Food truck gatherings are nothing new, but the amount of participating food trucks can make all the difference. The Gourmet Food Truck Festival at the Del Mar Racetrack is one of the larger gatherings we’ve been to. They had close to 40 different food trucks to choose from. This particular event took place last month on a sunny and sizzling San Diego Saturday afternoon. In our eyes, the more the better so we can try as much as we can from food trucks all over Southern California without actually driving to each one.
As we approached the food trucks we were encouraged by the ample shaded areas to sit and eat. Some food events don’t offer any cover from the sun or tables to take your food back to to enjoy. We didn’t have any problems with that here.
The event space was huge and some of the regular food vendors you might find at the Del Mar Fair were open for business. There were a few trucks that made our priority list. One of them that got raving reviews was the Tri Tip Man.
Of course a tri tip sandwich was in order but the JW Fries were super tempting. They come with their Cowboy Grub tri tip chili. We were hungry for our first taste of the day so pretty much anything on the menu looked good.
To start our food day off we went with something simple with no frills. In order to let the trip tip stand on its own we selected the BBQ Jane. All you really need is meat on a toasted bun with bbq sauce. That’s it. Yum! They marinate their meat with a coffee based spice blend and smoke it over pecan wood. The meat was ever so slightly sweet and tender with a few smoky notes. If everything we chose were as good as this sandwich we would be in for a good day of eating.
Also at the top of our list was Cousins Maine Lobster. Perhaps our biggest mistake of the day was to try to go here second. We waited in line for about 25 minutes and barely inched forward. We listened to our bellies and decided it was not meant to be. It probably would have taken at least an hour to make it to the front. Hands down the most popular and well known truck at the event, they became famous after their Shark Tank appearance and successful deal with Barbara Corcoran. They went on to be featured in multiple media outlets such as CNBC, Food Network, and Good Morning America. Michael looked them up and found out they have a truck local to us in San Diego so if we missed it today we’d still be able to hit them up another day.
Years back we visited Dogzilla in Orange County and absolutely loved it. Hot dogs are great, but Asian inspired hot dogs with Kings Hawaiian bread? Get outa here.
We usually stick with the Dogzilla Dog(All beef frank topped with grilled onions, avocado, Japanese mayo, homemade teriyaki sauce, furikake, and bacon bits. Served on King’s Hawaiian roll buns) or Furi Dog(The “Furry” Dog Spicy cajun pork link topped with grilled onions, spicy Japanese mayo, homemade teriyaki sauce, furikake seasoning, and kizami nori strips. Served on a King’s Hawaiian roll bun).
We split the Furi Dog and were glad to wait less than ten minutes in line to continue eating. It’s a little sweet at first but then the spice starts to tickle your tongue and roll down your throat. 2 for 2!
At this point the festival was pretty packed. About half the trucks had little to no wait while the most popular trucks had long lines. Typical of food truck festivals, but the heat made the time go that much slower. We don’t get German food or currywurst hardly ever in SD. Short line + currywurst + fries = win.
I do wish there was a meat component to the fries at the Currywurst truck. The Curry Cheese Fries (Cheese, sweet ketchup, mustard) lacked that salty punch and kind of fell short of our expectations. Although we were tempted to get the Philly Cheese Fries, it sort of defeated the purpose of trying to get something that reminded us of our Europe trip.
Here’s the list of participating trucks. As you can see it wouldn’t be humanly possible to get to every one. And even though we came prepared with about 8 on our list, the heat and crowds kind of put a wrench in our initial plan. Still, I’m glad we got to check it out and find a new favorite food truck while also reacquainting us with an old favorite.
*Disclaimer: We were given vouchers to try some of the food for this event, but our opinions remain our own.
Del Mar Gourmet Food Truck Festival
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd Del Mar, CA 92014