Prospect Park Food Truck Rally
July 22nd, 2011 by plumpdumpling

The problem with everything in NYC is that it’s hip and that hip people live here and that hip people do hip things. Our friends Christine and Eric invited Dr. Boyfriend and me to Bravo’s “Top Chef: The Tour” cooking showdown back in May, but we ultimately decided that it’d probably involve arriving super early, standing around for hours, and maybe not getting to see or eat anything at all.

So instead, we went to the Food Truck Rally in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park!

NYC Food Truck Rally

Which turned out to involve crowds and standing around and not getting to eat anything, too! But at least we were together.

We arrived at Grand Army Plaza about noon, and things didn’t look so bad around the first couple of trucks:

NYC Food Truck Rally

We figured it didn’t hurt to maximize our time, though, and decided to split up into two groups. Dr. Boyfriend and I would take the lobster roll truck in appreciation of my never having had one, Eric and Christine would take the souvlaki truck in appreciation of Christine’s heritage, and our friend Jack would flit back and forth between the two groups, entertaining us.

Forty-five minutes later, Dr. Boyfriend and I have five lobster rolls from the Red Hook Lobster Pound. Which, at $16 a pop, was $80 worth of lightly-mayonnaised meat:

NYC Food Truck Rally

Of course, we didn’t get to eat it for another hour, because Eric and Christine had to wait in the Souvlaki GR line for AN HOUR AND 42 MINUTES. I know this because Eric is a nerd and timed it on his watch:

NYC Food Truck Rally

Apparently the truck was grilling meat only as orders came in instead of just slapping pounds of the stuff on the grill in anticipation of the orders. Meaning that each person was guaranteed a five-minute wait and that the line backed up across the East River and halfway into Manhattan.

In the meantime, Dr. Boyfriend and I stopped by the much-less-crowded but still absolutely inefficient Kelvin Natural Slush Co. truck, which was somehow also taking several minutes per customer to push some pre-made slush out of a machine.

Luckily, the Kelvin slushes are absolutely beautiful, come in flavors like Spicy Ginger, Tangy Citrus, and Green & Black Tea, and can have fresh pureed fruits like blood orange, lychee, guava, and white peach added in:

NYC Food Truck Rally

I got the ginger and added in basil, and I swear I’ve never had a better slush. Clearly, neither has Dr. Boyfriend:

NYC Food Truck Rally

Eventually, finally, Christine got her souvlaki:

NYC Food Truck Rally

and we all gathered behind the circle of trucks to chow.

The lobster roll was full of huuuuuge chunks of meat–entire claw pieces!–was well-seasoned, and had a nice celery crunch. But $16 and a 45-minute wait? The souvlaki was delicious: succulent meat, fluffy pita, and all of the right garnishes, including red onion and French fries nestled in right next to the pork. But AN HOUR AND 42 MINUTES in line? It was just a little too intense for such a little amount of food.

The lines for Coolhaus, the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck, Taïm Mobile, and Eddie’s Pizza Truck were just as out of control, so we tried the conspicuously uncrowded Cupcake Stop line and found out that it was so tame because they had run out of cupcakes and had an employee stuck in traffic with the new supply. So we left.

But despite all of the disappointment, we had a great time! We were surrounded by good people who like to support street food and who repeatedly stopped to talk to me about my skull-made-out-of-bacon-and-eggs t-shirt. Narcissism!

NYC Food Truck Rally

NYC Food Truck Rally

And we’re, um, going to the Great Hot Dog Cookoff this weekend, so either we’re gluttons for punishment or just plain gluttons.

12 Responses  
  • caropal writes:
    July 22nd, 201112:26 pmat


    My heart, it is broken.

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      July 22nd, 20111:34 pmat

      I mean, that’s what it’s LIKE living in NYC. It’s like, “Do I go to this super-trendy club with this totally famous movie star, or do I have a quiet dinner with this totally famous rock star?” You know?

      No, okay, for real, it was Angelo vs. Nikki. And, like, I thought Angelo should have won his season and liked his restaurant and all, but he’s no Michael Voltaggio.

      I’m SORRY, okay?

  • Todd writes:
    July 22nd, 20112:09 pmat

    Richard Blais and I bonded last weekend over black truffles. And I didn’t even have to leave Ohio. And I got VIP seating for his demo. A win for me? I think so!

    (And you could have avoided Rickshaw anyway. I think we consumed more than our fair share of those dumplings already. Just saying.)

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      July 22nd, 20112:23 pmat

      NEAT! He would’ve been my all-time favourite “Top Chef”er if he hadn’t been so douchey in the all-stars season. Everybody knows you’re the best, Rich! You don’t need to keep reminding us.

      Never enough dumplings! But Todd, that Coolhaus truck lets you choose the kind of cookies and ice cream you want for an ice cream sandwich. Where was THAT in Chelsea?

  • thickcrust writes:
    July 22nd, 20113:30 pmat

    We stopped by to check that out, saw the lines, said no way, and then spent the next hour trying to figure out two things: 1. who on earth would stand in lines like those, and 2. how long people were actually waiting. Now I have answers to both.

  • Jessica R. writes:
    July 22nd, 20113:57 pmat

    That reminds me of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, except there was no waiting in line for an hour and 42 minutes. That food, however, looks amazing!

  • Christine Souvlaki Eater writes:
    July 22nd, 20116:24 pmat

    I love this article for many reasons, but mostly because you called Eric a nerd.

    I also want it noted for the record, that the time to the front of the line was about an hour. It was the 42 minutes AFTER ORDERING that really made me mad. However I appear to be smiling in that picture, so I guess I couldn’t have been that upset.

    Bring on the hotdogs!

  • Lisa writes:
    July 22nd, 20117:20 pmat

    I really like those souvlaki labels. And the truck. But as much as I love souvlaki, I don’t think I could wait almost 2 hours for it!

  • Hessa Phadie writes:
    July 22nd, 201110:32 pmat

    I’ll be damned if that lobster roll does not look incredible. Sounds like the entire experience in itself was at least worth it.

  • Mrs. Bachelor Girl writes:
    July 26th, 20111:09 amat

    I have never eaten anything except ice cream off of a truck before, and I am SO JEALOUS. That lobster roll looks incredible!

  • han writes:
    July 26th, 20113:10 pmat

    man i lurve kelvin slushes so much! i’m gunnin’ for the basil next though i always get suckered in for the mango.

  •» Blog Archive » The Great Hot Dog Cookoff 2011 writes:
    July 28th, 201111:31 amat

    […] our 1 hour, 42 minute wait for a souvlaki earlier this year at a similar event, I was understandably a little hesitant about last weekend’s Great Hot Dog Cookoff. Not only […]

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