Aside from the deliciousness of the loaded tots, they’re Docken’s favorite because they make their cheese sauce gluten-free and from scratch, meaning the entire creation is gluten-free friendly. Docken always loves cooking, sharing his food with others, and meeting new people. He looks forward to seeing new faces and feeding them delicious tots—a food Docken grew up enjoying in school and at home.
At FunFare, a simple yet flavorful dish comes out on top as the owner’s favorite: the Filipino BBQ skewers. This delicious dish reminds owner Sherwin Resurreccion of being back home in the Philippines. Resurreccion and the team look forward to meeting new fellow vendors and guests, as well as seeing familiar faces in Anoka and having the opportunity to feed people eats they may have never tried before.
Stop by Bacon-Me-Crazy for owner JJ’s new favorite: the Carolina Brisket and Bacon Burger. The meat comes from a small farm that fit their mission to “eat local, support local.” The ingredients: a patty (60 percent beef brisket and 40percent ground chuck), Carolina-style BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese, and their homemade super slaw—made of shredded red and green cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, carrots, and kohlrabi, all in a dressing. Excited to bring the food truck culture to a new area, this truck staff wants everyone to experience their food passion without having to drive into the metro area.
Photo by Michael Corrigan
Whole Sum Kitchen
Whole Sum Kitchen recently introduced a new cold-pressed juice called the Havana. Made of pineapple, apple, and mint, the juice reigns as owner Evan Tepper’s favorite because it’s the perfect summer drink—refreshing, sweet, tropical, and healthy. After taking a 15-month sabbatical from his corporate career to travel, Tepper was convinced of two things: we eat too much processed food in North America, which he believes has a serious health and economic impact, and he should pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions. Tepper and his team love meeting new customers and can’t wait to introduce those at the festival to their healthy products.
When owner Jay Hanson moved back home to Minnesota after discovering fish tacos while living in San Diego, he couldn’t find a good fish taco anywhere. So, he decided to do it himself. His favorite dish happens to be the reason the truck was built in the first place: the signature Turbo Taco. It’s a beer-battered cod taco, deep-fried and served with Monterey Jack cheese, Turbo sauce (a signature sauce), slaw, guacamole, and fresh pico de gallo. Hanson looks forward to sharing Turbo Tacos at the festival with those from north suburban areas who haven’t experienced his tacos yet.
This vendor’s favorite creation is beef/lamb gyros mixed with a homemade cucumber sauce in pita bread. Owner and chef Thabt Osman says it’s made with fresh meat and tastes better than any frozen gyro. Osman and his staff look forward to expressing themselves as Pharaohs Gyros and hopefully putting a smile on the face of each person who visits the truck.
Original Hockey Mom (OHM) Brownies
Owner Andrew Howard says, “Everyone has their own flavor,” but his current favorite brownie from his truck is the Slapshot—a peanut-butter-and-s’mores brownie. The brownie mania all started with star-shape, numbered brownies that Howard’s mom made for the hockey team he played on in Andover. Howard’s mom brought brownies everywhere to put smiles on people’s faces. Many suggested she start a bakery, Howard tried to convince her to start some kind of business, she thought of looking into a food truck—and the rest is history.