The past few weeks have been nothing but foodie heaven out here in Antwerp! It may be my last weeks in Belgium but I’m sure getting the best send off ever! Last week I went to Fiesta Europa, a European food market where I bought some pink garlic (recipe following very soon!) and some tasty olives and tapenades. This week however, I went to Barrio Cantina, a Belgian Food Truck Festival. Food Trucks are quite popular in the United States, but in Belgium they haven’t been big business yet, until now. As more and more food trucks are being created, a proper Food Truck festival was just what we needed in Belgium!
It was only the second edition of the festival, with the first one being held back in September 2014 in Ghent. Now, I must admit that starting my own food truck has been something that’s been on my mind the past few months so when I heard that Barrio Cantina was coming to Antwerp, it didn’t take much convincing for me to go and have a look at it. Unfortunately I was only able to go on the last day, so a couple of trucks were already sold out, but I did get to have a look at all the trucks and try a few dishes and drinks. Are you living in Belgium and did you miss it too? No worries! They’ll be in Brugge from 4-7th June, Ghent again from 17-16 July, Antwerp from 3-6th September and Ghent from 10-13th of September. The food trucks might be different though, but I have no doubt that each edition will be a real feast! Here’s a look back on my first food truck experience.
The Food trucks
There were about 50 food trucks present at the festival, going from businesses that only exist as a food truck, but also restaurants that have their own food truck to cater and cook on location. I was expecting a lot of burgers and barbecue foods, but I was quite surprised at the variety of meals and drinks that were being sold. Although the burgers from Ellis Gourmet Burgers smelled ridiculously good, I decided that I was going to try something new, something I hadn’t eaten before and wouldn’t be able to get on a regular day in this city. So first thing I did was go past every single food truck and feast my eyes on their creative trucks, as well as on the foods they were offering.
Going over every single food truck would make this post way too long so I’m just going to pick a few I tried and a few I noticed but didn’t try. After going through every row of food trucks, my friend decided to try Tika Bombay Chicken Curry from Curryup! which smelled really nice, but as I didn’t taste it myself I can’t really judge the flavors. I, on the other hand, was a bit stuck and couldn’t really decide what I was going to eat first but then another friend of mine suggested Jean Sur Mer‘s Fishburger, which wasn’t something I had ever eaten before, so I decided to trust his instincts and pay a visit to this lovely fish food truck. I bet Jean must be tired of hearing me say it by now, but dear god that burger was just pure heaven, even after I returned home I was still craving another bite! I almost went back when I read he had sold out so tough luck for me! Anyway, safe to say I’m going to be spending the next few weeks trying to recreate that perfect crispy batter to wrap some white fish in so I can make some fish burgers at home whenever I have a craving! The spicy curry yoghurt dressing was the perfect finishing touch for the burger, which was also filled up with pickled cabbage, cucumber, paprika, coriander and red onion all wrapped in a lovely soft bun.
Next up was some homemade ice tea from Thees’ food truck. I wanted to try the mojito tea, but as it was already sold out, I went for the Glow tea instead, which was flavored with black currant, elderberry, rose hip and hibiscus. And I also tasted a bit of the carrot cake from her truck to go along with the tea. Both were very new to me and I was especially curious to try the carrot cake cause I’ve seen and heard it being mentioned so often but never got to taste it, and… *drumrolls* I loved it! The tea was very refreshing too by the way, highly recommend it!
Last but not least I went to try Ons Lucy‘s waffles on a stick. A Belgian retro food truck selling waffles, what can go wrong? Absolutely nothing, well apart from the fact that I ended up with powdered sugar all over me but it was worth it!
What I wish I had tried
To be fair, all the food trucks looked good and I wish I could’ve tasted something from each booth but you would’ve had to roll me back to my apartment if I did that. I’m going to try and pay a visit to the next Barrio Cantina as well so I can review the other trucks too but for now, there are a couple of food trucks that I didn’t get to try but wish I had, so hopefully I’ll run into them again sooner or later. Either way, here are they:
Kilimanjaro, the food truck by Jaro & Hanne, a young couple that won the first edition of ‘My Pop-Up Restaurant’ in Belgium. I passed the food truck when I did my first tour but I totally forgot about them when I picked my foods to try. Their food truck looked really great though and they offered a couple of foods from different countries: Swedish Köttbullar and Vietnamese Pork Noodles so it’s a bit of a foodie trip around the world all wrapped in 1 truck.
The Taco Guy: I heard so many great things about this food truck before I got to the festival but as I had already eaten Mexican this week, I decided to try something else. Next time though, no doubt about it!
Joeri Tandoori, Indian street food, cooked live in tandoor, sounds good doesn’t it? I was actually thinking of going to this truck when my friend suggested the fish burger so: sorry guys! But again: if I ever run into this truck again I will not hesitate to give it a try cause the food looked really good!
Now I’m very curious to hear about your views on food trucks, so please leave a comment below or on Facebook and just tell me what you think about this concept. Do you live in a city with a lot of food trucks? Would you like there to be more trucks in your country? What kind of food would you like to see in a food truck? Did you go to Barrio Cantina as well and if you did, what did you try?
Can’t wait to hear your comments!