If you were in town for Memorial Day, I hope you had a chance to visit one of the 5 food trucks. The Food Network was in town filming a segment for their wildly popular show, The Great Food Truck Race. This season, the focus is on the Deep South. They pulled up early afternoon yesterday at the Federal building and quickly got their locations and challenges. Using social media, they spread the word, with the help of one of our favorite local food trucks, Local Roots.
Here are your 5 teams:
Early Monday morning, the 4 food trucks let the public know their locations and hours. 4 of them were on University Blvd and the Southern Frenchie had the alcove area next to Monarch Espresso (the best dang espresso bar in Tuscaloosa). All the trucks featured a brunch option for a few hours and each truck had a media team with release forms for those who chose to participate in the filming. Each truck also had a challenge ingredient of pecans to work into a brunch menu.
First up was Stick Em Up. The marketing strategy was pretty unique. Someone was walking back and forth with a horn announcing the other trucks were Auburn fans. Nothing stirs up competition and the appetite like throwing Auburn shade on your competitors. This truck featured meat on a stick and gouda grits to bring in the brunch factor.
The next truck was Breakfast Club. Their featured dish was homemade donuts. They picked something that many in Tuscaloosa love. They had a savory breakfast nachos and a mocha drink. I think having the mocha with the donuts was a great strategy to set themselves above the rest. They had a steady stream of customers each time I walked by.
Mr. Po’ Boys had traditional po boys with shrimp or chicken/bacon/guac, a po boy chicken salad, and pecan praline pudding. This dessert was huge hit with the Sunday afternoon crowd. This was a very popular truck. They sold out of everything! That’s a good sign.
The last truck I visited was Braised in the South. Their menu had a good variety and some gluten-free options. The Totchos are chicken nachos over tater tots/breakfast tots. Pulled pork tacos are always a big hit. Anything with “roll tide” in the title will catch attention. And their dessert featured the pecan challenge ingredient.
The last truck over behind Government Plaza was the Southern Frenchie. They featured a fried chicken and pimento cheese grilled cheese. That sounds outstanding, but I would need a lot of modifications to make this a gluten-free meal. The other brunch item was Johnny cakes. They used the local favorite “Yellow Hammer” in the description which is a good marketing strategy.
Stay tuned to Food Network for show times and dates. I’ll update this post as I learn more information and Thank You to Food Network for showing our little town to the world. The food community is continuing to expand and grow here and events like this are just the beginning for Tuscaloosa.