Posted by: Shannon @ A Dash of Sparkle | June 1, 2012

Food Truck Rallies Are Awesome

Have you ever been to a Food Truck Rally?

Honestly, I feel embarrassed for saying it, but I hadn’t until a couple weeks ago. You’d figure with my addiction to the Cooking Channel (which has an entire show dedicated to food trucks – Eat Street) and general love of food, I’d be all over this food truck phenomenon that has swept the country, but unfortunately I just hadn’t had access to any until my recent move.

Luckily, Tampa and St. Petersburg  have a nice collection of food truck related events and though I’m a bit behind in posting, I did have the great opportunity of capitalizing on one recent event.

The Beer & Food Truck Festival in St. Petersburg two weekends ago was a fun new experience for me and consequentially has turned me into a food truck junkie.

Nick and I met up with some friends for this outdoor fiesta two Saturday’s ago in downtown St. Pete right at the start of the event. *Note for future food truck events – go for the beginning because once they run out of food, they’re done. Like many food truck related events I’ve seen on TV and read about, they had a live band blasting out some blues tunes and setting a mellow vibe for the event.

Once we collected our beer sampling glasses (which got to keep in addition to food tickets with the purchase of a premium ticket – $35) pretty much everyone in our group bee-lined to the beer sampling tables (each brewery had their own tent or table and several beers to sample).

I of course headed straight to check out the the food trucks.

Since no one else in my group was eating just I tasted a couple strawberry beers, one of which I really liked (below) and just kind of meandered.

When we had been there for a good 20 minutes and no one was eating yet, I bailed on the group and ventured over to a food truck that promised fresh fried pickles. Though the wait was ridiculous (almost 15 minutes) the pickles were tasty.

My food purchase and food sharing (I can’t fathom eating a whole box of fried pickles without getting ill) inspired the rest of the group to hop to and we all started picking out the food items we wanted to try that day.

Mine included a delicious shrimp and slaw sandwich from WickedWiches (which is a total favorite now and my hands down winner for best food of the day) and two iced fruit bars from XXX. The rest of the group pretty much covered the rest of the foods including macaroni and tater-tot casseroles, fresh soft pretzels, deep fried cuban sandwiches, BBQ pulled pork wraps, fish tacos, and some kind of chicken wrap that smelled delicious.

There were lots of beer samples for everyone else, but my focus was the food.

I think the pickles were a bad choice straight off the bat and that I should have avoided the fried foods, since my stomach doesn’t like anything deep fried, but it was a mistake I’m glad to learn from.

Despite all the beer and food, Nick was craving some crawfish from a St. Pete local fish restaurant so we stopped by so he could get a few pounds of the boiled beauties. Luckily, he was able to kick back with his crustaceans while I had to get ready for a charity ball (which turned out to be a blast).

I was not all that thrilled, however, when Nick popped out with the camera as I was getting ready to leave feeling like a tired, stuffed beast with princess hair. Hopefully it doesn’t show too much…

Note to Self for Future: Do not plan food focused afternoons when you must put on a slinky backless ball gown that night.

Have you ever been to a food truck rally? What was your experience?


  1. Hi there! Looks AMAZING! I’m from a small town in Indiana and after graduating in December, am looking at moving to Florida (more specifically either the Tampa area or the panhandle). So many neat things! Whew! I wish my hometown could do something like this once a year!
    Curious, as I’m doing oodles and oodles of research (moving all by myself so I want to make sure I do it to the best of my abilities), what are your favorite and least favorite things about the Tampa/St. Petersburg area? It seems like such an exciting place to be and gorgeous to boot!

    • It was a great event and I can’t wait for similar events (there are a couple coming up this summer I’ve got my eye on). It’s funny you should ask what my fave things are here though, because I was recently listing them for some family over the weekend (in my ongoing efforts to move everyone I know to Florida).

      I think my favorite part of the Tampa Bay area is the variety. I’ve lived in enough other locations (great historic cities and small towns alike) to know that variety is key for me. I’m talking variety in cultural, environmental, historical and people related things. Tampa Bay pretty much covers it all. It’s a college city, so there is a really wide range in ages. There’s enough money and patronage here that equals great cultural institutions like stadiums, theaters, museums, historical societies, etc. Since it’s on the west coast of Florida, it’s very tropical, but not sub tropical, meaning it’s lush and green with big trees everywhere, but also beautiful turquoise waters as well.

      For someone looking to be introduced to Florida, I think you’d appreciate the location as well. It’s a 1-4 hour drive to almost every major city in Florida (end-to-end Florida easily a 7-8 hour car ride), and that means you’ve got access to lots of other FL attractions. It’s a good place to get to know the state!

      I wish you all the best in your travels and moving though and don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Thank you so much! You have no idea how helpful that was! I really really really like Tampa right now! I just have to get a job there, lol! And as a teacher, there are only so many options open 😛
        I’ll definitely keep in touch and keep reading up on your adventures 🙂 I LOVE variety and want so very bad to learn about as many cultures as I can 🙂
        Sounds like an A+ place!

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