Columbia Food Truck Food Court (and other Columbia adventures)
On Friday, I drug my friend (bff since early middle school), Griet, along on a Gap Creek Gourmet quest to investigate the Columbia Food Truck Food Court in downtown Columbia. (She went willingly.)
The food truck fad is spreading like wildfire. (Thank you Food Network.) They’ve been around for a long time, and you’ve probably eaten at one, but they have an exciting label now: food truck, and thus now are the new big thing. It’s basically a kitchen on wheels. And the best food trucks are serving up everything from sushi to a gourmet reworking of downhome bbq.
So through the miracle of Facebook Fan Pages, food trucks post their daily location (usually a business parking lot) on their page and fans come out in droves. The fad has even gone a step farther now: mobile food court. You heard me. Food court. Once a month or so, multiple food trucks gather in a parking lot or field and invite a band. Sometimes there’s booze.
Six or so food trucks came out for Columbia Food Truck Food Court set up in the parking lot of Adluh Flour Mill. Griet settled on Beef Brisket from locally famed Bone In BBQ. and I ordered a BLT from Pawley’s Front Porch Mobile Eats. Both came with a HEAPING pile of fries. While we waited on our food I went up to random strangers and asked them if I could take pictures of their food. Yes, I’m a freak. One lady had BBQ sliders with a side of sweet potato fries with blue cheese on them. Holy S.
Only two of the trucks were doing booming business, the others were sort of sad. Hot dogs, fried fair food. (The stuffedwings truck wasn’t there! So bummed, but I did see the driver, apparently on the way to the USC game on Saturday morning, dancing behind the wheel of the truck at a red light.)
Griet had shredded Beef Brisket in Hickory Hoisin Sauce on a dill focaccia bread with a side of apple slaw and a heaping pile of homemade potato chips sprinkled with dill and other spices. It was smoky and really sweet (borderline too sweet), but so rich and yummy. The slaw was made from shredded apple with a little bit of carrot and cabbage soaked in sweet vinegar dressing. We both agreed we wanted a little more spice or something in it, but it was good.
My BLT was off the chain! Fried green tomatoes and thick cut bacon slathered with homemade pimento cheese on a jalapeno cheddar bread. We split my sandwich, inhaled my sweet potato fries and snacked on her lunch… well, it was sort of dessert.
I sat there with a stupid grin on my face. It was one of those meals that make the rest you’ll eat that week…maybe that month… pale in comparison.
How we had room, I don’t know, but afterward, we swung by Cupcake and tried the French Toast Cupcake (we split it and practically licked the wrapper) and a Carrot Cake Cupcake (bland and uneventful… we took a bite each and threw it away).
Then we went by one of Griet’s favorite deli’s, Di Prato’s, to pick up a container of Pimento Cheese for later. She said it is the best she’s ever eaten. Their deli case had the most incredible selection of “picnic” food… flash fried cauliflower, tomato stacks, cornbread salad. If I wasn’t so stuffed that I thought I would die, I might have actually tried a thing or two. Totally going back. (We were so full all night we forgot about the pimento cheese in the fridge!)
In the evening, Griet whipped up pound cakes for a boy scout bake sale while, we sat side by side with wine glasses in hand and laptops open playing on Pinterest (now, that people, is friendship), and we hung out with her neighbor, Nicole, who CRACKS me up!
The next morning I was up super early, (they were leaving for a Clemson game) hugged my Griet and headed out for the All Local Farmer’s Market on Whaley Street. I have never seen such a well balanced market: sea food, organic meat, honey, flowers, gelato, baked bread, baked sweets, jewelry, fiber artists, organic fruits and veggies… and some guys had quiche and grits cooking for breakfast. I bought some apple donuts, one apple, a bag of chocolate marshmallows (that are heaven in a bag), a peanut butter cookie and a present for my mom… and a hot cup of coffee to go. I drove around Columbia for a while… around USC and the Capital Building. It was early and there weren’t any cars out. The air was cool and it was pretty dang awesome.