Trifecta Festival: Baltimore Country’s Largest Food Truck Festival- My experience

FB_IMG_1470760380360I was watching Diners, Dive-ins, and Dives one day and came across a BBQ food truck in Baltimore called The Smoking Swine.  To my surprise, I had never heard or seen this truck before.  They are generally parked in places I would not normally frequent which makes sense as to why I haven’t heard from them.  But their food on the show looked absolutely amazing.  The owner of the truck also had a pretty awesome personality and made me more curious about giving it a try.  After about a few weeks of looking them up to see their location, their Facebook page mentioned that they would be at the Baltimore County Food Truck Trifecta Festival.  I immediately bought a VIP ticket ($50) and was excited!

My high school best friend was also going to be in town so I decided that she should get a regular ticket ($15) and we go together.  I figured that if I had the VIP ticket, I could share with her the benefits of the free drinks and one of the free meals that I got with my ticket.  The festival was held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds located in Timonium.  The best part was that parking was FREE!!! However, I was forced to park in an area quite a distance away from the festival.  This will prove to be problematic later.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We arrived about an hour after it gotten started and it was pretty easy to get into the festival.  I got two golden coins for 2 free meals at any foodtrucks and had made a decision to cash in my chips at the BBQ spot and share with my friend.  Once we made it on the grass, I was on the hunt for The Smoking Swine.  There were several tents for liquor, other vendors such as Verizon and a skydiving company, small fashion boutique trucks, and a children play area.  All the way in the back was a performance stage with about 7 acts to perform and a pie eating contest scheduled.  After having a good look around, I was able to spot The Smoking Swine truck, within seconds, because it had the longest line.  My friend and I were able to catch up and take a peak of the menu while we waited.  After about a 20 minute wait, my time had come.

IMAG1284

IMAG1286_1I ordered the Flintstone Beef Short Rib ($15) just like I saw on the show and the BBQ sampler ($25) that included pork ribs, a pulled pork slider, and beef brisket with BBQ baked meaty beans and “Slap yo mama” mac and cheese. I was even able to get the over Mr. Drew Pumphery to come out for a photo with me.  I did not share that this was for my food blog but I’m sure he knows now. He was just as friendly as he was on the show and I was so grateful that he took the time to take a photo with me. How cool!

 

Ok, on to the food.  I took a quick bite of the meaty baked beans that included brisket and knew that I would need to sit down to fully enjoy that experience. They were so good my knees were getting weak.  My friend ordered the BBQ and Mac Dog ($7) that included Nathan’s 100% beef hotdog topped with mac and cheese and pulled pork. Her food looked amazing and I took a bite of the mac and cheese and pulled pork and went to BBQ heaven.  The mac and cheese was spicy which was an unusual but delicious addition.  Why did I not think of that! My beef short rib was a bit smaller than I expected BUT the tenderness of the meat was simply amazing.  The BBQ sauce was served on the side so I was able to fully taste the meat and the seasoning which was on point and then add the BBQ that I thought took it to another level.  My friend was not a fan of the BBQ sauce but did agree that the meat was awesome. So I think it was a matter of preference but we can both agree that the meat and flavors were perfect.

IMAG1292Much later, like the next day later, I was able to sit down and enjoy my BBQ Sampler. Again the beans and the mac and cheese was delicious.  The beans have a perfect blend of savory and sweet that I enjoy and the added meat was just wonderful.  I usually add ground turkey to my baked beans so I appreciate the meaty addition in theirs. The ribs in the sampler were good, not great. Maybe having it fresh would have changed my opinion.  I was a little disappointed about how small they were and the amount of ribs provided for the price.  The pulled pork slider was awesome.  I ended up just eating the meat since the bread had gotten soft but the flavors, tenderness, and sauce were just wonderful.  Lastly, the beef brisket was just perfection.  Tender, the perfect blend of fat and meat. What else can I say? You just have to give it a try!

After that experience, I was on the hunt for the Dizzy Cow Pizzeria that I had at the taste of 3 cities.  I was disappointed to learn that they backed out at the last minute! I literally was equally excited to have their pizza again. There was another pizza truck: Brick N Fire.  However, their line was too long and I decided to look around.

One of my all-time favorite trucks Gypsy Queen was there that I love but have decided to take a break on.  They are popular for their crab and BBQ cones, sandwiches, and tacos.  However, they only had a limited menu.  Since the pizza option was not available, I started to crave a crab cone.  Sadly, they decided not to include that in their festival menu.  They too had a pretty long line and there was nothing there that I felt was worth waiting for especially since I would get my fix at another time.

57447d1e-32a8-4f30-878e-164146204482After walking around a bit my friend decided to the Italian food truck called Pasta Lavista Baby.  She originally wanted their Panzerotti (Fried Calazone) ($8) but they had run out.  Instead, she ordered their Fried Calamari ($7) and Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli ($13) in a tomato cream sauce. The fried calamari had been fried in old grease that had a horrible flavor that you could not even taste the calamari at all.  We thought it may have been overcooked, but the fried calamari had a nice golden flavor and the bottom line was that it was the oil was old and burnt.  They should be ashamed! She took it back and got her money back but the fact that that was served to other customers is extremely disappointing.  However, they redeemed themselves with the ravioli.  She felt that the pasta was cooked perfectly, the filing was good and the sauce gave it the necessary added flavor.  It was a lighter red/ pink color that can be a bit unappetizing to me. (I was unable to photograph her pasta but you can see the color of the sauce in the white container under the fried calamari dish)

 

A little before the next truck, there was a lemonade stand that was serving fresh lemonade for $4.  I wish they had a name but I think they were an independent business.  But they were squeezing fresh lemonades, adding sugar, water, and hand mixing.  It was awesome and back to the basics.

Meanwhile, another friend and I ventured to the Beef on the Street food truck for the Baltimore delicacy Pit beef! The line was a bit long but it moved rather quickly.  My friend ordered their Pit Turkey Sandwich ($13) with fries.  I ordered the Pit Beef Melt ($13), which include a slice of cheese, and fries.  I generally do not order cheese on my pit beef sandwich but I decided to give it a try.  As we waited in line, it began to sprinkle. Once we got our food, it stopped and we were able to go to the condiments bar and add our sauces.  I typically like the tiger sauce on my sandwich which includes a mix of like mayo and horseradish and a few other seasonings to give it a good kick.  However, they did not have exactly what I was looking for. They did have a generic horseradish sauce that I added that was just ok.  In the picture, you will see that I just added the sauce and the BBQ sauce without caring about presentation but in my defense, it was starting to sprinkle again and I just wanted to get it all together.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My friend’s Pit Turkey sandwich was a bit more than she could handle.  She nearly dropped the sandwich with her first bite.  I got a small bite of the pit turkey and the meat was tender and the pit flavors and seasonings were delicious.  The meat pulled right apart.  My Pit Beef Melt was equally delicious.  The cheese was a bit unnecessary.  The beef was fine by itself but since the cheese was there, I ate it together.  I pretty much just ate the meat and the fries and I was full.  The portion size was very generous.  I was forgot to get fresh onion slices for the sandwich but I’m sure it would have only enhanced it further.  The BBQ and the horseradish sauce both complimented the dish well and made for a tasty lunch.  I would definitely find my way to them again! Great price and the food was excellent.  The service was even friendly and welcoming as well.

As we were walking around, the rain started to pick up and we got over until a tent.  This is where the afternoon took a sharp turn.  That lasted for a few minutes and then I decided to get a cocktail in the VIP section and share this with my friend.  After a short line that was in the middle of the tent and limited the use of tables in the section, I ordered a Vodka Cranberry and a bottle of water. Many of their signature drinks had run out and I found it odd that there was only one person working the bar. Not even 5 minutes after I got back to my friends and ordered my drink, the rain picked up again and even worse than before. This was practically like hurricane rain and speeds.  However, I would recommend that next year, they invest in a larger VIP tent with more space.  It was a bit cramp in there and did not make more the most enjoyable experience.

After about 20 minutes under the tent in the pouring rain, with intoxicated people desire to get confrontational, I decided to just leave.  I was able to finish my pit beef melt and fries which were fantastic and my cocktail.  I was bummed because I did not see the Jammin Flava Jamaican food truck for a beef patty or two.  I remember not enjoying their jerk chicken all that much from the Taste of Three Cites festival but the patties were great.  They had the Rita’s Italian Ice stand with limited flavors but I did not have an opportunity to get to them either. I was also curious about the Maui Wowi Hawaiian smoothie and coffee truck but again, the rain basically ruined it for me.  By the way, later in the day, the rain returned and a flash flood caused millions of dollars in damage to Ellicott City in Maryland.

Overall, I had a great time with trucks that I got to try.  I would definitely go again and try to remember to pack an umbrella for the next time just in case.  Walking all the way back to the car without an umbrella was quite an experience and my car seat was still wet for a few days after.  However, the silver lining is that my BBQ Sampler from The Smoking Swine made it!

Please look out for my next post as I review another one of Baltimore’s during restaurant week.  Also, you can find me on Instagram @finediningdiva and twitter @moderndaybeauty. Also, if you would like to follow my blog to receive notification when a new blog is posted, please send your email to finediningdiva@gmail.com.

And remember: It’s a BIG world and we are going to eat our way through it!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s