By Amani Diab
Season 6 of the ever so popular Chicago Food Truck Festival kicked off this weekend, and if you didn’t have a chance to make it this year, you definitely missed out. To accommodate a bigger crowd this year, the festival was moved to 2400 S. State St. If you were lucky to get free general admission tickets before they sold out, good for you for being on it. They offered an Early Access V.I.P Ticket with 2 drinks for $10 which is still a great option. With over 50+ food trucks, there was something for everyone. A few of your Chicago favorites like Harold’s Chicken and Giordano’s made their stop this weekend offering a familiar taste we all know and love. I was very impressed with the wide variety of trucks to choose from. Some of the food trucks at this year’s festival included: Piko Street Kitchen, Yum Dum, Lucy’s, Pierogi Wagon, Soul Kantina, Lobster Claw, The Happy Lobster, 194 Ribs, Auntie Vee’s, Aztec Daves, Mario’s Tacos, Cheesies, Lawrence Fish and Shrimp, Tamale Spaceship, Loop Juice, and so much more..
I’m a sucker for a good food truck. I’ve always loved the convenience of being able to get some good food on wheels. I’ve always said food from a truck just taste better and brings a lot of joy to this hungry gal. The foodie in me wishes I could’ve sampled something from each food truck, but I didn’t want to be in a food coma on my way back home to the suburbs. I decided to walk around and get a good idea of what I wanted. A deal breaker for me was seeing who had long lines because that’s where the good food is at. I decided to make my first stop at Soul Kantina. Before I even got there, I had seen pictures of people all over social media eating what appeared to be rice and meat, or mac and cheese straight from a carved out pineapple. I decided to order the Chicken and Rice Pineapple bowl. It consisted of herb grilled chicken, veggies, served over a bed of season rice and chipotle ranch. Not only was it aesthetically pleasing and worthy of a good Instagram picture, but it was quite delicious as well. A big thank you to Brandi from Soul Kantina for being so accommodating. My next stop was Yum Dum for some crispy shrimp baowiches. It consisted of Panko crusted shrimp with ponzu slaw, topped with jalapeno sriracha mayo and cilantro. The flavors all mixed in and served on a soft bao bun was perfection! I was nice enough to share some of my bao in order to save room for my next stop. Our last and final savory stop was Lawrence Fish and Shrimp. They are #1 for best shrimp and have been in business since 1950. I have to say before I get into the food, their pricing and portion size was very reasonable compared to a few other trucks. I ordered the fish and chips and an order of coconut shrimp. Having never tried Lawerence’s before, It was so good. The crispy coconut shrimp and the fried alaskan pollock were cooked to perfection and everything you would want fried seafood to be. I decided to take some dessert to go. I stopped off at Cupcakes for Courage and got a few to go. Every cupcake purchased, a portion of the proceeds are donated to help find a cure for cancer and increase awareness of the illness affecting so many. I opted for the strawberry shortcake and vanilla bean cupcake. Let me be clear; I took a bite of my first cupcake and knew that I had to hide the other one or else I would eat both of them right away. The cupcake was a dense, yet moist cupcake filled with strawberry jam and topped with a delicious buttercream frosting. I’ll definitely be visiting one of their bakeries very soon. Overall, it was a wonderful event to attend and I can’t wait to see what next year has in store for The Chicago Food Truck Festival!