The folks at MeanRed Productions have been greasing up the wheels of mobile-eats fans everywhere with the Parked! Food Truck Festival, which has been bringing together top-tier food trucks for five years running. The event started with just five trucks at BKLYN Yard before moving to Governors Island. This year, it wheels into South Street Seaport on Aug. 20, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There, over 30 food trucks will be carting out their goods—everything from gourmet tacos to designer ice cream to inventive falafel. (Win VIP tickets to the event here).
“Food trucks are an ever-growing business that has taken the world by storm,” says Katie Longmyer, co-owner of MeanRed. "One of the things we love about them is the entrepreneurial spirit, and ability to reconnect the people who make the food with the people who eat it, in an intimate but quick exchange.”
Aside from the mobile-dining extravaganza, the fest offers up a beer garden, a DJ main stage, face painting, cooking demos and a kid-friendly playground. Admission is free, and special $50 VIP tickets are available (through Ticketfly starting in mid-August, and on the MeanRed site after that) offering small bites from each truck, a separate line for food and a free drink. Keep on truckin'!
Big D’s Grub
How they roll: With cheap, unique, on-the-go Asian fusion eats.
What they’re revving up at the fest: Spicy pork and chicken tacos on warm tortillas with cucumber and lime.
CoolHaus Ice Cream
How they roll: This West Coast original is known for slinging inventive ice cream sammies at The High Line.
What they’re revving up at the fest: The cleverly named Louis Bae-kahn sandwich—brown butter ice cream with caramelized bacon and your choice of cookie.
The Cinnamon Snail
How they roll: The vegan, cruelty-free fare and “extra raunchy” desserts are good for the belly and the conscience.
What they’re revving up at the fest: Lemongrass five-spice seitan with Szechuan chili sauce, curried cashews, greens and wasabi mayo on a grilled baguette.
How they roll: This black-and-pink truck churns out all-natural signature cupcakes.
What they’re revving up at the fest: The Cousin Vinny—vanilla chocolate chip cake filled and topped with cannoli cream and rolled in crispy cannoli shells. The Brooklyn Blackout—filled filled with black forest pudding and rolled in dark chocolate cake crumbs.
Feed Your Hole
How they roll: This crew puts a gourmet spin on backyard Americana staples.
What they’re revving up at the fest: SYC FUK steak sliders with jalapeno serrano cream cheese and habanero strawberry sauce served on a sweet potato bun.
Frites 'n’ Meats
How they roll: The three brothers behind this clever little truck have two commitments: to carefully craft premium burgers and fries...and have fun doing it.
What they’re revving up at the fest: The FM Kobe burger with the works: raw onions, mesclun greens, tomato, bacon and cheddar cheese.
Gorilla Cheese Truck
How they roll: On a guerrilla mission to bring killer, tasty, fresh and creative grilled cheese sandwiches to all five boroughs.
What they’re revving up at the fest: The #5—smoked Gouda, barbecued pulled pork, sautéed onions grilled between natural wheat bread.
How they roll: Grub inspired by the classic-American-diner model, including burgers, shakes and fries.
What they’re revving up at the fest: The acclaimed BLT Burger—100 percent Black Angus beef with brisket, chuck, short rib and sirloin topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, BLT sauce and double-smoked applewood bacon between a sesame brioche bun.
How they roll: Held back from Parked! last year by a crashed awning, JoyRide is zooming to this year's fest with their gourmet coffee and fro-yo.
What they’re revving up at the fest: Their original frozen yogurt is a proprietary blend of fat-free, all-natural Greek and Stonyfield organic yogurts packed with protein and probiotics.
Kelvin Natural Slush Co.
How they roll: All-natural and all grown-up versions of the convenience-store slush.
What they’re revving up at the fest: The ginger slush raspberry puree combo or the Arnold Palmer (half citrus, half tea slush) with white peach puree.
How they roll: The kimchi recipe of chef-owner Youngsun Lee’s grandmother brings authentic but accessible Seoul food to the world (aka NYC).
What they’re revving up at the fest: Beef, pork or edamame tofu falafel made with homemade kimchi and Asian pico de gallo, and green onions on a hand-rolled tortilla.
La Belle Torte
How they roll: This Italian pastry truck puts an everyday touch on holiday and special-occasions desserts.
What they’re revving up at the fest: You can’t go wrong with the cannoli, filled with a sweetened ricotta impastata with vanilla and dark chocolate chips.
La Cense Burger
How they roll: These “ranch to consumer” proponents go against the grain by using cruelty-free, all-natural grass-fed beef from their 88,000-acre ranch in southwest Montana.
What they’re revving up at the fest: The guilt-free steak burger with cheese and carmelized onions.
Mexicue Food Truck
How they roll: The two buds behind Mexicue blend spicy Mexican and smoky 'cue for a healthy and hearty fast-food alternative.
What they’re revving up at the fest: Alabama Smoked Chicken Taco with roasted poblanos, romaine, cotija and creamy 'cue sauce.
Red Hook Lobster Pound
How they roll: Their imported-from-Maine lobster roll has been voted the best roll in the city by various blogs, mags and media outlets.
What they’re revving up at the fest: Lobster roll is made with fresh claw/knuckle lobster meat tossed in homemade mayo with a lemon tang, on a JJ Nissen top-split bun.
How they roll: These food-festival newbies keep it classic with crowd-pleasing falafel. To mix it up, freshly squeezed smoothies replace the usual sodas.
What they’re revving up at the fest: Green falafel sandwich (hummus, Israeli salad, pickled cabbage, falafel and tahini in a toasted pita) paired with a signature date-lime-banana smoothie made with soy milk.
The Treats Truck
How they roll: Owner Kim Ima thinks there’s always an occasion to treat yourself to gourmet cookies, brownies and scones baked in their Red Hook kitchen.
What they’re revving up at the fest: Modern takes on old-fashioned faves. PB&J cookies, anyone?
Valduccis Pizza Truck
How they roll: These pizza peeps have been perfecting the grandma slice for 11 years now. Many still remember them for their generous efforts to serve 9/11 rescue workers 10 years ago.
What they’re revving up at the fest: Their one (and only) grandma slice, made with the high-quality mozz, basil, a secret blend of Italian grated cheeses atop thick tomato sauce.
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
How they roll: These famous ice cream connoisseurs keep it simple: milk, cream, sugar, egg yolk and fine flavors.
What they’re revving up at the fest: Classic vanilla made from Tahitian vanilla beans soaked in aging organic bourbon in oak barrels for four months.
Wafels & Dinges
How they roll: The goal of this truck is sweet and simple: “We want people to exit their world and enter Wafel World for two minutes when they come to us,” says owner Joe Kurtz.
What they’re revving up at the fest: The Throwdown Wafel is a liege wafel with spekuloos spread—a mysterious Belgian specialty made with “Christmas cookies and unicorn tears”—i.e. whipped cream and powdered sugar.
Also check out the grub from these other participating food trucks!
Unique and freshly squeezed juices from Green Pirate Juice. Hand-crafted dumplings from the Rickshaw Truck. Austrian fare from Schnitzel and Things. Chicken tikka masala from the Desi Food Truck. Mediterranean eats from Two Pitas. Plus, Wooly’s Ice and the Anne Apparu Soup Caravan.
Photo by Gabi Porter