We’ve been anticipating the Davis Street Food Rodeo since the last bite of the burgers we bought at the 2015 event. It would be another full year until we could shamelessly indulge in the exorbitant gluttony of the experience (we guess we could hunt down these food trucks instead of waiting for them to come to us, but our wallets and waistlines may not be able to take it).
So the event finally happened, and others felt as passionately as we did. Despite sheets of rain punctuated by thunder and lightning, Davis foodies slapped on their slickers and braved the lines for the May 21st event. The round-up included 13 different vendors, catering to your craving: Bacon MANia, Culinerdy Cruzer, and Smokers Wild BBQ pleased the meat-extremists; Cali Love and Drewskis Hot Rod Kitchen got creative with unique “sandwich” combinations; Fuzion Eatz, Hefty Gyros, Slightly Skewed and La Kora Taqueria were there to break out of the American food fare box; and Puros Churros, OMG Yogurt, and The Sweet Spot Baking Company fielded dessert duty. Oh, and if you wanted breakfast for dinner, Brunch Boys had you covered. Here’s a closer look at some of our Spoon chapter’s stand-outs:
So we know food trucks are ridiculously overpriced. We know that we’re purposely subjecting ourselves to crowds of hangry people, long waits, and eating in some concrete corner. We know that we’re clogging our arteries with more grease in one meal than we usually do in a month, but we absolutely do not care. You try eating one of the burgers from the Culinerdy Cruzer, with the juice running down your fingers and the umami aroma filling your head, and then say it’s not worth it.
Last year, it was Chef Keith Breedlove’s prior appearances on Cutthroat Kitchen and Guy’s Grocery Games that piqued Spoon contributor Cat’s interest and drew her to his truck. It was also the memory of last year’s burger, the NutJob (topped with bacon, onion jam, and peanut butter…YES it works), on her taste buds that made her bee-line immediately to the Culinerdy Cruzer. Her boyfriend did his best to keep her under the umbrella while dodging puddles and people.
The menu is ever-evolving, but flash-fried brussels sprouts and kick-ass burgers are forever constants. Here’s an ode to the 2015 NutJob in all its greasy glory:
And with that, here’s some of this years favorites:
The Bruce Lee
It’s a half-pound burger patty dripping with juices, dressed to the nines with Japanese beef, beer-braised onions, a three-cabbage slaw, wonton strips, nori, cilantro, and an unctuous kimchi aioli.
The Big Merle
What you’ve got here is a half-pound of succulent medium-rare ground chuck, slathered in barbecue sauce, smoky pulled pork, fire roasted tomatoes, a three-cabbage slaw, and oozing with a beer cheese sauce.
Brussels on the Side
Each sandwich or burger comes with your choice of side, either fresh-made kettle chips or flash-fried brussels sprouts with a balsamic glaze. Do not surpass the opportunity and ask for the brussels. We can’t describe the experience, but Cat will say that the pinnacle of her taste bud ecstasy was that initial bite of the sprouts.
Here, that’s a good thing. A burger, sprouts, and a cookie pie later, Cat went back to order these because they’re that good. Kind of like Mexican street corn, but also not at all, these are flash-fried sprouts smothered in cotija cheese, cilantro, crispy onions and jalapeños, and a citrus aioli. Broke now, but regretted nothing.
Yes. Bacon everywhere. The options are endless with everything from pulled pork, burgers, or sweet bacon infused desserts. Another spoon contributor, Karla, was debating on getting the Mac N’ Bacon, which is said to be top 25 in the world, or getting some sort of hot dog they had to offer. The Man N’ Bacon is baked macaroni and cheese (sharp cheddar) topped with just the right amount of bacon. There was also the Chili Dog – a deep fried, bacon wrapped all beef frank topped with their famous chilli, cheese and bacon. Even though these both sounded equally delicious, Karla knew her stomach (and wallet) could only choose one. Then she saw it – the Mac Dog.
It was exactly what Karla was looking for. A deep-fried, bacon-wrapped, all-beef frank topped with their Mac N’ Bacon (yes, that meant there was even more bacon on the bacon), and chipayo sauce. Can you say perf?
The Sweet Spot Baking Company
Last year, Cat opted for a pint of Ben ‘n Jerry’s to top off the evening’s caloric bomb (admittedly the more price-effective choice), but this time The Sweet Spot’s cookie pies called her name. Smaller than a BJ’s pizookie, but thicker and with more topping choices, she and her co-taster were split on which was better – Cat chose BJ’s, but it’s a cookie and ice cream so how wrong can you go?
The Candy Attack-OMG
It’s a chocolate chip cookie pie decked out with chocolate ice cream (we swapped for vanilla), M&Ms, Snickers, Reese’s cups, and dripping with fudge and caramel sauces.
It was a toss-up between this and the S’mores-OMG, a graham cracker cookie pie complete with marshmallow cream and more. The Sweet Spot also offers up custom cookie sandwiches, caramel corn, fruit freezes, and more.
Another Street Food Rodeo came and went, and now only 11 more months until we can eat ourselves sick all over again. Well, eat ourselves sick in the Davis Westlake Plaza parking lot. We’re sure we’ll find other occasions to build up our eating capacity in the meantime.