Think of Salem and the next word that comes to mind is probably witch. You're probably thinking about the Salem Witch Trials or you're thinking about hauntings. You're probably not thinking about the food, namely their food truck scene.
Yes, Salem does have spooky aspects and members of the community there do embrace that—go to Salem around Halloween and you'll be blown away by the haunted houses. Go any other time during the year and you can still revisit history at the Salem Witch Museum.
The thing is, Salem is more than just a place for haunted houses. It's a gorgeous area and, if you're a college student in Boston, you're doing yourself a disservice by not visiting the area before October 31. And Salem has just invented a new reason you to visit.
From October 1-2, every year starting this year, the town is hosting a massive food truck festival. I went to check out this year's line-up and it seriously did not disappoint.
I gathered a group of friends together and went on October 1 while Spoon Emerson's awesome photo director, Laura Crestol, went on October 2. The goal for both of us was to try as many foods as possible, but, honestly there was too much there to be able to try everything.
I ended up going on a day that it rained, but the event is rain or shine and nobody was going to pack up just because of a little water. Instead, we were provided a 100 foot tent with tons of seating, while a DJ played.
The event lasted from 11 am to 6 pm—you can have had every meal of the day there if you wanted. The Morning Salute offered savory breakfast sandwiches, while Joe's on A Roll offered creamy lobster rolls. But everyone had the choice between tons of different cuisines.
I've seen Bon Me around Boston before, but never really stopped to try it. It's delicious Asian food, with a surprisingly low price tag. The Thai iced tea was just $3 and oh-so-good.
You could also find a pretty big variety of Mexican foods available at the festival and American food from New England to the Southwest.
Sante was probably my personal favorite truck because it made me feel good about what I ate, but it didn't taste like it was good for you. All fresh food, prepared fresh. Their zucchini fries and aioli were so good that if I was just given a bucket of them and ate nothing else for the rest of the day, I would have been more than happy.
Anyone who says that food trucks aren't fancy has never tried Plouf Plouf. Their truck was serving up slightly more expense lunches, but you got a lot of bang for your buck. Their French cuisine stood out from the rest of the trucks, but was still accessible and friendly.
Of course, if you were to skip every meal and head straight for dessert, no one could really blame you. Cookie Monstah, which I get in Boston as much as humanly possible, was a big hit, which was great to see. The Cookie Monstah family is super sweet—if you see them, definitely say hi.
The food trucks at this festival are incredible treats themselves, but one other thing about this fest is that it's outside the city. I love Boston, but sometimes you have to get out for a little bit. I've been to food truck festivals in the city before and, don't get me wrong, I love them. But being in Salem felt like I was back at home.
There were tons of families, everything runs a little slower, plus there were at least twenty dogs playing around in the rain. If you need a break from the city-life, mark this festival on your calendar. It might just be exactly what you need.