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!
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:
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:
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:
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:
I got the ginger and added in basil, and I swear I’ve never had a better slush. Clearly, neither has Dr. Boyfriend:
Eventually, finally, Christine got her souvlaki:
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!
And we’re, um, going to the Great Hot Dog Cookoff this weekend, so either we’re gluttons for punishment or just plain gluttons.