Last year hundreds gathered for the Food Truck Showdown in Asheville to find their favorite truck. This year the event will be held at the WNC Ag Center on Airport Road in Fletcher, March 25. Hurry in before your favorite item sells out. Photo credit Micah MacKenzie
For your meal, you can choose a truck which specializes in more exotic items like Cajun and Creole dishes from the bayous of Louisiana, Peruvian Fusion Cuisine, Eastern Mediterranean foods, and Thai-inspired Street food, or you can have simpler fare, like a delicious grilled cheese sandwich (but with Double Cream Brie and Smoked Gouda), heavenly tacos and tostadas, amazing BBQ ribs with Mac & Cheese, smothered hot dogs, a seriously yummy beef or chicken burger or a gooey pizza with a to-die-for crust. The choice is yours. Bring your whole family with friends to enjoy a quality meal with plenty of music.The musical line-up with a live DJ includes:Kampfire Circle (12:00 -1:00), Ali Randolph & Outta Luck Band (1:30-2:30), Striking Cooper (3:00-4:00) and the Black Mountain City Limits Band (4:30-5:30). As they listen, the adults can enjoy some Sierra Nevada beer or perhaps a Budweiser, or even some Bold Rock hard cider. Of course, there will be water and sodas too.
Carey Harnash, the founder of this Festival, has put together this all-encompassing show of the Western North Carolina food trucks. Harnash thinks that it is important to give back to the community, so one of his goals for this Festival is to help local charities. Two of his favorite charities, MANNA FoodBank and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, will receive a portion of the proceeds this year. Other charities that will be represented at the Festival are The Boy Scouts, The Blue Ridge Honor Flight, the Buncombe County Special Olympics, Pinups for Pitbulls, and the YMCA. Thanks to the generous sponsorships of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and the 32° Ice Bar, Harnash has made sure that the food truck show will go on again this year—better than ever.
Some people may want to sign up ahead of time for a VIP Tasting Experience of food from each participating truck. This is a sit-down tasting experience to be held in the Boone Building, where guests will be served a sample from each of the 17 food trucks. You will have a wonderful opportunity to taste the many flavors and dishes and then cast votes for your favorite truck. Three VIP seatings will be at 12:00PM2:00PM and 4:00PM. The cost for the tasting is $35 without a beverage or $45 with two beverages and a Tyvek bracelet. It is advisable to make a reservation ahead of time as the seatings get filled up quickly. That can be done online at www.ashevillefoodtruckshowdown.com/vip-tasting.
The Root Down Food Truck has won Asheville’s Best in 2014.1015, and 2016. The Truck is known for its Creole, Southern and Soul influenced comfort food, made from local ingredients. This year chef Dano Holcomb, chef and co-owner, will have to work extra hard to stay on top. Photo courtesy Micah MacKenzie
In addition, the seventeen trucks will be competing in a food competition trying to “take down” the three-time Overall Best Food Truck winner for 2014,’15,’16: Root Down. The trucks are competing for Best Food Truck, People’s Choice Award and VIP Tasters’ Choice Award. Each truck submits entries for the contest. This year the judges are Evan Donovan of Channel 13 News, Stu Helm, an artist, writer and podcaster, and Joe Scully, owner and chef at Chestnut and Corner Kitchen. Last year Root Down owner and chef, Dano Holcombe, wowed the judges with a smoked short rib. (Do remember what Holcombe is working in: a minuscule size truck kitchen!) He also received the 2016 People’s Choice Award. Previously in 2015 and 2014 the People’s Choice Award Winner went to the Farm to Fender’s rolling green truck, which specializes in local season cuisine. Farm to Fender recently opened a bricks and mortar cafe on Sweeten Creek Road, where you can sit down and be served during the week or take home a plate.
The 4th Annual Asheville Food Truck Showdown is a “must attend” in Western North Carolina. For a city known as one of the top Foodie Cities in the USA, this Festival is an event to introduce you to new flavors and dishes by some amazing and incredible chefs, working under some very trying conditions. Perhaps you will want one of them to cater your next celebration? Where else can you find your favorite food trucks all in one place? Look forward to the excitement and fun of discovering some delicious flavors, served from one of Asheville’s food trucks on Saturday, March 25.